The cutting of a tree goes through several stages: dismantling, felling, delimbing, cutting up and, sometimes, stump removal. However, this last operation can present inconveniences and even risks. It is then preferable to use a stump grinder.
Advantages of the stump grinder
Once the trunk has been felled, the stump can :
– Remain in place to not disturb the soil: the stump is thus trimmed “at the white abutment,” i.e. as close to the ground as possible. The stump decomposition occurs naturally, which takes at least 3 years. It can be accelerated by injecting a stump remover.
– Being pulled out: the removal of the tree stump by a stump grinder, a bucket, or a winch strongly disturbs the soil. This operation destroys the pavement and underground networks when they are present. It is mainly carried out in forests, especially since there is, in some regions, a wood industry that allows the stumps to be recycled.
– To be trimmed thanks to the stump trimmer: it consists in trimming or planing the stump to a determined depth.
Unlike ripping, which creates a pit, the stump cut into small pieces by the stump trimmer forms a small mound. This mound eventually settles, decomposes and becomes part of the soil. After 2-3 years, the ground is enriched and can accommodate new plantings. It is, therefore, unnecessary to bring back topsoil.
Several types of stump grinders
A stump grinder is a stand-alone machine attached to the power take-off of a tractor, mini-excavator or backhoe. The cutting element is a disc with teeth, generally made of tungsten carbide, which is moved horizontally and vertically, or a plane. There are several types of stump trimmers:
stand-alone stump trimmer,
fixed on a tractor,
attached to a mini-excavator (from 1.5 to 5 tons) and the one attached to an excavator (from 5 to 10 tons): both for intensive use and not very accessible terrain.
Criteria for choosing a stump grinder
First of all, it should be remembered that using a stump grinder, whatever it may be, is not without danger and requires appropriate safety equipment (goggles, helmets, cut-resistant gloves, safety shoes, etc.). Furthermore, the choice of the type of trimmer depends mainly on the use that will be made of it:
– Self-propelled machines are the easiest to use for the individual or the landscaper because they allow easy access to the stump. They can be rented for occasional use.
When you have a tractor, the models to be attached to the PTO are interesting, but the tractor’s passage requires space and can damage the ground.
– Intensive use of the machine, such as in the forest or on a construction site, requires trimmers attached to a mini-excavator or excavator.
The stump grinder: a modest cost
The cost of trimming is about half that of grubbing. It avoids paying for the disposal of a stump and preserves the neighbouring installations (plantations, low walls…). Access of 1 m wide is enough for the passage of small autonomous machines. Prices vary considerably depending on the size and power of the machine. For a private individual or a landscaper, it is necessary to count between $2,000 and $5,000 for the purchase.
Renting a trimming machine is more profitable when few stumps to trim. It costs between $100 and $250 per day. It is also possible to hire experienced and qualified arborists in Kitchener.