Stump grinder

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Backhoe stump grinder attachment, showing carbide teeth and chips
Rotor vertical stump grinder at work.

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.

Stump grinders can be the size of a lawn mower or as large as 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 generally performed by a qualified arborist or landscaper, however it is possible to rent them from tool hire companies for DIY projects.

Vertical stump grinder[edit]

There are also other types of stump grinders that are applied to tractors, excavators and other construction equipment. These machines can completely remove the roots of the trees in a few seconds 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, but for stumps with a bigger diameter the problem is not solved as the plant can start growing back. Instead, a vertical stump grinder can completely destroy tree stumps of up to 150 cm (59 in) in diameter permanently. They can be affixed to tractors, excavators and others earth moving machinery.


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