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Dead tree removal

Hey....I need to remove a seven foot dead plum tree from my yard...have trimmed off large branches and plan on pulling out stump with a heavy chain and my truck..Question: How deep do the roots branch out in the ground? Would this procedure do more damage to the lawn? Or is it better to grind the stump flush to the ground...It is a small tree and want to plant another tree in its place...thanks....Rigid Rake

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
My suggestion is to get it ground. Stumps are tougher than you might think, trust me. While I'm not familiar with plums, most stumps that I've dealt with have had at least one tap root (for smaller ornamentals anyway), and those can make the stump a bear to get out. Chances are that you don't have enough truck to do what it will take, or you will break something on your truck trying.

I usually either dig out stumps with an excavator or grind them out. Check around, it may be cheaper for someone to grind it out than it will cost you to rent a grinder for 4 hours....

Grinding it out will also create at least a small hole that you can plant back into if you wish. Pulling it out will leave many roots still in the ground that will just serve to frustrate you when re-planting.



LawnSite Member
Thanks for the advice Dan...will scrutinize situation further and decide...your idea on grinding it down seems like a good plan...One more question..since the tree is on a person's front lawn...and not near the street...do I need a permit to have it removed? I have taken down trees in my yard before without having done so, but read someplace it might be an issue...Please advise..thanks...Ed

Kelly's Landscaping

LawnSite Platinum Member
Milford CT
Before I grind id give it a tug with the truck its a rather small tree and I pop out much larger shrubs with my truck. You said you cut some large branches is there anything left ideally you would like to tie the chain as high up that trunk as you can and she will yank right out the lower you go with the chain the harder it is. As for damage you will have a little but it should be mild besides your going to be repairing the spot where your grind the stump anyway.

Doster's L & L

LawnSite Senior Member
you can also subcontract the stump grinder to get it. i guess it depends on how fast you want it ground up. just a suggestion.

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
I have no idea what your city requires as far as permitting... It varies from city to city. Around here, a permit is not needed.

Frankly, if I needed a permit to remove one of my trees, well, I'd seriously consider moving. I like trees, and can understand the thought behind the permitting, but that's just too much of big brother looking over my shoulder... But that's just me, I'm not wanting to start a debate on this!

Check with city hall, someone there should be able to tell you if you really want to know......



LawnSite Silver Member
Morgantown, WV
You can probably dig it out with minimal problems.Lateral root system shouldn't be too expansive, especially if it's been dead for a while. If that's not an option, get someone to grind it for 40-55 dollars.Around here that's about the avg. per stump, and the rental store charges $ 160.00 for machine rental per day.Just my<a href='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/12/12_8_6.gif' border=0></a> <a href='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/12/12_8_6.gif' border=0></a>


LawnSite Senior Member
If its only 7' tall then rip that thing out with your truck.

I have been clearing 20' pines on my property and I am pulling them out of the ground with my jeep and winch.


LawnSite Senior Member
That is if the trunk is several inches or LESS in diameter. If the trunk is 8-12" because it's been sheared for the last 38 years or so, than thats a different story.