stump grinder in action in Boston MA

Is tree stump removal necessary and if so – when?

In short, yes, tree stump removal can be necessary for a variety of reasons. The main things you should consider, in no particular order, are aesthetics, safety and health of the surrounding flora of your yard or garden.

Now, if you have more time, we’d like to explain in greater detail the things you should consider and why it’s generally a good idea to get rid of a tree stump once a tree has been removed or cut down for any reason.

Should I remove the tree stump myself or hire a pro?

You can do it yourself if you know-how and have the equipment, but tree stump removal and grinding (more on that later) is an easy task for any professional arborist in Boston can handle for you if you don’t have the know-how and/or the equipment.

How much does stump removal cost in the Boston area?

Stump removal is an affordable service, in the Boston area the average price seems to be between $400 and $700. This is just a general price range, every job is different and some contractors are open to negotiating their prices

Feel free to contact us to receive a free and precise quote about our tree stump removal service in Boston.

One of the biggest benefits, other than insurance, tools, experience and know-how, of hiring a professional to get that stump out of your yard is that they will be able to handle the uprooting. You may be able to grind the stump to ground level yourself, but if you’d like to have those roots removed, the most efficient way is to leave it to the pros.

Why hire a pro

Uprooting isn’t easy

A good reason to outsource the job to a professional arborist is dealing with the root system of the tree. As you know, roots can go not just deep into the soil but also spread across your yard, which makes them difficult to get rid of. Removing them yourself can be pretty much impossible unless you already have the right tools for the job. This isn’t an issue for any tree arborist in Boston that deals in root removal.


If you don’t care about the uprooting, that’s fine – especially if the roots aren’t sticking from the ground and pose a danger. However, it again falls down to tools – professionals have specifically designed tools to remove and grind the stumps in a way that you can’t really do on your own by hand. This will lead to the stump being either completely removed or grinded to ground level and practically becoming invisible.


Cutting trees, removing stumps, etc. always poses a risk. At the very least, you’ll be using an axe, a manual saw or a chainsaw. This opens up the opportunity of all kinds of accidents to happen if you do it yourself. You can injure yourself or someone else. Putting that aside, if you don’t have the tools at hand, it would be extremely hard to completely remove the stump or grind it down to ground level yourself. You or someone else could trip at the remaining stump and again – injure themselves this way.


professional removing a stump in Boston MA

The main benefit of doing it yourself is that removing the stump yourself will save you money. Depending on the size of the tree, it may be a job that is quite easy to do at first glance. However, money saved can be offset by time spent. How long will it take you? What else could you do with that time instead? Are the risks worth it? All of those are reasonable things you should consider. It’s not just about spending money, it’s about safety and efficiency as well.

FAQ  People Ask

What happens if you don’t remove a tree stump?

As time passes, the stump will begin to rot and become home to termites and carpenter ants and other pests. You can leave the stump in place, but be aware that wildlife that comes along may spread to nearby plants and trees or even into your home, so be careful what you wish for. The simplest approach to avoid these pests is to remove the stump or grind it down.

The removal of a tree stump isn’t only about preventing pest infestations. You should also think about removing your stump for the following reasons:

Is it bad to leave a tree stump?

As I mentioned above, if you leave a tree stump and its roots in the ground, they will eventually start to rot. However, it may take a decade or more for the deterioration to take effect. In that time, however, it becomes a breeding ground for a variety of pests, organisms, fungus, and even pathogens.

Is stump grinding worth it?

Stumps can be grinded or removed, but both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. The most important factor to consider while deciding on a route is your long-term vision for your landscape.

The process of removing the stump is the more time-consuming and disruptive of the two. The tree’s extensive roots must first be dug out and hauled away, followed by the stump being raised. As you might expect, the process necessitates a significant investment of time, effort, and expensive equipment. What’s the upside? Your landscaping is now ready for any new ideas you may have after stump removal. Not so fantastic is that stump removal leaves a massive hole that needs to be filled in before it becomes an eyesore.

Stump grinding is a lot less demanding. When a stump needs to be ground into little wood chips, arborists utilize a machine to do so. Grinding is more efficient than stump removal, but it does leave behind the tree’s roots. The chip pile that results from a large stump might be fairly substantial, but the chips can be used as mulch for other plants in your landscaping instead of being thrown away after cutting.

Why is stump removal important?

Decaying tree stumps can be a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Fungi can develop on a tree stump, posing a threat to pets and young children. To avoid the spread of decay, mold, or contaminated wood, it is advisable to have the entire stump removed.

Can I plant a tree where a stump was ground?

No, you generally shouldn’t plant a tree right where a stump was ground immediately. Simply plant the new tree adjacent to the old one, but make sure the new planting hole is at least three feet away from the old one to give your new tree enough growing/rooting space (i.e., new trees require adequate mineral soil with good fertility and drainage for proper rooting and water/nutrient uptake), and then water and fertilize the new tree as needed.

How long do you have to wait to plant a tree after stump grinding?

The tree that was removed will most likely still have roots in the soil, and these roots will slowly but steadily degrade over time; nevertheless, this is not a process that can be completed in a single day. Ideally, one should wait around one year before planting a new tree in the same location where an existing tree was removed.

Can removing a tree cause a sinkhole?

Water has an important role in the dissolution of limestone and the movement of soil, both of which are essential in the formation of sinkholes. The roots of that large tree will eventually shrivel if the tree is cut down or dies, creating a channel for even more water to seep down into the earth and potentially dissolve the earth, resulting in the formation of a sinkhole. The fungus that is decomposing the wood is also responsible for the formation of the hard mushroom growths. Wood decomposes as a result of the degradation of the roots, which leaves voids in the soil. Because of this, there are holes in the ground, and the dirt is soft, and your foot dips into some areas.

However, in most cases, removing a stump should not result in the formation of a sinkhole that is dangerous.

How long do tree roots take to decompose?

In most circumstances, you should wait four to five years for the root system of an old tree to decompose before planting another tree on the ground beneath the foliage of the previous tree. If you can’t wait, you can always use the service of a professional arborist to get rid of the roots along with the stump.

I hope that you found this article useful. Feel free to get in touch with us for a free quote or any questions if you have a stump that you would like to get removed or ground anywhere in the Greater Boston area.

And if you’d like to learn more things about trees in Boston, such as how to dispose of a Christmas tree, our blog section has a lot of interesting and useful tips and guides for you to go through at your own pace.

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