Clearing the trees and brush above the ground is only one part of the land clearing process. Land clearing also means you have to deal with the stumps left behind. Read on to learn more about this part of the process.
Grinding is the quickest and easiest way to get rid of stumps once you have knocked down all of the trees. Your clearing service will bring in a piece of equipment called a stump grinder. It consists of several mechanized grinding wheels that can be lowered down directly onto the stump. The stump is then ground down until it is several inches below the soil surface and poses no danger of resprouting.
Grinding is only suitable if you don't need to excavate the area for further land moving or building since the roots of the stump remain to rot in place.
2. Hand Digging
The most time-consuming way to remove a stump is to dig it out with shovels, pickaxes, and mattocks. Most land clearing services will not use this method, so it is only something to consider if you are going to attempt stump removal on your own.
Hand digging is rarely suitable for large trees, although it may be a good option if you only have one or two small stumps to remove on the property.
Burning is sometimes used to remove stumps, particularly on land that is being cleared for agriculture. This is in part because the wood ash generated helps add nutrients to the soil. Burning is also relatively easy and low cost. A fire is lit inside the stump and then left to burn down and smolder out the remainder of the stump. Burning does require a professional touch to be done safely. It also can't be windy or too dry outside, due to fire danger. The rest of the land should already be cleared as well, in order to reduce flammable debris. In many areas, a permit is necessary before stumps can be burned out.
Choose burning if you have several large stumps to remove and don't mind monitoring the site for several days.
4. Heavy Equipment
Heavy equipment can be used to dig up stumps. Bulldozers are sometimes used, particularly if the stumps are shallowly rooted or if the area is being excavated. Excavators are more often used because they can dig down much more deeply than a bulldozer.
Heavy equipment removal is best suited to the removal of many stumps, particularly on a lot that will be built upon.
Stumps can be one of the most challenging parts of clearing land. Contact a land clearing service for more assistance.