Tree stumps can be a real irritation in your yard, especially when it comes times to mow. A great way to alleviate this problem is by renting a stump grinder from One Stop Rental and getting rid of the stumps for good! Plus, there’s the bonus of having leftover mulch when the process is said and done.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to grind those unsightly tree stumps and give you tips on how to use the mulch afterwards.
Prepare the Area
If your tree stump is not already at or close to ground level, you’ll want to trim it a bit. The stump grinder will do its job much better if the stump is close to the ground. Next, remove any debris near the stump. While a stump grinder looks like a menacing machine, it’s only meant to grind stumps, not rocks! While you’re removing the extra debris, make sure to also uncover any surface roots attached to the stump. Lastly, put on your safety gear. It’s important to protect your eyes in case any part of the stump or missed debris is shot out from the grinder.
Grinding the Stumps
A stump grinder works by using a rotating serrated disk that can be moved up and down as well as side to side to completely eradicate a tree stump. Position the grinding wheel over the stump and turn the power on. If you don’t like loud noises, remember those earplugs! When the wheel touches the stump it will begin grinding straight down. Move the grinder from side to side to make sure you’re going over the entire stump, then let the grinder continue to grind until you have a hole about 10 inches to a foot deep. Once the stump is gone, go over the exposed roots.
One important thing to note: Never force the grinder into the stump. This will end up damaging the grinder. Always skim the grinder along the stump, letting the machine do the work. Here’s our own instructional video on how to use one of One Stop Rental’s stump grinders.
Gathering the Mulch
Once you’ve finished grinding the stumps in your yard, you’ll probably be left with a considerable amount of mulch. To gather the mulch, use a standard leaf rake to collect both the large pieces of mulch as well as the smaller sawdust pieces. Pick out any large pieces of grass, but feel free to leave evergreen needles or leaves.
Spreading the Mulch
Before laying down the wood shavings, mix them with some high-nitrogen fertilizer. This is important because as wood chips first begin to decompose, they will take up some of the nitrogen from the soil. Once the decomposition process has furthered, the organisms in the wood that originally took up the nitrogen will begin to die, and the nitrogen will be replenished to the soil. Spread a three to six inch layer of your wood chip and fertilizer mixture around your plants, with more mulch around trees and less around smaller plants. Don’t push the mulch directly against the plants as this can cause them to decay along with the wood chips.
Benefits of Mulch
Using mulch in your lawn and garden has numerous benefits. It acts as a barrier against evaporation, insulates the soil during both the very cool and warm months, minimizes soil erosion, helps keep weeds from spreading and gives your garden a more polished look.
Ready to tackle your own lawn? One Stop Rental has the stump grinders and other tools you need to get the job done! Stop by our West Chester/Mason or Liberty/Fairfield Township location or give us a call! You can also reach us on any of our social networks. Let’s get to grinding!