Stump Grinding vs. Stump Removal: What’s The Difference?

You will feel a sense of triumphant accomplishment after you successfully cut down an unwanted or dead tree in your landscape. However, that feeling might fade quickly as you look down and notice the stump that is left behind. The said stump comes with plenty of questions involving what to do next.

Should you leave the stumps in your yard untouched? Or should you eliminate it with the rest of the tree? How about stump grinding – how does that work?

Grinding vs. Removing

When it comes to removing a tree, there are a lot of considerations that need to be decided upon. One of these considerations is what you will do with the tree stump after removing the tree. There are two possible answers to this question; it’s either you leave the tree stump alone or remove it entirely.

Leaving a tree stump might be the easiest. However, this might not be the best option. Tree stumps can be unpleasant to look at, plus they can cause a well-manicured yard to look messy.

Tree stumps are also a mowing hazard and a tripping hazard. It can even be a host to decay and pests like emerald ash borer, which can ruin your landscape. With all of these in mind, it is best to get rid of the stump.

The stump grinding process is much less intensive.  Arborists Salt Lake City use a machine that can shred the stump completely into small wood chips. This method is considered more efficient. However, it leaves the roots of the tree behind.

When it comes to the stump removal process, it is considered more intrusive than grinding. This method involves heaving up the tree stump and digging the roots afterward. As you can imagine, this process takes a lot of time, powerful tools, and elbow grease to get the job done.

So, should you remove or grind the stump instead? To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of each method:

Pros of Stump Grinding

  • Considered the easiest way to remove a tree stump;
  • Adds some valuable space to your yard;
  • Most effective and least invasive;
  • Tends to leave wood chips that can be used as mulch;
  • Environmentally friendly.

Cons of Stump Grinding

  • Tends to leave the roots behind;
  • It takes about years for the roots to decay;
  • Leaves room for pests and decay to spread to other parts of your yard;
  • Potentially harmful to children.

Pros of Stump Removal

  • Removes the tree stump, including all of its roots;
  • Adds some valuable space to your yard;
  • It makes replanting easy;
  • Prevents the spread of pests and decay;
  • No health hazards;
  • Removes the risk of damage to your sewer, pipes, sidewalks, and foundation.

Cons of Stump Removal

  • It might leave a large hole in your yard;
  • Most intrusive;
  • More difficult to remove;
  • Not environmentally friendly;
  • Time-intensive.

The Importance of Excavating Tree Stumps

Getting rid of tree stumps in your yard is an essential part of your tree maintenance. It also needs to be executed carefully. Below are some benefits of eliminating stumps:

Growth of Surrounding Trees

If you leave the tree stump untouched, it will generate the growth of other trees surrounding it. If left for too long, these small trees will then become costly to get rid of. Furthermore, these trees will absorb the nutrients of other plants around them, causing the other plants to wither or even die.


It is vital to know that leaving stumps behind is hazardous. Accidents can happen when children or other people stumble over them. Stumps can also damage other machines or appliances, including the mower.

Pests and Disease

Several insects are attracted to a decaying tree stump, including beetles, carpenter ants, and termites. These pests can become an environmental concern for your home and other healthy trees surrounding it. Moreover, if you leave a stump untreated, it may attract diseases or fungi, which puts other plants in your yard at risk.


A tree can make your home extra beautiful. However, a stump reflects the opposite. Tree stumps with molds or weeds growing on them can be an eyesore.


Factors such as the age of the tree, the diameter of the stump, and the quantity of stump will help determine the cost of stump excavation. Several tree removal services often have a minimum service charge. Not only that, but some offer discounts on additional stumps. To know more, you can check out

To Wrap It Up

Both stump grinding and stump removal can help you get rid of the unsightly stump in your yard. So, which option should you choose? If you think the roots, pests, or decay are considered a problem in your yard, having the stump removed entirely with its roots is best for you. However, if you think the roots will not cause any destruction to your yard and there won’t be any pest problem, stump grinding would be a good choice.