Stump Grinding is a slow, precise, and violent mechanical process. A machine specifically built for the job is used to break the stump into tiny pieces by use of a cutter wheel. This wheel has several small "teeth" or "hammers" that strike the surface of the stump at very high velocity as the cutter wheel spins. The cutter wheel is passed over the surface of the stump in a slow arc, continually chipping away a few inches at a time. Because of the nature of how Stump Grinding is performed, it is not always the most suitable form of stump removal, and in some cases, stump removal is simply not an option at all due to the stumps location, surroundings, or entangled hazards - such as fence wire, nails or other metal, bricks, concrete, etc.
If you choose to have your stump ground out, Muskogee Tree will assess the stumps location and surroundings to verify viability. The price for Stump Grinding is based on a few variables, but typically it comes down a general price per linear foot. For more information on pricing see the Pricing Tab above.
By default, once a stump has been ground the debris / chips created are pushed back into the cavity and compressed with the weight of the grinder itself. Over time this mound of wood and dirt debris will settle to a more natural level but will usually still be slightly raised above the surrounding grade. If you plan to do anything specific in that area (such as plant another tree, a garden, do decorative landscaping, etc.) you may want to have the debris hauled away and the cavity backfilled with topsoil or left open. If this is the case, please specify while we are quoting your job so we can take that into account and price accordingly.
Our general practice is to quote based on grinding the stump itself and any surface roots that radiate outward from the stump and are visible above ground, for a distance of 5 feet from the center of the stump. If the roots pass underground and then re-emerge they are not included past that point. However, if you want more extensive grinding that includes all surface roots just let us know and we will include that in your quote.
Yes, but this option is not included in our standard quotes. Just mention it when we are doing our Initial Site Review and we will include it in the price.
As much as we'd like to offer this service, we are not landscapers and currently have no training or experience in that field. However, at your request, we can haul away all stump debris and even fill the cavity with top soil. But after that point, you would want to contact a professional landscaping crew to bring in sod or do any other groundwork beyond the top-soil.
There are some inherent dangers to the immediate surroundings involved with stump grinding. Specifically, items of glass, high polish, or that are otherwise fragile are always susceptible to potential damage from wood debris that may be thrown at very high speeds from the cutting wheel. There is no way to prevent this in itself, but we do take every precaution to stop those pieces of debris from being thrown too far or being thrown in the direction of those items, including turning the grinder to an angle that faces away and/or erecting a portable barrier when required that will stop 99% of errant debris.
Yes, you can, however, you don't want to plant in it because it borrows nitrogen from the soil as it breaks down, at which time it restores nitrogen to the soil. It would be best to use it as a top dressing or mulch.
Primarily the most important things to do are clear the area of any obstacles or yard debris. This includes a thorough check for potentially buried utilities in the proximity of the stump. We will do our best during the Initial Site Review to determine if there are likely to be buried utilities, but if you know of any please make us aware. If lines are suspected we will contact OKIE811 to locate and mark the lines in your yard before we work. Freshly mowed yard helps too, as we are better able to see the location of above-ground roots in the work area, or rocks and other hazards. Also, keep in mind stump grinding is loud with a capital L. You probably don't want to plan to have guests over, be sleeping for shift work, studying, or anything else that might be interrupted by the commotion.
There are a few possible scenarios in which a stump cannot be ground out and other removal options should be explored. These include things like the stumps proximity to concrete, steel, or other building materials, underground utilities, fences, structures, etc. In some cases, the stump simply cannot be physically accessed by the Stump Grinder itself.
Pricing for Stump Grinding is based primarily on a dollar amount per linear inch. We price grinding at $4 per linear inch above ground at the widest point (including above ground roots), which is a little lower than the industry standard rate. However, there are some additional variables that can increase or reduce the cost.
Though we price by linear inch (see info at top of pricing section), the rate may go up or down based on how much of the work area is solid stump (core) and how much is aboveground roots. For instance, a stump with a diameter at the widest point of 50 inches would generally cost about $200 to grind. However, if only 12 inches are actual core and the rest are aboveground roots, your price would most likely go down. On the other hand, if 40 inches are core and only 10 inches are roots, the rate may go up. This is simply because the core of the stump takes much longer to grind than the lateral roots.
The easier your stump is to get to with the Grinder, the better. If we have plenty of room to maneuver around all sides of the stump and are not hindered by structures or other obstacles, we can work faster and more efficiently.
Our standard quote for Stump Grinding includes grinding the core and above ground roots to a distance of 5 feet from the center of the stump (for more information see the Overview Tab on this page) and pushing the stump debris/chips back into the cavity and packing them down after grinding is complete. If you require additional services such as extensive root removal, hauling the chips away or bringing in topsoil (which both require additional equipment, expenses, and manpower), the price will reflect these services.
Qualities like the density/hardness or age of the stump play a large role in determining how difficult and time-consuming it will be to grind it. Softer wood (be it from nature or decay) is much easier and faster to grind. Harder wood, even if a naturally softer species of tree has hardened over time as some do, takes much longer and can even damage the Grinder's Cutting Teeth.