Tree Surgeon

Services In Glasgow – Tree Stump Removal

Stumped on Removing Tree Roots and the Costs Involved?!

Here is all you need to know:

  • Remove the tree stump or leave it in the ground?
  • The different options for removing tree stumps
  • How to keep the stump removal cost down
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Decision 1:

The Tree Stump.

To Keep or Not to Keep? That is the question!

Keeping the Tree Stump

After a tree is cut down and removed there is still a tree stump to deal with. Sometimes the tree stump can be left raised above the ground (and chemically treated if suitable) and be used for wildlife or decorative purposes.

If the tree stump is cut off close to the ground then suckering could occur when new shoots from the tree start to grow. However, if these are cut back a few times then the tree stump will usually finally die.

Alternatively, if the tree has been freshly cut then herbicides can be applied to kill the stump but this can sometimes have environmental implications and safety issues with wildlife or pet poisoning. We prefer organic solutions.

Honey Fungus Can Attack Dead Tree Stumps

If left in the ground there is a chance that several species of fungus may start to grow into the dead root system. One such group of fungi known as Honey Fungus can be very bad for the health of plants and trees around the tree stump, killing many susceptible species.

Tree species which are particularly susceptible to honey fungus include: birch, cypress, beech, holly, privet, apple, pear and willow.

There are however some species of trees and plants which are resistant (eg. Black walnut and box elder) to honey fungus and Arborist Direct Glasgow tree surgeons will be able to advise on the plants affected.

For more information visit the Royal Horticultural Society website at this link. ( )

Other Reasons for Tree Stump Removal

Apart from the potential for health implications from Honey Fungus there are often other reasons to remove a tree stump.

  • Stumps blocking access
  • Landscaping
  • Turfing & seeding lawns
  • Building
old tree stump
Stump Level

Decision 2:

How to Remove A Stump

Usually the cheapest and most convenient time to treat or remove a tree stump and its roots is at the same time that the tree is cut down and removed. If tree surgeons have brought equipment to cut and remove the tree, then they can bring tree stump removal equipment at the same time.

What depth of removal is needed?

There are generally 3 levels of removal depending on the reason for taking the stump out.

  • 15 to 25 cm (6 – 10 in) depth below surface. Usually enough for turfing or seeding grass.
  • 300mm (1 foot) or more depth below surface. Required for landscaping or replanting.
  • Extensive Deep Removal: This would generally only be necessary in the case of some building involving foundations or an infection from honey fungus. In both cases as much or the root system as possible is dug out.

For honey fungus, if it is safe to do so, then the remaining hole can be burnt. The infected roots should be removed from the site or burnt.

Glasgow Tree Stump Removal Methods

Depending on the size of the tree and tree stump, various methods can be used:

  1. Digging and cutting by hand
  2. Winching or towing
  3. Excavators or mini excavators
  4. Stump Grinding
  5. Chemical Treatment
  6. Burning

Want help deciding? Give us a call on 0141 xxx xxxx (click to call)

Digging and Cutting by hand

Tools: A shovel, axe or chain saw can be used to sever the roots from the main stump. Once you manage to get through all of them you will be able to pull out the stump.


  • No heavy machinery needed
  • Easily access awkward areas with only small hand tools


  • Labor intensive, hard work!
  • Can be a very slow job taking a long time if the stump is large
Winching or Towing

Tools: A cable can be tied around the stump or around the trunk if the trunk has been left tall enough. The cable is then pulled or towed.


  • If there is enough space to get the tractor or vehicle with a winch in place this can be a quick method.


  • This causes a lot of disturbance to the ground around the stump and can cause a lot of damage to the ground where the vehicle is stationed.
  • If you are looking to protect a lawn or neighboring plants or trees this is not the best method.
Stump Digging In Glasgow
Stump Excavator In Glasgow

Tools: Excavators or mini mechanical diggers can be used to pull stumps out with brute force.


  • Similarly to winching this can be a quick method.


  • The soils and area around can be chewed up and disturbed. This is fine if there is a lot of landscaping being done afterwards but not the best method if lawns, trees and plants need to be protected around the stump.
Stump Grinding

Tools: Mechanical stump grinders come in many sizes from something of similar size to a lawn mower pushed by hand for very small stumps all the way up to tractor sixed machines. We choose the machine based on access to the site and the size of the tree stump.

Do we have to fit through any small gates?


  • These are usually the preferred method.
  • The grinders are compact and fast.
  • Generally very little damage and disturbance to the soil around the stump leaving other trees and plants undisturbed.


  • Stump grinders are powerful dangerous machines and it is best that they are only used by experienced operators.
  • Sometimes protective screens should be placed around the stump to stop debris flying out.
Chemical Treatment of Stumps

Tools: Treatments are either painted onto the freshly cut stump or holes are drilled into the stump and chemical is left in the holes to be absorbed by the stump.


  • No physical mechanical work.


  • This is generally not a method we would suggest. The chemicals are not environmentally friendly and are poisonous to children and animals playing in the area. The chemicals will generally kill the stump stopping and regrowth but are not always successful at stopping honey fungus growths.
Stump Burning

Tools: The stump generally has to be dug out to some degree before burning. The hole can then be set alight with wood and the chopped remnants of the stump.


  • This can help stop spread of honey fungus if the is an infection.


  • Fire is sometimes difficult to control and can burn deep into the ground if the soil is flammable. This should only be used in safe situations with non-flammable soils.

Generally, the most versatile and by far the quickest method is to use a stump grinder.

If there are other trees or shrubs nearby then grinding is the best option as it will minimize disturbance to the soil.

Stump Removal In Glasgow

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