Stump Grinding

 Stump Grinding Services

After a tree has been removed, a stump will remain on site.  Stump grinding services are available to grind the main tree stump down to ground level and sometimes up to 16″ below grade to accommodate tree replanting.  Depending on the location of the stump, access to the area and nearby underground utilities, depth of stump grinding may be limited/restricted which may prevent a new tree from being able to be replanted in the same location.  To avoid damage to turf and landscape beds, surface roots are not included in standard stump grinding services.  The photo below shows the four phases of stump grinding:  The stump after the tree has been removed, the site after utility locates have been marked, grinding of the stump and post-stump grinding.

Watch a video of stump grinding here!

Stump before & after photos
State law requires underground utilities be marked before any digging occurs to avoid damage to main water, sewer, electrical and cable lines.  (see 2nd photo above)  Utility locating services are ordered following tree removal so that the stump is clearly visible for marking.  Stump grinding services are typically completed within 3-5 business days from the tree work schedule date.  If utilities are identified in the immediate area of the stump, laws prohibit grinding below grade and surface grinding is then the only option.  (for more information, visit

Irrigation Lines & Low Voltage Electrical

Irrigation (sprinkler) lines and low-voltage electrical wiring for landscape lighting are often underground and near the stump grinding location.  Utility locating services do not include underground irrigation lines or low-voltage wires locations.  Because tree roots can grow into irrigation lines (see photos below) there is often no way to avoid damage to irrigation lines or low-voltage wiring when grinding stumps.  For this reason, Northwest Tree Specialists cannot be responsible if a sprinkler head, irrigation line or low-voltage wiring is damaged during stump grinding and repairs are at the customers expense.  If an irrigation line or low-voltage wire is hit/damaged, your landscape company is a great resource for repair services following stump grinding.

stumps and irrigation lines

Debris from stump grinding

Stump grinding produces a pile of debris consisting of ground up wood shavings, small surface roots and soil which is left on site.  The amount of debris left over from stump grinding depends on the size of the stump, type of wood and depth of the grinding.    The photo below shows “before” and “after” stump grinding services were performed and the pile of shavings created.  The stump grinding debris is a great soil amendment and we encourage our customers to use this in your landscape beds.  After stump grinding, small and large underground roots (pictured below) will remain underground and may hinder replanting.  Underground roots require excavating and/or hand-digging which is not able to be accomplished with a stump grinding machine.  Your landscaper can assist with removal of underground roots that may need to be removed in order to replant or hard-scape your landscape.

Debris from stump grinding


When requested, grindings and debris can be removed from site by Northwest Tree Specialists.  Due to the time and cost involved in removing and hauling the grindings to a recycle facility, additional costs apply.  Your landscape maintenance company may also be a good resource for hauling the leftover grindings off site.