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CoconutPete 03-31-2011 08:45 AM

Rent a stump grinder or "hire" a stumpgrinder?
Over the course of who knows how many years a HUGE oak tree grew in my backyard. In 2007 it fell over in a rainstorm. The landscaping crew that came to my house (wasn't my house at the time) whipped out a stump grinder and a chainsaw but seemed to do only 1/2 a job..... about 1/2 of the stump is still sticking out of the ground. It was covered w/ a mound of dirt but it is EXACTLY where I want my deck stairs to land so it's gotta go ......

The tree was big, the trunk was probably around 2' in diameter. Whether the fact that it has been buried in dirt since 2007 is a good or bad thing ... well I don't know.

Either way .... I'm a sucker for machinery and tools, a stump grinder looks both fun and intimidating. I'm torn here..... hire a guy to come do it or do it myself?

Advantages to doing it myself: I get to use a giant piece of machinery I've never used before, there are also 2 other smaller stumps which I'll wipe out while I have it.

Advantages of hiring someone: Well ... I've never used a stump grinder before, so it takes a lot of variables out of the equation.

pyper 03-31-2011 10:05 AM

A tree guy took down a big old pecan tree across the street. His stump grinder had a disc about 2 feet across with teeth bigger than my thumb. He got the job done in about 10 minutes. Makes great mulch, btw.

It really didn't look like a DIY kind of machine.

FixitDragon 03-31-2011 10:57 AM

I did this once, it was a workout. I suppose it depends on the machine, but the one I rented was very heavy and not self propelled. So I had to muscle it on and off the trailer, muscle it around the yard. Once at the stump I started the motor which was direct drive to the grinding wheel. You set the one wheel brake for the piviot point, and then used muscle to piviot the grinding wheel back and forth across the stump. I did half a dozen smaller stumps around the yard Not by any means complicated, but I was pretty tired by the end of the day!

Jackofall1 03-31-2011 11:00 AM

Go ahead coconut rent one and let us know how it went. Eveyone needs a good workout once in a while.

I used to have one of those but I broke up with her.......:laughing:


tcleve4911 03-31-2011 11:16 AM

FYI ......oak chips stink!!!!! They smell awful as they decompose.

If you can afford it, hire someone to grind it and remove the "mulch".
He'll have a truck, the knowhow and a dump place for the chips.

I'm sure there's something else that requires your expertise on wifey's honey-do list......:whistling2:

DexterII 03-31-2011 11:37 AM

We had a large oak tree in our front yard, that went up about 10' to where the main trunk, a little over 6' diameter at grade, split into three trunks, so it had started as three separate little guys that grew into one. Anyway, it died, probably about 10 years ago, but was fortunately within the right-of-way of the road, so I managed to get the county to cut it down, after which we and a few neighbors cut it up. So, knowing that it would be well past my time on this earth before the stump rotted away, I was pondering the same thing that you are, Pete. Then, sometime within the next couple of weeks, I went home to get something in the middle of the day, and there was a county truck with one of their trailer type stump grinders hooked to the back of it, taking care of it for me. Being a "guy thing", naturally, I grabbed my hard hat, saftey goggles, and ear muffs from the truck, and was going to watch for a bit. About the time I got to what I considered a "close enough" point, the grinder made the damnest racket, and, despite its' size and being hooked to the truck, kicked up out of the ground, went sideways a couple of feet, and dropped back down. Okay, too long of a story, so bottom line is that there had been a rock, about 18" or so in diameter, in between those three little seedlings, and it was now buried right in the middle of that stump. We messed around with that quite a while, but finally got the rock out, and they finished grinding. Obviously a bit unusual situation, but your inquiry reminded me of that.

CoconutPete 03-31-2011 12:27 PM

Hmm... good stuff here. I think I'll at least get an estimate or two from a tree service. It looks to be around $200 to rent the stump grinder, and I'd do a total of 3 stumps.

The other 2 stumps aren't a priority, I would have never even thought to remove them unless I had the grinder sitting there. With just the 1 stump it might actually be cheaper to have someone do it.

My brother in law is going to be bummed, he was looking forward to playing with that thing LOL.

no1hustler 03-31-2011 02:24 PM

If the tree isn't green it won't take much time at all. I rented one last Labor day weekend and it took out old stumps in 30 minutes but took DAYS to get the green ones. I couldn't even get it below ground. Lesson learned. I should have waited. I used a big self-propelled monster. Do it yourself!

LordOfChaos 04-03-2011 07:56 AM

If the stump has been there since 2007 it may be rotted enough to take a pick axe to and dig it out yourself.

beerdog 04-03-2011 08:38 AM

One stump probably would not be worth the hassle unless you just want to try this out. But if you have 3 stumps the savings start racking up.

CoconutPete 04-05-2011 08:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Well I dug out around the stump this weekend. This guy is BIG - real big!!!

I hit it w/ an axe a couple of places just to get a feel for it. It's not hard as granite, but definitely not "balsawood soft" either.

There's an arborist coming this week to speak w/ me about care for the rest of my trees - I might have to ask him for an estimate on just having this done. I didn't realize the size of this thing - this picture doesn't really do it justice.

beerdog 04-05-2011 09:19 AM

That looks liek a lot of digging. I think when they grind a stump they don't remove that much. The ones I had done they just ground down like 6-12 inches from what is visible.

CoconutPete 04-05-2011 09:58 AM

6" below ground is all I need. Like I said - the picture is deceptive. The stump is at least 4' across and that rock in the back there is a little bigger than a 50lb bag o' sand - it was a LOT of fun getting out.

LordOfChaos 04-05-2011 10:11 AM

How about a fire? Looks like a good spot for a nice little pit. Put some nice dry wood and kindling on top, grab some friends and beers and have a little gathering and take care of your stump (maybe). :furious:

Red Squirrel 04-05-2011 10:11 AM

Clean it with the hose, let it dry, then set it on fire. The fire should be able to burn it down below ground level, hopefully. You'd probably need to get a fire permit for this. Seems like the easiest way imo. Though renting that stump grinder does sound fun too.

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