Home » Blog » Stump Removal vs. Stump Grinding: Which is Better?

Stump Removal vs. Stump Grinding: Which is Better?

Why Grind or Remove Stumps?

First off, why should you remove or grind your stumps after a tree removal? There are three primary reasons we’re going to discuss.

Stumps Can Detract From The Aesthetics of Your Landscape

Stumps that are left to sit on your property can pose a tripping hazard for you, your family, and visitors. They can also damage your lawn mower if it gets too close. Avoid these safety hazards and any potential damage to your appliances by either doing full removal or grinding. The last thing you want is for someone to get injured or you having to pay for costly appliance repairs. Bottom line: grinding or removal will be worth the time and money in the long-run.

Another reason why this job is so important is because as stumps rot over time and the roots gradually decay, they can attract unwanted pests and insects near your home. These insects can bring diseases which can spread to nearby trees and plants! Protect your landscaping and healthy trees!


  • Termites
  • Ants 
  • Beetles
  • And more

The final reason (and likely the most obvious) why these tree maintenance jobs are necessary is because leftover stumps are not aesthetically appealing to look at. They can lower your property’s curb appeal and take away from the beautiful, well-manicured lawn everyone desires. As they slowly rot away, they can make your property look even worse. Keep your landscape looking maintained and welcoming and call your local arborist!

What is Stump Grinding?

You might be asking: What exactly is stump grinding? This process involves using a powerful machine that starts at the top of the stump and chomps it down into little wood chips. This machine can break down the stump completely, even going underground several inches or more. This technique is the most cost-effective out of the two and does not leave a large hole in the ground as it simply reduces the stump to tiny pieces that can be used to fill in the gap.

Grinding does not remove the root system, making it the easier, less time-consuming option. However, since roots can take many years to decay, this can hinder you from planting trees nearby as roots can stretch many feet out from the stump. Also, these leftover roots can sometimes cause regrowth of small trees nearby. 

Tools & Equipment Needed

There are many different types and brands of tree grinders. If you choose to rent one, however, it might be difficult for you to find one of high-quality or of a size big enough for your project. That’s why we recommend you hire a professional tree surgeon. They are licensed, insured, and use pro-grade equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently. Below we list three of the best grinders:

Should I Do it Myself?

The short answer: we recommend you don’t. However, DIY stump grinding is definitely possible. Here are some things you’ll need to think about and make sure you have:

  • Homeowners liability insurance coverage
  • PPE (googles, ear muggs, masks, gloves, long pants, and long sleeve shirt)
  • Rental grinder (you may need to transport it to and from your home yourself)
  • Shovels, rakes, saws (to prep your workspace beforehand)

This project comes with several serious safety risks, so we recommend, to avoid injury to yourself and others, that you hire a professional with plenty of experience and the certifications and insurance required. 

What is Stump Removal?

This process is much more involved and time-consuming. However, depending on your landscaping needs, it might be a better choice for you and worth the time and energy in the long-run. 

This process involves powerful machinery to completely tear the stump from the ground. The roots are also removed, leaving no way for regrowth later on. So, if you’re looking to plant new trees or shrubs nearby, completely removing the stump along with its roots is the better option as they won’t be in the way or hinder new tree growth. 

Like anything, however, full removal does come with some drawbacks. Because this technique requires more physical effort, time, and extremely powerful machinery, it’s more expensive. It also leaves a large hole in your land that will need to be filled in to prevent injury and maintain the aesthetic look of your yard. So, when deciding between full removal or grinding, these are some things to keep in mind.

Don’t hesitate to give Mike Timber’s a call today for professional stump grinding and other tree services in Davidsonville MD! We’ll take care of the job for you.