When a tree is cut down, there will be a tree stump left. The question is what to do with the stump? When you hire a tree removal service to remove a tree the contract that you sign the price very seldom does it include removing the stump. If there is no way you cannot incorporate it into your existing landscape you will have to chip away at it until it is level with the ground. You do this by using a stump grinder, which you can rent for approximately one hundred to one hundred ninety dollars a day or hire a landscaper who charges by the size of the stump. For a twenty-four inch stump a landscaper will charge between ninety and one hundred fifty dollars. The stump grinder that you need to use is a power tool that is attached to a rotating cutting disk that will grind the tree stump into a bunch of small chips. This process is called stump grinding. The next question that arises is what to do with all of these little pieces of stump. You can use then as:
• Compost-instead of using it as mulch make it into compost, resulting in a natural fertilizer. All you need is a plastic container or drum to compost your stump shavings along with organic waste from your kitchen like fruit and vegetable peels and waste from your garden. Stir the compost frequently so the stump grindings decompose quickly. Once they have decomposed you can use them to enrich the soil in your garden and flowerbeds. You will need to decompose them for three to four months before you can use them as fertilizer.
• Mulch-before you can use the stump shavings for mulching you need to make sure that tree from which the shavings came from is not disease infested. Once you know that the tree is disease free you can use the shavings to make mulch. To make the mulch remove as much as you can from where the shavings are and take it to where you want to use it. Spread the wood chips over your soil in an inch layer. To get the best results you can add some of the stump grindings to the flowerbeds and rake them into the soil. This will give them time to decompose and increase the nutrients in the soil. If the stump grindings are from pine trees be careful how much you use as it can increase the acidity of the soil where it has been used as mulch. Too much acidity in the soil will make it hard for any plant to grow.