How Far Down Does Stump Grinding Go?

How far down does stump grinding go? The answer can differ depending on the circumstance, but it’s usually between four and six inches below grade. 

In this post, Stevens Tree Service shares more about the process as your go-to contractor for stump grinding services in Dunedin, FL

What is the Ideal Removal Depth for Tree Stumps? 

When you know how trees grow, you’ll know the ideal depth for stump grinding will largely depend on the species of tree. Generally, the ideal depth for regrowth prevention is four inches below the surface, but this increases to six inches for pernicious species, such as: 

  • Crape Myrtles
  • Some pear trees
  • Chinaberry trees

In the case of a particularly resilient tree, arborists may recommend removing the stump and surface roots together. Some homeowners also choose to pay for the service to grind deeper. However, there are various reasons that these experts may not be able to grind away the entire stump, including the following:


A grinding machine can chomp through wood and soil easily. However, it cannot break rocks or other hard materials. If there are rocks or builder’s rubble around the root system, it limits the job. 

Stump Depth

How far does stump grinding go down the trunk of the tree? If the trunk depth interferes with the process, not very far. The experts can only grind down the trunk up until the point the roots start, so trees with surface roots rather than tap root systems can be problematic. 

Utility Layout

Are there utility lines in the way? The grinding cannot go any deeper due to the potential cost of replacing the cables and the risk of damage or worse if the machine hits electricity, gas, or water lines.

The Machine

The capabilities of the stump grinder itself play a significant role. For example, Stevens Tree Service uses state-of-the-art vertical grinders that can go deep. Other companies may only use a 13-inch model.

Why Grind the Stumps? 

When you remove a tree, you have the option of grinding down the stump or removing the roots. The latter is the most effective way to prevent regrowth but is labor-intensive and expensive. It also leaves an unattractive hole in the ground. 

Alternatively, grinding the stump right down sufficiently damages the tree so that it stops growing. The roots should wither and die before decomposing naturally.

Is It Better To Grind the Stump or Remove It?

The answer depends on the tree type and where it is. Stump removal usually requires heavy machinery as the root system can extend far into the ground. 

However, while stump grinding is cost-effective, it may not be the best option with trees that are likely to sprout again. 

You might consider completely removing the stump for the following reasons:

  • Make landscaping easier. A remaining root system can make replanting difficult in the area. It might also leave a bump in the ground that makes mowing challenging. 
  • Ensure the tree is dead. Grinding injures the tree severely, but it may still draw resources through the roots. Chemical means may poison the tree, but it’s not always effective. 
  • Eradicate diseased wood. Was your tree infected? Get rid of the roots. 
  • Prevent sinkholes. If you don’t want surprise sinkholes as the roots decompose, removal may be best.

Contact Us for Expert Tree Stump Grinding or Removal

How far down does stump grinding go for specific local trees? Whether you need answers or help with other issues like planting a tree after stump grinding, we can assist you in Dunedin, Florida. 

Call Stevens Tree Service at (727) 734-8733 today for full-service arborist services, from planting a sapling to removing troublesome trees. 


Stevens Tree Service is the Tampa Bay Area’s #1 choice for residential and commercial tree care services. Our family owned and operated business, is all about you, our customer and what’s best for your trees.


Contact Us

1334 Spalding Rd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Phone : 727-734-TREE (8733)

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