Are you planning to remove the stump of a tree? Perhaps you only want to know how professional tree service contractors remove the tree stumps. The following information will help you know about the stump grinding process.
Stump Grinding Machine
A heavy-duty machine called the stump grinder is used to grind the tree stump into small bits. Fresh mulch is created from the ground stump. Small to large stump grinders are available for this purpose. The smaller units run on gas, while the larger ones use diesel to operate.
These grinding machines have wheels equipped with carbide cutting tips to cut down the tree stumps quickly and easily. Larger machines in this range have wheels that can have more than 75 carbide cutters. They are used to cut large tree stumps.
The Benefits of Removing the Tree Stump Completely
There are several benefits of grinding the stumps and removing them from the site. Its main purpose is to prevent the tree from growing back.
Once the stump is removed, your landscape appearance will improve, and the area will look more beautiful. It will free up the space, and you will gain some extra space for landscaping, outdoor furniture placement or building a patio. These projects are not possible if a stump is coming in the way.
Grinding a stump makes your yard safer. A tree stump is a tripping hazard waiting to cause accidents and injuries. Your lawnmower can hit it and get damaged or cause injury to the operator. Kids are not very careful when playing or running around in the open field. The removal of a stump will make the yard safer for kids. You can walk in the area and mow your lawn safely.
A rotting tree stump attracts pests, fungi and mold. Once they establish their colony in the rotting stump, they will spread all over the nearby area quickly. Plants that cannot withstand their onslaught will become infected and rot away.
The Grinding Job Safety Concerns
Stump grinding is a dangerous job when a heavy-duty cutting machine is involved. The cutting wheels of the stump grinder run at high speed. They cause some of the debris and rocks from the stump area to fly away at high speed. The carbide cutting tips of the wheel pose a serious safety hazard. The cutting wheels that can cut into solid and thick tree stumps can cut into many other solid things.
For this reason, it is important for the stump grinding machine operator to wear appropriate protective gear. Debris and rocks lying around the stump should be removed as much as possible at the start of the grinding process. The operator must keep away from the grinder’s wheel and base at the time the machine is running.
The Grinding Process
Stump grinding machine operators use the following steps to remove tree stumps.
The operator first inspects the stump site carefully to see if it is ready for the removal of the stump. The operator looks for solid footing and removes anything that can pose safety hazards during the stump removal process.
The operator takes into account debris, rocks, bricks and any other item that should be removed from the area before the work can start.
Maintaining Highest Level of Safety at the Worksite
Safety is a priority because it is a dangerous job involving a heavy-duty cutting machine. The operator must wear recommended safety gear at all times when grinding a tree stump. The protective gears include gloves, goggles, sturdy work boots and chainsaw safety pants.
All unwanted materials like toys, yard decorations and tools are removed from the work area. The job may also require trimming plants and grass around the stump. It improves visibility and makes grinding easier.
Remove Plants and Rock
A shovel is used to remove sticks, rocks and other debris lying around the stump. Things like rocks can dull the sharp teeth of the cutting bits. The rocks can also fly away, injuring the operator.
Trimming the Stump with a Chainsaw to Quicken the Grinding Process
In the next step, a chainsaw is used to remove the top part of the stump up to the ground surface level. The main grinding machine can be used less when a part of the stump is removed with a smaller machine. The workload reduces with this trimming. Removing the stump with the main machine becomes easier after the top portion of the stump has been removed with a chainsaw.
Using the Stump Grinder
Now the stump and the site are ready for the final process of removing the stump using the stump grinding machine. The heavy-duty machine is brought close to the stump. Its grinding wheel is placed above the stump. It is switched on, and the cutting blade is lowered to start cutting the stump.
The cutting wheel is moved side to side and then back and forth. After one top section of the stump is removed, the wheel is repositioned to remove the next section.
Continue Cutting up to 4 Inches under the Ground
The above grinding technique continues until the stump has been removed up to 4-16 inches below the ground surface level, cutting away the whole stump and connected roots.
The grinding machine is turned off after the grinding is over and moved away from the worksite. The stump site is inspected to make sure the stump has been removed completely.
Cleaning the Worksite
After the stump grinding process is over, the operator cleans the area. A shovel is used to rake up wood chips for use as mulch. The wood chips and earth are used to fill the hole left at the place where the stump stood.
Filling the Site with Soil
In the end, the worksite is filled with soil, and the surface is leveled.
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Sometimes, when taking a stroll or walking my dog, I look at the trees and remember the belief that most people have about tree pruning. Most people tend to depend on that; trees can be pruned at any time of the year without any negative impacts. However, the reality is somehow different from the misconception.
