Stump Removal and Stump Grinding: What’s the Difference

Photo of a large stump left behind by arborists

Once you’ve made the decision to get a tree removed, it can be quite an ordeal from beginning to end to get a company (or possibly a few) to come out, give you a quote, schedule the removal, and get that done (which can take several days). All in all tree removal is a fairly big endeavor, and after all that, you still have a stump to deal with. It can be so easy to leave a stump where it is after that whole ordeal, but it really is best to get it all done in one go. 


So, with tree removal comes the question, stump grinding or stump removal? We obviously have our bias, but when it comes down to it, there are a few main key differences that may change your decision. In this article we’ll go over these differences and give pros and cons to both options, to hopefully make your Greenville stump grinding or removal decision easier. 


When it comes to stump removal, the concept is fairly simple. The trunk is pulled out of the ground using large equipment like tractors or other machinery to bring it out of the ground, and the roots are all dug up and pulled out. While the concept is simple, the execution is not easy. The bigger the stump the more in depth the process will be.


 If the stump is fairly large, the stump removal company may start by drilling holes into the stump, and injecting it with a chemical meant to loosen up the stump, break up the wood, and make the area softer. That will sit over night, and the next day the machinery will be brought in to pull the tree up. This could be a multi day process, depending the size and depth of the tree. Digging up the roots and pulling those out can take quite some time as well, and may also disturb surrounding landscaping, depending on the growth of the roots. 


After the tree has been removed and disposed of, a hole will be left where any of the roots and the stump were, which can be surprisingly deep and wide. 


All of this labor, equipment, and effort comes at a price as well, so you can expect to pay several hundreds, and up to thousands of dollars on stump removal, because of how in depth the process can be. 


The pros of stump removal are that after all of that, you have a clean palette, and the area will immediately be ready for any new landscaping plans. If you wanted to plant a tree where the old one was, you’re good to go ahead. With stump grinding the roots are left behind, so a new tree cannot immediately be planted over top of it again. 


With stump grinding, a stump grinder machine is brought in to wherever the stumps are, and the rotating blade is used to break up the wood, leaving wood chunks behind, which can be used as landscaping, or removed by the stump grinding company. This procedure is much simpler, straightforward, and easy, not to mention more affordable. 


Stump grinding often costs ⅓ or ⅕ the amount that stump removal would cost. The cons are that although the stump can be ground as far down into the ground as required, the rest of the root system under the ground will remain untouched. This means that it would be difficult to grow a tree on top of where the stump was ground, because of the remaining root system. 

On the other hand, grinding doesn’t leave as much of a mark on the property as removal does, because there’s no hole left behind that can’t be filled with the wood chips left over. 


Another pro is that it’s a much quicker process, and can be done in a matter of hours rather than days. 


All in all those are our immediate pros and cons that come to mind between stump grinding and stump removal. As Greenville Stump Grinding pros, we provide professional stump grinding services at affordable rates, in an efficient and effective manner. 


Give us a call if you want to discuss any stumps you may like to have removed!