When we had the trees removed, we also had the stumps ground down. We’re trying to stop the basement from flooding, and to do that we need to grade the front lawn, and to do that we need to bring in two dump trucks full of dirt, and to do that we need to bring in a Bobcat, and to do that we need to get rid of the stumps. It’s very wing-on-bird-on-egg-in-nest-on-twig-on-branch-y, but at the end of all of this, yes, the green grass will grow all around, all around.
The stump remover was really neat. It looked very much like a staunch Catholic Zamboni had gone out for a night with the girls, gotten fiercely drunk, and gone home with a smooth-talking AT-AT.
The stump grinder was remote-controlled. The guy operating it said this was a safety precaution, as he had to be close enough to see what the stump grinder was doing, but far enough away to not get hit by the flying wood (note: he was a day late grinding out our stumps because the grinder had kicked a chunk of wood straight at his head and had put him in the hospital, so perhaps this method could be improved).
The stump grinder was a single spinning blade which cut straight through the stumps. The operator moved it over the stumps in horizontal sweeps, and on each pass the grinder dipped a little lower. Towards the end of the process, the blade was nearly underground as it tore up the roots.
After it was over, we took the mulch and tried to fill in the new craters where the stumps used to be. I guess we were successful; no one has broken an ankle. Woo! The stump grinder did leave one large root, though, which we need to remove by hand before I start to put in the permanent landing under the fence.