Grinding is one of the best ways to remove tree stumps from your yard, especially if you price wood chips for compost or mulch. However, stump grinding machines have some serious power, so it’s important to keep your safety in mind before you get started annihilating those dead trees.
Getting Everything Ready
Be sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt or jacket and long pants, along with a pair of safety glasses and earplugs. These will help protect you from flying wood chips as the stump grinder spits them out. You may also want to add a mask to keep sawdust out of your mouth and nose, especially if you have a weak respiratory system.
To prepare the stump, you need to first take away any rocks or unattached pieces of wood that could be thrown by the grinder. Rocks are especially important to remove, since a large enough rock could damage the blade and cost you a pretty penny. If you want to be thorough, you can dig up the dirt surrounding the stump and topmost roots, which will help you find and remove rocks.
If the stump is tall, consider cutting off the topmost wood with a saw. While this is not necessary from a safety standpoint, it will make the grinding process much faster.
Grinding The Stump Down
First, make sure any pets, children, or people without protective clothing are clear of the area to minimize the risk of an accident. Position your grinder above the stump before turning it on, and move to the control panel at the back. You should be able to adjust its position and operate it from behind. Do no approach the blade while it is running at any time.
If something goes wrong and the grinder stops, strains, or makes sounds like it’s struggling, immediately turn it off. Stay clear of the grinding blade until it has completely stopped moving, then investigate the problem. If something appears to be stuck in the machine, never reach in to remove it. Instead contact the owner of the grinder to have a look at it.
As long as nothing is going wrong, you’ll want to periodically turn off the grinder and take a look at its progress. Be sure to inspect for rocks every time you move it to a new part of the stump or roots.
Once the grinding is complete and you’ve worn the stump down to around 4-6 inches below the grass, you can turn off your grinder for good. Be sure to wait until the blade has stopped spinning entirely before moving the machine. Now all you have to do is fill in the hole and wait for new grass to spring up. In time, you won’t be able to tell there was ever a tree in the first place. If you don’t feel comfortable grinding the stump yourself, contact a company, like Tree Landers, to get rid of the tree stump for you.