How To Know When To Remove Tree Stumps

we're here for you​

Have you just gone through the process of having a tree removed?

Then you’re likely looking out at the stump that’s still there. If that’s the case, you’re facing a few options. 

Should you leave it in your yard?

Should you have the stump removed with the tree in one fell swoop?

Or should you grind the stump instead?

Knowing the effects of each of these choices can help you make the right decision for your landscape.

To help you determine when to remove tree stumps and when to grind them down, we’ve prepared answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

tree stump on lawn

When To Leave Tree Stumps In The Ground

Having trouble deciding whether to keep your stump or remove it permanently?

We’ll start with our regular advice: if you can, get rid of the stump.

An old tree stump might not initially pose a problem. The longer you leave it there, though, the more of a hassle it can become. 

Old stumps can interfere with lawn mowing, they present a tripping risk for you and your family, and they can attract pests. Plus, when you’re ready to move onto your next trees, the old stump and its network of roots can make new plantings a challenge.

What Pest Problems Come From Leaving Tree Stumps In The Ground

Another issue with leaving a stump is that stump rot sets in as soon as the tree is removed. That decaying stump then becomes a breeding ground for pests that can cause home damage, including termites and carpenter ants.

Even though you have the option of letting the stump rot, the pests that accompany the process can spread to other plants and trees in your yard. They can even get into your house. 

The best method for preventing these issues completely is to remove the stump or grind it down.

Additional Problems That Come From Leaving Tree Stumps

There are more reasons to get rid of a tree stump besides those pests. Here are a few other issues why removing the stump will make your life easier:

  • A dying stump is not attractive – It detracts from the overall appearance of your yard and can lower the value of your home.
  • The stump area is off-limits when mowing your lawn – The stump or roots can harm your mower if you unintentionally run over them.
  • The old tree’s roots remain – Because the stump is still connected with its roots, planting other young trees nearby becomes more difficult.

Differences Between Grinding A Tree Stump Or Removing It

Both stump removal and stump grinding have their pros and cons. Your choice may depend on the plans you have for your home’s landscape.

Removing the stump is the more invasive procedure of the two. The heavy tree stump must first be lifted, and the extensive tree roots must next be dug out. 

As you might expect, this requires a significant amount of time, hard work, and effective equipment. 

The benefit? After the stump is removed, your landscape is a blank slate ready for any fresh ideas you may have. 

The downside of stump removal is that it leaves a sizable hole behind, which can be unsightly until it is filled.

Grinding stumps, on the other hand, requires significantly less effort. 

In this instance, your local tree service can chip the stump into little pieces using a machine. 

Although grinding is more effective than stump removal, it does not remove the tree’s roots. The chip pile that results from a large stump can also be quite large, though those chips can be used as mulch for your other plants.

How Tree Stump Grinding Affects Roots

Tree stump grinding does not remove the old tree’s roots, meaning they can still stretch up to 12 feet beyond where the stump once stood. This is even after the visible remnants of the tree have been removed through stump grinding. 

These roots eventually fade after grinding, but it takes time. In fact, it can take roots up to ten years to completely decay.

Need Help Removing Tree Stumps?

Not sure what your future landscaping plans are? Deciding between removing tree stumps or having them ground? 

Our expert tree care team at Beautiful Country Tree Services is here to help you make the right decision for your home. Get in touch with us for a free estimate and to schedule your services today.