There are different size stump grinders ranging in power from 5 to 100 horsepower. Most smaller stump grinders only grind to ground level. If you want to plant grass after having a tree stump removed, then the stump will need to be grinding at least 6″ into the ground. You will need to fill the hole with lime and dirt. Lime decreases the soil acidity and helps grass seeds sprout.
The smallest stump grinders (pictured above) have 5 – 15 horsepower and are similar to push lawn mowers. They are only suitable for bushes, dead stumps, or smaller softwood tree stumps. They cost anywhere from $100 – $200 per day. If had 10 decent size pines trees cut down, it might take you an entire day to grind them all. They also don’t grind down into the ground very deep, so the top of the trunk is left exposed. If you want to plant grass over the stump, these smaller stump grinders are impractical.
The next level of stump grinders are self propelled and have anywhere from 15 to 60 horsepower. The main difference between them, besides horsepower, is the cutting wheel diameter, the cutting wheel arc, and the cutting wheel depth angle. Again if you want to plant grass you will need to grind at least 8″ to 10″ into the ground. The larger cutting wheel diameter and arc the less time it will take to grind larger stumps. We recommend stump grinders on tracks for managing difficult terrain and minimize damage to grass. These cost $250 – $750 per day and are difficult to operate.
Towed stump grinders are for grinding large amounts of stumps in open areas with vehicle access. If you can’t back a truck up to the stump then a towed stump grinder can’t help you. They are great for clearing trees and stumps for small roads, driveways, and in other unique situations such as after natural disasters. These can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 a day and are also difficult to operate.
Our Carlton SP7015 Stump Grinder has a 27″ cutting wheel powered with 60 horsepower, grinding down 12″ – 15″ into the ground with a 70″ cutting arc. It is the most powerful self-propelled stump grinding. Its runs on tracks and can fit through a standard 36″ gate, with a minimal damage to grass. This is the most powerful self-propelled stump grinder on the market.