How To Get Rid of Stump Grindings Following Tree Removal

If you have to have a tree removed from your garden by your local tree services contractor as a result of storm damage or disease, you'll be left with the stump.

A tree stump that is left in the ground can look untidy and can also present a hazard to people using the garden, especially if it is in the middle of your lawn. The easiest way to remove the stump is by cutting it flush with the ground and then grinding it down. Stump grinding removes the stump below ground level, leaving you with a load of sawdust and wood chips.

So, what can you do with the leftover debris once the tree stump has gone? Read on for some helpful tips on how to dispose of stump grindings.

What You Will Need

  • shovel
  • wheel barrow
  • pitchfork
  • high-nitrogen fertiliser or farmyard manure

How to Do It

Stump grindings can be used as fertiliser/mulch for your garden, when properly prepared. Stump grindings can be acidic in nature and can also rob the ground of nitrogen as they decompose. Consequently, you'll need to add a source of nitrogen to the grindings to maintain the balance in your soil.

  1. Start by moving the stump grindings from the stump into a wheelbarrow for ease of transport. The easiest way to move the grindings is to use a pitchfork to loosen them from inside the hole where the stump was, and then shovel them up into the wheelbarrow. Move the grindings to the area of your garden where they are needed.  
  2. Use the pitchfork to break up compacted soil, and then mix some of the stump grindings into the soil. This helps to create air pockets inside the soil, preventing further compaction and aiding drainage. Scatter a thin, even layer of grindings across the soil, avoiding plant stems.  
  3. Next, take some high-nitrogen fertiliser or farmyard manure and mix it with the soil and stump grindings, using the pitchfork. If you're using artificial chemical fertiliser, be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions as to the quantity of fertiliser to use.

The dressing of grindings acts as a mulch and fertiliser all in one. You can apply fresh grindings annually by combining them with what's already there. If you have acid-loving plants, stump grindings are ideal to use around them due to their acidity.

In conclusion

If you have a tree removed from your property, you can use the resultant stump grindings as garden mulch and fertiliser by following the guidelines above. Alternatively, you could ask your tree service contractor to remove the stump and grindings and dispose of them for you.