Removing a tree is only half the battle; you also need to remove the stump. If you have questions about the stump grinding process, you may be able to find an answer below.

Can any stump be ground down?

It's possible to grind down any type of tree stump, but generally the process is saved for medium to large size stumps. Grinding can be overkill for small stumps, particularly those of younger trees that aren't rooted all that deeply. If a stump is small and can easily be dug or pulled, then there is no need to have it ground down.

Does grinding remove the full stump?

Grinding removes the part of the stump that is visible above ground as well as the top several inches below ground. Typically, a stump is ground down enough so that any remaining roots can't fuel new growth or sucker production on the stump. Stump grinding also doesn't remove any roots, so if you have large surface roots posing a nuisance in your yard, those will have to be dug up individually.

Is stump grinding a DIY job?

Stump grinding is not usually considered a DIY job. You can't use handheld power tools to safely or effectively grind down a stump, for example. Although you can purchase and sometimes even rent stump grinders, this also isn't recommended. Stump grinders are powerful and dangerous tools that require some skill and finesse to handle safely and effectively. Not only is trying to DIY stump grinding dangerous, it is also difficult to fully grind the stump to the level necessary.

Will the yard be level after grinding?

The yard is not level immediately after grinding. Most grinding services will use the mulch from grinding as well as any remaining soil on the site to fill in the depression left by the tree, but the volume is rarely sufficient for fully leveling the site. Further, over time, the sawdust and mulch from grinding will decompose. When this happens, the level of the soil will sink. This process of decomposition and sinking can take several years to complete. Some homeowners prefer to haul away the stump mulch and fill the depression with purchased soil so that they won't have to deal with the sinking. 

How soon can one plant after grinding?

You can plant grass or garden beds immediately following grinding, although you will likely need to bring in outside soil and compost. Trees shouldn't be planted in exactly the same site because the soil is likely depleted and old roots may interfere with the new tree's root growth.

Contact a local tree stump grinding service if you have more questions about the process.