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Stump Grinding vs Stump Removal: Which is Right for You?

Having a dead tree stump on your property can be an unsightly safety hazard. But you can’t just go trying to uproot the stump yourself. So, what do you do? Should you have it removed in one fell swoop or get it ground down? 

In order to decide what stump removal service is best for you, you need to thoroughly understand the difference between stump grinding and stump removal. Luckily, the tree trimming experts at Green Leaf Zone are here to help!

Let’s explore these two different services more in-depth to help you make the best decision for your property.

What is Stump Grinding?

Stump grinding is a much more manageable route for many homeowners to take. This is because it doesn’t involve the use of heavy machinery to remove every root of the tree. During the stump grinding process, our team of tree removal specialists will basically shave down what’s left of the trunk until it’s nearly gone.

At Green Leaf Zone, our highly skilled technicians will use a professional-grade stump grinder to mechanically remove the stump from your yard. We’ll grind the stump down to your desired height. That means we can leave it as much as one inch above soil level or grind it as low as a foot underground.

Stump grinding is an effective way to remove the stump from your property without the use of huge machinery. It’s simple to execute and won’t wreak havoc on your yard. Plus, it’s more cost-effective than stump removal.

However, the roots of the former tree will still remain underneath your lawn. Though you can’t see them, that doesn’t mean the roots aren’t there. In fact, some roots can extend into other areas of your property. It can take 10 years or more for these roots to completely break down. If you have a nearby septic system that’s being impacted by the old roots, we recommend you have the stump and roots removed completely.

What is Stump Removal?

Unlike stump grinding, stump removal will remove the entire stump and root system of the former tree. It’s a much more invasive process that requires heavy-duty equipment to thoroughly remove the roots deep within the ground.

When Green Leaf Zone performs a stump removal, the process involves a deep extraction that could disturb your existing landscape. However, removing the roots will prevent any possibility of other trees from growing. We recommend stump removal for rotting or diseased tree stumps. Also, if you plan on replanting another tree on that spot, removing the stump and roots ensures that subsequent plantings will have sufficient room to grow and thrive.

Why Should I Remove My Stump?


In addition to removing an eyesore from your otherwise pristine property, excavating a tree stump comes with many other benefits, including:

  • Prohibiting new growth: If an old stump is left intact and unattended to, smaller trees could start growing on or around it. These trees could be expensive to remove and will also strip the surrounding plants of vital nutrients, causing your shrubbery or flowers to wilt and eventually die.
  • Safety: A tree stump can quickly become a safety hazard if it’s not removed. If you have young children, they can trip over the stump and fall down. Moreover, you might accidentally run over the stump with your mower, damaging the entire appliance.
  • Diseases and pests: Harmful pests could take up residency in a decaying stump. Insects such as beetles, termites, and carpenter ants love living in tree stumps. If the stump is near your house, these intruders could also become uninvited guests inside your home. Furthermore, tree stumps can also harbor certain fungi and diseases, putting your other plants at risk.

All in all, it’s always a wise idea to grind down or remove the stump.

Common FAQs

What Happens to the Roots Left Behind After Stump Grinding?

Dead tree roots will not resprout and will naturally break down after 10+ years.

Can I Plant New Tree Stumps Where the Old One Was? 

Yes, if you have the stump and old roots removed.

What Should I Do with the Sawdust Left Over After Stump Grinding?

Depending upon how much stump we ground down, there will be sawdust left over. You can use the sawdust to fill in the hole where the old stump once was. If you have sawdust left over after that, talk to one of our technicians. We’re more than happy to help get it off your hands.

Why Choose Green Leaf Zone

If you need top-notch stump removal or stump grinding services in Los Angeles, Green Leaf Zone can help! Our certified, bonded, and insured team of tree trimmers has over 35 years of cumulative experience and stands by every job we complete. We’re a proud member of the International Society of Arboriculture. We also specialize in a variety of services, including tree trimming, brush clearing, and tree removal.

If you live anywhere in Los Angeles County, we’re excited to serve you!


So, what’s the takeaway here? While both stump grinding and stump removal are effective methods for clearing away ugly dead stumps, the process that works best for you will depend upon your unique needs and desires. 

To learn more, contact Green Leaf Zone today for a free consultation and our professional recommendations. Call us at (818) 452-3470 or fill out a form online. We can point you in the right direction and remove that stump from your property. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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