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There’s a sense of victorious achievement that comes from reducing dead or unwanted trees. (Not to discuss the excitement of screaming, “Timber!”) However that sensation fades pretty rapidly when you look down and see unsightlyand extremely stubbornstumps. If you hire a landscaper or arborist to cut down the trees, they normally leave the stumps behind, unless you pay an additional charge.

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Which’s a reasonable rate, if you’ve just got one stump to get rid of. But, if you have two or more stumps, you can conserve a considerable amount of cash by renting a stump mill. A gas-powered stump grinder leas for about $100 daily, depending on the size of the device.

You’ll require a lorry with a trailer hitch to tow the device, which weighs about 1,000 pounds. Or, for a small charge, many rental dealerships will drop off and pick up the grinder. Stump mills are big and powerfuland possibly unsafe. Make sure the rental dealership discusses the controls and reveals you how to safely run the device.

To eliminate the 30-in.- dia. red maple stump, I leased a Vermeer Model SC252 stump mill. It has a powerful 25-hp engine and 16-in.- dia. cutting wheel that’s studded with 16 forged-steel teeth. This is a loud, effective maker with a sophisticated hydraulic system, however it’s remarkably easy to operate. But, prior to you crank up the motor and begin boning up, it’s important to prep the location for the stumpectomy.

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Then, use a round-point shovel or garden mattock to remove any rocks from around the base of the stump. This is important since if the spinning cutting wheel hits a rock, it can shoot out like a missile and trigger severe injury. Plus, rocks can dull or harm the teeth on the cutting wheel, which are costly to replace.

If it’s protruding out of the ground more than 6 inches or so, utilize a chain saw to trim it as close to the ground as possible. While this action isn’t definitely necessary, it will conserve you a fair bit of time since getting rid of 6 inches of stump with a chainsaw is much quicker than using the mill.

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Use the hydraulic lever to raise the cutting wheel up until it’s a couple of inches above the stump. Gradually drive the maker forward to place the wheel directly over the stump’s leading edge. Engage the power lever to start the wheel spinning, then gradually lower it about 3 in. into the stump.

Then, raise the wheel, advance the maker forward a couple of inches, and repeat the procedure. While operating the maker, always stand at the control board, which lies near the back of the machine and well away from the cutting wheel. Gradually, continue grinding and advancing your way through to the other side of the stump.

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Repeat the grinding process until the surface of the stump is at least 4 in. listed below the level of the surrounding ground. At this point, you can drive the mill off to one side, far from the excavated hole. Popular Mechanics Now, rake up all the wood chips and fill the crater with screened topsoil.

Water the area and cover the seeds with mulch hay. Be sure to water the area every day for 2 weeks. Remove the hay once you see the grass seedlings poking through. This material is developed and kept by a 3rd party, and imported onto this page to help users offer their email addresses.