A yard full of mature trees is a good thing until one of those trees dies or becomes diseased. If you decide to remove those trees yourself, find a partner and get good equipment. Once you've cut the tree as closely to the ground as possible, you'll need to remove the stump. Hand dig small tree stumps, but remove larger stumps with a stump grinder. These gasoline-powered machines have a toothed wheel vertically attached to an engine. The teeth of the wheel grind the stump, reducing the wood to mulch.
Remove any rocks or debris from around the tree stump. As the stump grinder works, it throws rocks and wood chips into the air, creating a potential hazard.
Move the stump grinder to within 1 foot of the tree. Start the engine by turning the ignition switch. Lower the handle so the grinding wheel is in contact with the stump. Slowly move the handle bars from left to right in a back and forth motion. The grinding wheel will grind the stump about 1/2 inch with each pass.
Raise the handle to lower the wheel and move forward to keep the wheel on the stump. Continue moving the wheel across the stump until it is completely ground 6 to 12 inches below the soil's surface.
Dig out any remaining pieces of wood from large tree stumps with a shovel and discard. Rake and remove the mulch. Backfill the remaining hole with soil.