Grind a Stump or Remove It?

Is It Better to Grind a Stump or Remove It?

Tree stumps can be an eyesore in an otherwise beautiful yard, not to mention a potential hazard for anyone who might trip over them. If you’re looking to get rid of a tree stump, you have two main options: stump removal or stump grinding. While both methods can be effective, each has its pros and cons. In this article, we’ll weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each method to help you decide whether it’s better to grind a stump or remove it.

Is It Better to Grind a Stump or Remove It?

Most reputable tree service professionals will offer both stump grinding and stump removal options. To determine whether you should remove that tree stump or grind it down, keep reading.

Stump Grinding

The stump grinding process involves excavating a tree stump without removing the roots. Tree service professionals will place a special piece of equipment, known as a stump grinder, over the stump and grind the stump into larger wood chips or finer sawdust.

The tree stump can be ground to a predetermined height, or it can be ground to the ground or even below it; as low as 12 inches under the ground level. However, if you decide to grind the tree stump below ground level, a large hole will be left behind. Therefore, you will then have to fill the hole with soil. If you plan to plant a new tree where the tree stump was in your yard, it is best to remove all of the old tree root systems.

Pros of Stump Grinding

Less Labor-Intensive

Stump grinding is much less strenuous than stump removal. When you choose stump grinding over stump removal, the roots don’t have to be removed. Instead, a stump grinder simply grinds the stump down.

Fast and Efficient

Stump grinding is a very fast and efficient way to eliminate a tree stump. Depending on the size of the stump and how much you want to grind it down, an experienced, reputable tree service professional near you can have the job done in just a few minutes.


Stump grinding is considered more environmentally friendly than stump removal. This is because roots are not removed during the stump grinding process. Therefore, the surrounding ground doesn’t have to be disturbed.


The wood chips or saw dust that the ground stump creates can be repurposed as mulch in your landscaping or garden.


Stump grinding is more cost-effective than tree stump removal. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, stump grinding is a better choice as stump removal costs can be much higher.

Stump Grinding Cons

Regrowth Possible

When you choose to grind a tree stump, roots are left behind. There is a chance that those roots will re-sprout over time.


Because the roots are left behind, they can decay. Eventually, that decay can lead to the growth of fungi and microorganisms, and can also welcome unwanted pests.


Wood chips and saw dust left behind from a stump grinder can be messy and difficult to clean up.

Tree Stump Removal

Stump removal involves pulling the stump, including the tree roots from the ground. The stump removal process requires a great deal of skill and strength to get the job done properly. Therefore, it can take a good bit of time to complete the project.

That said, however, there’s no risk of the tree re-sprouting later on. Plus, leaving the stump can attract termites and other unwanted pests!

Stump Removal Pros

Complete Removal

The entire tree, including the stump and all of the roots, is removed from the ground.

Replanting is Possible

Because the roots are removed and left intact, replanting the tree elsewhere is possible if you so choose.

No Re-Sprouting

Because all of the roots of the tree are removed, you won’t have to worry about the tree re-sprouting.

Stump removal cons


Tree stump removal is much more labor intensive than stump grinding.


Because the root system is completely removed, it takes longer to complete than stump grinding.

Isn’t Eco-Friendly

Since the entire root system will be pulled out of the ground, the surrounding area could end up being disturbed during the process.

High Cost

Out of the two options, stump removal is more expensive than stump grinding, as it’s more labor-intensive and time-consuming.

Tree Services of Omaha – Stump Removal

Tree Services of Omaha, Nebraska is a full-service tree care provider that offers a wide range of arborist services including but not limited to: Tree Removal ServicesTree Trimming, Tree Pruning, Tree and shrubs Shaping, Stump Removal, Stump Grinding, Emerald Ash Borer Treatment, Arborist Consultations, Systemic Tree Injection (Tree Healthcare).

Contact us today for a free estimate!