November 28, 2011 @ 1:32 PM

So the tree is cut down and only the stump remains, and now you are ready for your lawn to take over the place of that stump. There are a host of methods out on the internet offering do-it-yourself how-to-remove-a-stump instructions, none of them quick or easy (and most of these articles will tell you so, if they are honest). From digging them out to chopping them up, drilling stumps for chemical applications, and removal by burning, all of these take lots of time, energy, and patience. Hiring an arborist equipped with a mechanical stump grinder is the only way for the task to be rendered quick and easy. In a matter of a few minutes, large stumps are ground away, leaving a nice hole for topsoil and a couple of squares of sod, and presto: no more signs of former tree, just a pretty patch of lawn. But, some protest, stump removal is so expensive. We submit that in the long haul, it is the cheapest way to go.

Digging and Chopping It Out

Just like it sounds, back-breaking and time consuming work it is to manually chop or dig out a stump. But, assuming you already have the tools on hand, this method is free. If you do not have the tools on hand, it is cheaper to have it professionally ground than to buy them.

Chemical Removal

Made from biodegradable and EPA-approved compounds, chemical stump remover claim to decompose tree stumps for easy removal or burning. They boast that you can avoid the back-breaking toil that comes from digging out or chopping up tree stumps. And so you may save your back, but you will also still be staring at that tree stump this time next decade.  It may only cost you around $15.00 for a container of chemical stump remover, but you will be paying more, much more,  with your time and your money, before you actually see that stump removed. So before the end you will be chopping, digging or burning it, if you stick to the plan of do-it-yourself.

Burning the Stump

Burning a stump can be effective, but here again it is not the quick and efficient way of getting it done. The stump has to be dry, for starters, and there is the obvious air flow problem for trying to burn material that is underneath the source of heat and usually surrounded by moist soil. Accelerants must be employed, usually gasoline or charcoal, and more often than not there has to be ongoing applications of an external source of heat to keep the stump burning. Time and attention must be employed, and the cost of a container of gas or briquettes. So again the perceived out-of-pocket cost is around $15…

Labor Cost

With any of these methods, how much is your time worth? Let’s say you consider yourself to be cheap labor, and would pay yourself a mere $10 an hour for the generally back-breaking (if you opt for digging or chopping) and tedious (if you opt for chemical or burning efforts) time required to get rid of that stump. For the time it would take you to completely remove a tree stump by manual means, you could afford to have, say, three or more stumps removed, in a matter of minutes, by an arborist armed with a stump grinder.  So save yourself a large headache and call a stump remover service. You will be glad you did.