There are various seasons in a year, and not all these seasons are best for one to prune trees; some are better while others are not advisable.
Reasons for pruning trees
People use chainsaws to prune trees; the main and most common is to get rid of the dead, damaged, or diseased branches. So if you might be wondering why pruning trees is important, here is what you need. The process keeps people, pets, the surroundings, and people healthy as it prevents diseases from spreading and ensures that the trees utilize energy and resources to grow healthy and intact branches.
However, you should know that pruning does not have to be done when an emergency arises or is practical. Tree trimming is essential in enhancing the overall tree appearance. How they conduct their functions within the environment, they are planted in. the following are some of the common reasons for tree pruning:
- Control the overall size of the tree
- Promote flowering, tree growth, and fruit development
- Prevent large dead branches from falling and causing accidents
- Get rid of useless tree parts like the suckers and the sprouts looking thin, thus preventing proper functioning.
- You can tell how a well-pruned tree can transform the outside space to achieve the best view if you have been keen.
When to prune a tree
Deciduous and evergreen trees can be pruned at any time of the year or when you realize any overgrown or diseased branches on the tree. However, it is essential to note that particular times are better for tree pruning; they include the following:
Late winter or early spring
Starting from February to early April is the best time to prune the green growth experienced in deciduous and evergreen types of trees. In contrast, trees such as oak can be pruned during December and February because of their sensitivity to the oak wilt disease, which is felt more during the warmer months.
It is important to prune trees in late winter and early spring because this gives them time to heal the cuts made before the middle of spring approaches. It leads to rush green growth in the main growing seasons.
Also, you can prune your trees before leaves arrive because it makes it easy for you to see the branches in the best way and find the problems hidden by foliage. Moreover, if you have plants that flower during summer, you should prune them in early spring.
Late spring or early summer
If you aim at controlling the tree’s general shape and appearance, then the beginning of summer is the best time to prune the Cherry Tree Flowers. This enables you not to interrupt the incoming spring growth and influence the future growth as you can easily see the leaf surface of the tree and decide where to cut to reduce them precisely.
However, foliage is likely to hide various problematic branches; sometimes, it reveals others as it can show the weak limbs that can’t support the canopy’s weight. You should consider early summer pruning if you have trees like lilacs and cherries because you will be cutting them after their flowers have fallen.
Late summer or early fall
Fall pruning is not ideal due to two crucial reasons:
It facilitates new growth, which is later killed by the coming and increasing cold temperatures
It leads to the creation of wounds that the active fungi can easily infect during fall
The two reasons make it challenging to prune your trees during late summer or early fall; however, this can only be done to the most diseased leaves, posing a threat to the tree’s health.
Tips for tree pruning
Various trees require a different level of attention and care when pruning them; while some can be pruned once before maturity, others need to be pruned more often. However, it is advisable to start pruning trees when they are still young and have not developed any unhealthy and awkward growing branches. Although pruning is avoidable sometimes, the main goal is to ensure that you prune the trees less each year of their growth.
You should start with heading cuts that are significant in removing the growth buds, which can also be referred to as terminal buds. The cuts tend to reduce the overall length of the branches and determine the canopy’s shape of the tree.
Heading cuts work better when done on trees aging less than a year because when they are made on older trees, they encourage water sprouts; these are thin, vertical, and poorly supported tree branches sprouting along the longer limbs top.
If you want to make a heading cut, you should start by trimming the branch back to a quarter in front of its lateral buds. You can sue any one of the many lateral buds available; thus, it will depend on the length you want to achieve in the branch.
Before pruning a branch, determine the branch collar and back ridge; the latter is the hardest to see as it is the raised part of the tree bark where there is an attachment, while the branch collar is the swollen mass tissues located at the branch’s base.
Make a thinning cut flash against the branch collar; however, ensure that the collar is left intact to heal the cut quickly. However, if you cut a branch thicker than 1” you can opt for the three-cut pruning methods mainly applied on larger boughs. A pruning chainsaw and the pole saw can be used for diameters of up to 3” and over. When used on small trees, it exposes them to bark and plant tissue damages.
Should I always prune my trees?
In some instances, pruning is not the solution; you might find poorly growing trees with awkward branches and more diseased ones that human beings can’t control; in this situation, you need to cut the whole tree to control the situation.
Although, before deciding to cut down a tree completely, give it several trials of pruning it nicely and with care in the relevant seasons. It can enhance the tree’s health and keep improving in that it completely changes to a better one. You can always talk to a professional arborist before taking action.