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Vertical stump grinder at work.

A stump grinder is a machine used to destroy tree stumps. They can be the size of a lawn mower or as large as a truck. Most accomplish their task by means of a high-speed disk with teeth that grinds the stump and roots into small chips.

A typical stump grinder incorporates a cutter wheel with fixed carbide teeth. The cutter wheel movements are controlled by hydraulic cylinders to push the cutter head laterally through the stump and to raise and lower it.

Stump grinding is done with the use of a very powerful, heavy, and potentially dangerous machine. Stump grinding is generally performed by a qualified arborist or landscaper. It is possible to rent a stump grinder from tool hire companies for DIY projects.

If choosing to stump grind yourself, there are some safety rules that should be adhered to:[1]

Vertical stump grinder

A stump grinder or stump cutter is a power tool or equipment attachment that removes tree stumps by means of a rotating cutting disc that chips away the wood.

Machines are available in various models and versions, to cover a power range from 70 to 300 Hp.

There are also types of stump grinders that are applied to tractors, excavators, skid steers and other earth moving and construction equipment. These machines can completely remove the roots of the trees or recover the central part of the roots.

Vertical stump grinders are usually used in forests, for plant biomass, for the forestry sector, and for the maintenance of green areas, etc. They can destroy an entire root of 50 cm (20 in) in diameter to more than one meter deep in 30 seconds. Studies have shown that the normal stump grinder (with disc and teeth) can eliminate most of the first 20–25 centimetres (8–10 in) of stumps. Vertical stump grinder can completely destroy tree stumps of up to 150 cm (59 in) in diameter permanently.[2]

They are made up of a sturdy gear box from which a transmission shaft emerges to which the cutting edges are connected. Vertical grinders can remove the stump to a depth in the subsoil greater than one meter, while with normal horizontal grinders the stump is mostly shortened in the subsoil by 20 or 25 centimeters.


  1. ^ "Stump Grinding Safety (1)". Action Tree Service.
  2. ^ Diamond Grinding Wheel | Resin Grinding Wheel