The video and photos are of a stump grinding project we did recently in Everett, Washington. My clients, Tom and Jennifer had one small stump from a recently removed deciduous tree in their front yard. Deciduous trees have leaves, but lose them in the fall. Stumps from Deciduous trees are still alive and will send out new, live growth. This stump had generated what we call “Ground Swell.” Ground swell occurs when the root mass pushes up the surrounding earth creating a mound. This is very common in our area because Western Washington was covered by glaciers. The ice may have melted, but the glacial till remains. Most homeowners will find this clay and rock layer about 8-10 inches beneath the surface of their yard. Some trees will push their roots down into this layer. Others just send out lateral surface root mass, resulting in ground swell and/or large surface roots.
On this project, Tom and Jennifer wanted me to grind out the stump and root mass sufficiently to ensure the stump would not begin to sprout up new growth next spring. They subsequently intend to level out the mounded area to match the surrounding grade. And finally, they plan to repair the lawn.
Here is a lawn repair tip: Remove the wood chips. They make a great mulch or compost. During the stump grinding process, dirt and wood chips become mixed together making great compost that breaks down quickly. Fill in the void with topsoil. Add lime and starter fertilizer before you plant your grass seed or install your sod. This would be a great time to lime the surrounding area, applying a double dose in the area around the perimeter of where the tree was. Trees use their needles and leaves to condition the soil to their own liking, which is typically much more acidic than grass likes.
Now, let’s get back to Tom and Jennifer’s project. We set up our plywood to enclose the grinding area. We positioned our grinder and began by tilling the earth adjacent to the stump with a very slow cutter wheel speed. This action reveals precisely the amount of root mass and allows us to determine where it ends or becomes inconsequential to our client’s goal for the area. That marks our starting point. And from there, we till and grind our way towards the stump, grinding the roots and breaking up the mounded earth. Having accomplished that, are cutter wheel now engages the stump. Now we can open up the throttle and increase to maximum cutter wheel speed. This methodical approach allows me to provide excellent stump grinding service every single time.
Please email or call if you would like to discuss your project or request a no obligation estimate.