How to Grind Stumps


After the tree is cut down and the stump remains, use a stump grinder to turn the stump into sawdust so that you can add soil and plant grass in the area of the hole. The stump grinder uses a grinding wheel that turns at a rapid speed as it powers through the stump, which turns the wood into sawdust and wood chips that are easily removed with a shovel.

Step 1

Rent a stump grinder from your local equipment store. The unit is large and will come with a trailer hitch so it can be attached to a vehicle to transport it to your location. For one tree stump, even a large stump, you can expect to need the stump grinder for at least one hour per stump.

Step 2

Use a shovel to dig a hole around the stump. Remove any rocks or other debris that could damage the grinding blade. The hole should be about an inch or 2 inches wide around the tree stump.

Step 3

Put on the goggles and safety glasses. Turn on the grinder with the grinding wheel off the ground. Look at the lever to make sure the wheel is in the up position.

Step 4

Slowly walk the grinder over to the tree stump. Use the lever to lower the grinding wheel down of the stump. Start at the edge of the stump and move to the other side. Start grinding the stump from side to side using the handles to guide the machine. Continue moving the grinder back and forth while advancing forward into the thickest part of the stump. Continue until the stump is gone.

Step 5

Use the shovel to remove the sawdust and wood chips from the hole. Fill the hole with soil and plant grass seed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep everyone away from the area when you are operating the grinder as wood chips can fly a good distance. Someone with neck, shoulder and back pain, should avoid using the grinder without help because you do use every part of the body with a stump grinder.

Things You'll Need

  • Stump grinder
  • Shovel
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves


  • Grinding a Tree Stump
Keywords: grind a tree stump, removing a tree stump, tree stump grinder

About this Author

Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. Gardapee studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.