If you have already had those hazardous, damaged, and/or unsightly trees removed from your yard before cold winter temperatures strike or are having them removed soon, then you likely wonder what to do with the stumps left behind. The two most popular ways tree services remove tree stumps include stump grinding and full stump uprooting. With stump grinding, the portion of the tree stump located above ground and several inches of it below ground is removed with a stump grinder; the tree roots and a small portion of the stump that lies below ground will remain. When full stump uprooting is performed instead, the entire stump and all of the tree's roots are removed by digging them up with either a shovel or heavy machinery.
Which is best for your yard? Read on to learn about two important factors to keep in mind when choosing the stump removal option that will work best in your yard and that is best for each specific stump.
1. Find Out if These Pests Cause Problems in Your Area
If wood-eating or wood-dwelling pests are a problem in your local area of the country, then it may be best to have all of your tree stumps completely uprooted. While all termites love feasting on wood, subterranean termites that are prevalent throughout most of the country will love building their colonies in the mud surrounding the stump portion left behind after grinding and feasting on the stump itself.
However, termites are not the only pests that love wood. Carpenter ants, bark beetles, wood borers, and powderpost beetles all love to feast, live, and/or breed in wood.
Why does it matter if pests eat your old wood stumps? Once pests, especially the very destructive subterranean termites, devour all of the wood cellulose they can get out of that tree stump portion left in the ground after stump grinding, they will quickly look for a new food source; the next items they make meals out of could be any wooden structures you have in your yard, such as a wooden shed or garage or your home itself.
2. Decide What You Plan to Do With the Land That Remains After Stump Removal
Another factor to take into consideration when deciding between your stump removal options is what you plan to do with the land where the full tree stump is currently located. If the stump is located in an area of your lawn where you never plan to plant flowers, bushes, or new decorative trees, then stump grinding will give you the smooth, even ground needed for simple grass to flourish. However, if the stump is in a location where you would like to plant trees or bushes, realize that that stump portion and the tree roots that remain will interfere with the root system of your new tree or bush.
Even if you would like to plant something near the stump portion that remains after grinding, yet not directly above it, the remaining tree roots can steal some of the nutrients and moisture from the soil that your new plants need and keep them from thriving. Some flowers can be planted within the roots if you choose hearty flowers that are better equipped to compete with the remaining tree roots.
So if you see a landscaping project in the near future, it is best to just have all of the stumps that will interfere with the project completely uprooted right now. However, if you don't plan to plant anything new soon, then you can choose to have your stumps simply ground down and then, later, if you change your mind, have the stump remainders and tree roots fully removed. To make sure you remember where the stump portions are if you later choose to remove them, make a diagram of your yard before your stumps are ground down and carefully mark where the stump portions remain; this will save you and your tree service a lot of hassle later when exactly where those stumps were once located is long forgotten.
If you just had those problem trees removed from your yard or plan to have them removed soon, then you may be debating between whether to have the stumps partially removed with stump grinding or to have those stumps completely uprooted. Keep these two factors in mind when making your decision and remember that either option is much better than leaving the stumps in place; they pose a safety hazard to your family and provide a feast for wood-eating pests. For more information, contact a tree service like Hudson Tree Service.