If you’re thinking about removing a tree stump on your own, please read our Stump Grinding FAQs before you start.
If you’ve read our FAQs and are still determined to do it yourself, then you’ll need to rent a stump grinder. It isn’t something you have cause to use very often so purchasing is generally not cost effective.
Types of Rental Stump Grinders
Renting a stump grinder in the Danbury, CT area will get you basically two categories of machine.
Firstly, there are small push behind stump grinders (around 5 HP or so) that are effective on small stumps (8″ diameter or less) but will take a while to grind because of their lack of size and horsepower. These units generally rent for $80 to $100 a day here in Danbury and can be very handy for small jobs. Note that these types of grinders are generally not self-propelled which can really be a task to maneuver around the yard since they weigh more than a 150 pounds or so.
The second type of rental is a self-propelled 20-30 hp unit which can handle medium sized stumps but costs around $375 a day plus replacement teeth which add up quick. You will also need a good size truck with a hitch to pull this type of unit since it’s on a trailer. The one thing to consider for both rental scenarios is that these machines can be very dangerous without the skill and experience of operating them, especially as the machines get larger and more powerful.
How a Stump Grinder Works
The stump grinder has a rapidly rotating blade which bites into the tree stump and shreds it into fine mulch or sawdust. Users can control the depth and penetration of the grinder by moving it as needed, with some models being self propelled so that they will continue to chew through the tree stump until there is nothing left to shred. Once the stump has been ground, the material can be used in composting, mulching, and other tasks as desired.
Why Remove Tree Stumps?
People remove tree stumps for a variety of reasons. A large rotting stump is usually not a very desirable sight, so taking a stump out will improve the landscape. It will also make it easier to till, mow, and perform other gardening tasks, since the stump will not create an obstacle in the soil. Stump removal also discourages the growth of harmful fungi which could spread and it can prevent the tree from growing back. Some tree species, however, may sprout from the roots, so it may be necessary to grind the stump and take out the roots.
Choosing the Right Rental Stump Grinder
There are several things to consider when selecting a stump grinder to work with.
Size is an obvious concern, as a big stump will need a big grinder. Some models come with diameter recommendations, and the staff at the rental facility can also help people select the best model.
Closed vs open shroud design is another consideration. Open shroud grinders tend to work more rapidly, but closed shroud stump grinders are safer, because the blade is encased in a covering except in the area where it is actively grinding.
Safety Considerations When Using a Stump Grinder
As always when operating heavy equipment, safety precautions including the use of heavy shoes, safety goggles, ear protection, and gloves should be observed.
Additional recommendations from the manufacturer of the device should be followed as well for optimum safety, and users should always know where the on/off switch is and how to operate it.
A stump grinder should be kept out of reach of children and people who are too weak to control the device.
If you’re near anything that could be damaged by flying debris, be sure to put up a screen around the work area.
The bottom line is that we want you to be safe out there if you choose to do the tree stump grinding yourself!
If you decide that it’s something you don’t want to handle yourself, click here to check out our Stump Grinding page for information about the equipment we use and how we remove tree stumps.