Landscaping sometimes requires the removal of tree stumps. A common reason is that they are unsightly and look odd on the well-kept lawn. Other reasons for removing tree stumps are:
• Increases risk of tripping
• Damage to lawn mowers
• Decaying stumps attracts ants, termites, beetles, and other pests.
• Growth of suckers that develop into unsightly bushes and compete for nutrients with other plants
The Cost of Removing a Tree Stump
The average cost of removing a tree stump in the UK ranges between £50 and £300 per stump. Some stump removers charge per inch of diameter. The average price in terms of diameter ranges between £3 and £5. The price is higher if you want the removal to destroy the stump and the root system. It is important to inquire if the price of a stump is for the job or if there are other charges. Some removers charge for the time and labour.
Grinding is a great option if you prefer removal that does not completely obliterate the tree stump. Grinding professionals charge around £60 an hour for tree stumps that do not exceed 15″ in diameter.
Grinding is usually cheaper than uprooting because it does not involve removing the root system. A removal professional is likely only to charge an hourly rate. The factors below are also likely to affect the cost of tree stump removal or grinding.
• Number of stumps
• Type and condition of the wood
If you have a low budget and are considering a garden revamp, why not check out Landscaping on a Budget.
Tree Stump Removal Skills
• Small tree stumps are simple when landscaping, even without hiring professionals. You uproot it by following the steps below.
• Dig around the stump with the broad end of a mattock to expose the roots
• Use the slime end of the mattock or a bow saw to cut exposed roots.
• Chop the taproot with a bow saw or an axe
• Tie ropes or chains around the stump and pull it from the hole. You can find helpers or use a vehicle to extract the stump from the ground.
Tree stumps of large trees or those at a location that is difficult reach require expert professionals and machinery to extract.
Tree Stump Removal Machinery
A mattock is not a machine but is a useful tool for digging out stumps in the old manual way. A saw helps to cut the exposed roots. However, giant stumps require the use of these machines.
Chainsaw: A chain saw cuts the stump at a low point close to the ground. Cutting the stump simplifies the other removal process.
Stump grinder: A stump grinder grinds stumps, reducing them to chips and dust. Stump grinders are available in various designs and sizes. The depth of penetration into the ground and capacity to tackle bigger stumps increases with the size of the unit. Some stump grinders are tractor attachments.
Backhoe: A backhoe attachment to a powerful tractor is extremely effective in digging stumps from the ground. Larger stumps with deep roots require more effort. First, you might need to cut the main roots and attach a chain to the drawbar to pull a stump from the ground.
Alternative Use for Tree Stumps
Removing tree stumps is the most obvious choice when landscaping a lawn. However, you can carve and design them to become more appealing. You can implement one of these ideas or hire a professional for the task.
• Fix garden lighting cables to illuminate the stumps at night
• Smoothen the stumps and transform them into outdoor seats or tables
• Hollow the centre and use it as a planter for flowers or foliage
• Curve the stump into a sculpture
• Build a treehouse on a large, tall and strong tree stump
• Turn it into a pot stand by placing a pot with flowers on top or hanging several on the sides of a tall stump
• Paint the stump to make it a piece of decorative art
• Paint board games like chess or checkers on the draft to entice kids
• Curve the top of a section to resemble a mushroom
• Fix a birdbath on a stump
See also: How to incorporate trees into your landscaping plans
The look you want to create for your garden with or without tree stumps determines if you remove them or design them to achieve a specific aesthetic value.