If you're looking to get rid of an old tree stump, there are two main options: grinding or complete removal. Grinding is usually the cheaper option, as it requires less labor and time. However, complete removal may be the better choice if you're looking to plant a new tree in the same spot or if you want to avoid any future issues with the roots. Many tree removal companies offer stump grinding services, which involve using a grinding tool to break down the stump and roots into small wood chips.
These chips can then be used to fill the hole left behind. In some cases, it's possible to remove the entire stump, but if there are any root remnants left, they will usually be 6-10 inches deep below the surface. Complete removal of a stump is more labor-intensive and time-consuming than grinding, as it requires heavy-duty machines with higher energy demands. It also takes much longer and is more strenuous, as the roots of a tree often account for more than a third of its total biomass.
When opting for complete removal, you won't have to worry about any future issues with the roots, and you won't have to clean up any mess of chips afterwards. Plus, professional tree care services can use special tracks to avoid traumatizing or compacting the area around the tree stump. On the other hand, grinding still leaves roots below ground and may result in new shoots growing in that area. It also leaves a hole in your yard that may be larger than if you had taken the removal route.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which option is best for your needs and budget. If you're looking for an aesthetically pleasing solution or want to plant a new tree in the same spot, complete removal may be your best bet. However, if you're on a tight budget or just want to get rid of an unsightly or uncomfortable stump, grinding may be the way to go.