Like it or not, sometimes it’s necessary to cut down a tree, whether for reasons of disease, safety or a lack of space. However, once the tree disappears, the stump remains. Of course, you can leave it there in your yard, but esthetic or practical considerations will often lead you to make the decision to remove it.
The technical term for cutting down a tree is “felling,” while removing the stump is sometimes referred to as “grubbing.” If you’re unfamiliar with these terms, it’s very likely that you’re also unfamiliar with the procedures, the prices and the benefits.
As experts in this area, we’d like to take a moment to answer the most common questions. Once you know more about stump removal, you’ll be able to make an informed decision regarding which option is right for you.
Why should you remove a tree stump?
Grinding down a tree stump presents a certain number of advantages that you should be aware of.
- It can prevent the proliferation of insects. While we welcome certain insects, such as ladybugs, in our gardens, we prefer to avoid others, such as carpenter ants. By grinding a tree stump, you’ll eliminate a possible source of refuge and nourishment for these pests, as well as for parasites, fungi and certain undesirable animals that might wish to set up housekeeping there. For instance, skunks and raccoons are particularly fond of abandoned tree stumps.
- It can free up space. If you’ve decided to fell a tree, it may have been a simple matter of making more room on your property. If so, leaving the stump in place would defeat the purpose. You’re better off grinding it so you can benefit fully from the recovered space. You’ll also prevent the growth of new shoots, which would otherwise appear each spring. You can always cut them off, but it can take years for the tree to die all the way down to the roots. Removing the stump is much faster and more efficient.
- It can increase the value of your property. A tree stump on your property translates into lower resale value. Tree stumps give potential homebuyers the impression that your yard is unkempt. Don’t risk losing a sale because of a neglected stump! For all practical purposes, you can plant a new tree where you took out the old one, especially if you cut down the old one because it was diseased or too large. Otherwise, you can fill in the hole and plant some grass.
When should you remove a tree stump?
In general, the sooner you remove the stump after felling a tree, the better your chances will be of preventing new shoots. Otherwise, the ideal season is summer. The soil will be drier and easier to dig. As a result, removing the stump will be less likely to require the use of heavy equipment, which can cause significant damage to your yard.
What does the stump removal process consist of?
The size of the stump will determine the type of tool or machinery used to remove or grind it. A shovel and a saw will often do the trick. If so, you may very well be able to remove the stump yourself. However, in other cases, you’ll need heavier equipment to get rid of it. Don’t forget to consider the grade of your property, as well as anything that is near the stump. To prevent accidents or a lot of hard work for nothing, the best solution is often to call on the services of professionals.
Stump removal experts regularly employ one of two different techniques. The first is extraction. As the name indicates, this technique consists of removing the stump and attached roots. It requires the use of heavy equipment, which isn’t particularly easy on your yard, especially if the stump has large roots that extend all along the surface of the ground.
The second technique is grinding. Both arborists and clients often prefer this method, as it’s faster, easier and less expensive. It requires the use of a stump grinder, which is much less invasive than, say, a tractor. It will shred the stump into woodchips, thus preventing it from sending up any new shoots.
Whether you end up pulling the stump out or grinding it down, you’ll be happy to know that both stump removal methods are environmentally friendly. Other methods do exist; however, they require the use of chemicals that can pose a risk of contaminating the soil or groundwater or even poisoning people or pets. Furthermore, since numerous municipal regulations forbid the use of these substances, you’re definitely better off opting for mechanical solutions that won’t endanger the rest of your plants.
Is it necessary to get a permit to remove a tree stump?
Unlike other arboriculture work, stump removal doesn’t require a permit. However, you should make sure that there are no pipes or electrical lines near the stump. To find out, you can contact Info-Excavation for assistance.
How much does it cost to remove a tree stump?
You’re undoubtedly wondering about the price of having a stump removed. Of course, a number of different criteria come into play: the thickness of the stump, its placement, its accessibility, etc. The price of removing a small, easy-to-access stump starts at $300, which is the minimum charge for transporting the stump removal equipment. From there, the price can go as high as $1,000 in the case of a large, hard-to-reach stump. Where it falls between the two will depend on the above factors and other considerations, including the characteristics of the land, the need to haul away woodchips in the case of stump grinding and the size of the area that needs cleaning up after the procedure.
As you can see, stump removal is relatively expensive, but that’s largely because it generally requires the use of specialized equipment. For your stump to be ground in accordance with best practices to guarantee your safety and that of your property, you can contact the specialists at Émondage SBP. They’ll give you all the details you need and offer you service that will live up to your expectations.
On the other hand, if you opt to have the stump pulled out, you’ll need to call an excavation company and arrange to have the necessary work done on your land to repair the damage caused by the machinery used in this type of work.
Sources:La Voix du Sud. Qu’est-ce que l’essouchement? [What is stump removal?] 2017.
Courrier Frontenac. Entretien d’arbre: en quoi consiste l’essouchage? [Tree maintenance: what does stump removal consist of?] 2021.