Tree Stump Grinding and Tree Stump Removals

Stumps left behind after a tree is removed are often unsightly and inconvenient obstructions to property improvements from construction projects to simply having to mow grass around them. Burning or attempting to chop the stump out manually is a time consuming, inefficient and often unsuccessful endeavor. Stump removals are made easy by the specialized equipment and methods Crown Down uses to eliminate stumps making way for grass, grading or even new plantings!   

Calling Before We Grind, Every Time!

Did you know: Contacting VA811 (Formerly Miss Utility) is not only a good idea before removing a stump but a legal requirement? While most utilities are required in the state of VA to be buried a minimum of 36 inches, certain utilities like phone and cable lines can be be buried as little as 1-3 inches! In some cases, even properly buried utilities may be brought closer the the surface by growing tree roots, runoff or previous construction. In every case of work below grade (to include stump removals), Crown Down coordinates with VA811 and exposes utilities within 2 feet of the the grind site by hand digging to prevent damage and costly outages while grinding.

Data lines running through our grind site. Hand digging beforehand prevented this line from certain damage.  

Cutting Deep

There's nothing more frustrating than paying for a tree stump to be ground only to have a stump that has been ground flat with the surrounding grade or worse, sticking up above the soil after filling with dirt! Crown Down's standard depth for stump removals begins at 6 inches (2 inches more than the recommended minimum for grass to grow) with additional depth options available up to and including complete removal of sub-surface roots to provide adequate growth space for plantings that require more room such as a replacement tree!

An 11-foot diameter grind site ground to 6 inches to make room for a newly planted lawn.

Chasing Roots

Grinding shouldn't just end with the stump you see above the ground! Removal of roots that run along the surface of the ground away from the stump are a detail that is often overlooked. While not every tree will have surface roots, removing them when they do goes a long way toward the finished appearance of the grind site and reduces tripping hazards and potential mower damage.

In the event that a construction project is to take place where the tree once stood, a complete removal of the tree's root system is often the best course of action. Inquire with our arborist about whole-site root-removal options at the time of your Free Estimate to see what the best removal methods will be.

Stump removal and whole-yard root-removal service in preparation for sod installation. 

The Finishing Touch

Once your stump is ground, you are left with a decision about what to do with the ground material. The grindings are often raked and blown back in to the hole that is left where the stump used to be to be used as backfill which will decompose to a workable soil within a few years. Crown Down offers several options in between to accelerate this process ranging from a removing some or all of the ground material material to a complete restoration of turf-space by seeding or sod to installation of trees or shrubs with our Grass-Ready Grind-Sites.

A completed removal where the client elected a Grass-Ready Grind-Site. The ground material was removed and replaced with soil before spreading grass seed and hay, rolled with a lawn roller and watered in.

What determines how much a stump removal costs?

Stump removals will vary in price mostly based on these factors:

1.) How much material there is to grind. The larger the stump (height and width) the more material that must be ground.

2.) Grind depth.

3.) Proximity to utilities, structures, plants and other property that can not be damaged.

4.) How much cleanup is conducted beyond grinding and pushing the ground material back in to the hole (eg. if the client elects to remove the ground material).

5.) Difficulty of access to the grind site and how much room is available to reposition the equipment once equipment is there.

Can I plant in the same spot that I've removed a stump from?

Yes! But there are some things to consider:

-It will almost always be cheaper (and easier!) to install the new planting to a location about 6-8 feet away from the original tree.

-Grinding must be thorough and deep enough to not constrict the growth of the new tree's root system.

-The ground material does not make for a good soil in which to plant. Soil is a complex mix of micro-aggregates, organic matter, minerals, and organisms that the pile of ground tree tissue will lack. While the ground material will eventually decay in to a soil-like consistency, it must still be amended or replaced if you plan to plant in the same spot.

-If the tree that was previously removed died of causes related to soil dysfunction or as a result of the area in which the tree was planted, it may behoove the client to address those issues first or move the planting location to a new spot to avoid their new install from suffering the same fate. Our arborist may recommend soil-sampling to ensure there are no underlying issues and make recommendations on what we can do to help rectify poor soil conditions.

Why is the grind site so much larger than the stump? Can't I just pull the stump out?

A tree's roots extend much further from the edges of the stump that you see above the ground and spread out in nearly every direction away from the tree's center. The soil that covers these roots is immensely heavy and often interpenetrated with the fibrous roots the tree uses to take up nutrients and water making pulling the stump out extremely difficult without heavy-excavation equipment if the tree more than an inch or two thick. Mature, established trees are even more difficult to remove in this way because their root systems are more extensive and there can be many tons of earth weighing the root system to the ground! 

What if my stump is in a difficult spot or close to a structure or other object that can't be moved?

Every stump presents its own challenges but there is always more than one way to get the job done! We have removed stumps in difficult spots from under decks, next to houses and even inside of raised garden beds. If cost is a concern, good old fashioned digging, cutting the stump low and burying to allow the stump to deteriorate naturally is usually the best option but if circumstances dictate that the stump must be removed, Contact Us to speak with our arborist about the options that are available!