We wish we could give you an exact estimate on the time it will take to do your stump; that would make running our business that much easier.
We wish we could give you an exact estimate on the time it will take to do your stump; that would make running our business that much easier. But every job is different. Some of our stump grinding jobs take less than a day. Sometimes we do multiple stumps in a day. It’s also not unheard of to spend more than a day on one big, stubborn stump.
We have to assess the situation from the ground to schedule a job (you can schedule an estimate here.) Waht we can give you, here, is all of the factors that affect the time it takes to do a stump removal.
Factors affecting length of a stump removal job
Size of the stump
The amount of wood to be ground is determined by height and width, plus the depth you want to take it down to. If you’re just putting grass over the stump, you can get away with about 4” below ground level. This is a good thing, since the stump actually gets larger below the surface. That means every inch below the ground takes more time than the previous inch. Also, we’re grinding a lot of earth at this point. This puts extra wear and tear on the blade, which means we have to stop and replace the teeth.
A key thing to note is that stump size is deceiving. Adding 2” in diameter increases the circumference and total volume by a lot more than that. When you calculate for depth, you have to multiply that increase by every inch of height. A tree that appears to be bigger by only a little bit can take much longer.
Hardness of the stump
A smaller stump is not always faster. The hardness of the stump affects how fast the blade can eat into the stump. It also determines how frequently we have to replace the teeth.
Hardness is determined by species and greenness of the stump. Douglas fir is a common species that runs on the hard side. The same goes for any tree considered a hardwood. But every stump gets softer over time.
We’re not saying that you should wait on your stump grinding job, just because your stump is green. In fact, getting your stump removed immediately after cutting the tree down is one of the best ways to same money on stump removal.
For help identifying the trees in your yard, you can see our Western Washington Tree Library, which narrows it down to the most common trees in our area.
Access to the stump
Our machine, the SG-75 Bandit, comes equipped with rubber tracks that can handle most terrain ---without tearing up your yard or gouging your driveway. But tricky terrain slows down the work a bit, particularly when we have to reposition the machine over and over.
Having limited space will also add time. If your stump is in a corner of the fence, or close to another tree, we don’t always have the freedom to grind from the best angle. The ideal situation is a stump on flat, level ground, with a good 20’ of open space around it. This allows us to attack it from whatever angle is most efficient.
The soil around the stump
As the job progresses and the stump is ground down into the surface, the teeth on the grinding blade start tearing into the earth around the stump. If the soil is rocky, the teeth will wear out fast and we’ll have to stop to change them. And it might seem like the job is basically done at this point, but the stump is widest below the surface. As we mentioned already, a slight increase in diameter = a substantial increase in mass. There’s no way around this problem. Rocky soil will slow the work down.
To get an estimate for the time and cost of your stump removal, you can fill out one of our estimate forms here. For more info on stump grinding, you can see the rest of our articles on the Snohomish Tree blog.
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