Busting Up Those Old Stumps

Tree Stump Clean Up
Posted at 5:45 AM, Jul 07, 2015
and last updated 2016-07-04 11:59:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- If you've ever lost a tree, then you know what a big job it is to get it cut down and removed, and that's only part of the job. In this Angie's List report, how to get rid of that unsightly stump.

Removing a dead tree, including the stump, requires a lot of equipment, muscle and know-how.

"What many people don't realize is that it's usually an extra charge in order to have the stump removed, so be sure to ask your professional about that service as well," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

John Nowosielski is an arborist whose been removing trees and grinding stumps for nearly 20 years. It can be a dangerous job, and he cautions homeowners before trying it on their own.

"If there's a stump that's out on the back 40 in someone's back yard, there's no glass around, there are no parked vehicles around, there's no kids around, you feel safe, you feel confident, absolutely. If you've got to think about it twice, then I'd say call us," said Nowosielski.

It's usually cheaper to hire a pro than renting a stump grinder for the day. Expect to pay $150 - $200 for an 18-inch diameter stump. Larger stumps will cost you more.

Any reputable tree service can handle the job, but ask to see their liability insurance to make sure they're covered should something go wrong.

"When you ask me for my liability policy, I call my insurance carrier and they ship that to you with an out-of-state postmark with their letterhead on one of their envelopes. So that's about as valid as you can get," said Nowosielski.

Once the stump is gone, you can plant another tree nearby, but not on that exact spot. If you want to grow grass over the area, cover the spot with a couple inches of topsoil and lay your seed. In six-to-eight weeks, no one will ever know the tree was there.

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.