Stump Grubbing & Digging Services

Although we mainly carry out stump grinding at Proleaf, there are many situations where stump grubbing or stump digging is required. Stump grubbing is not easy work and is generally our last resort for stump removal in Melbourne.

The size, height and girth of the stump are all important factors as to whether we can grub or dig a stump out. We may need to grub a stump out rather than grind is due to several reasons. If the stump is located directly over specific underground assets then we may have to dig or cut the stump out manually to ensure no damage occurs. If a stump is close to a property wall or too close for us to grind then we may have to stump grind as much as we can and then grub or dig the out the remaining pieces. Stump grubbing or digging may also be required on a large construction site with many large stumps to remove if the access allows for one of our large excavators.

No matter what method we use to remove a stump at Proleaf, the job is carried out with safe work methodology that complies with Safe Work Australia.

Tree stump before grubbing

Before We Start Stump Grubbing Or Digging

Before commencing any stump grubbing or stump digging works, we carry out a full underground utility location inspection. This will start with a visual inspection and may require us to use an underground service locator tool to look for any underground pipes or cables. Whenever we carry out any kind of stump grinding, stump mulching or stump grubbing we make sure not to skip this step. It is crucial to know what assets may be under the surface before starting any excavation works.

After clarifying there are or aren’t any underground utilities present. We then carry out a full risk assessment to make sure we implement controls for any hazards. Depending on the location of the tree stump, the age of the stump and what height it has been left at is how we will approach the job. If we are digging out stumps manually sometimes leaving a stump as high as possibly practical is best as it will aid us in the removal process. If we are grubbing stumps out with a large excavator, we generally will remove the stumps as they are left after being felled or cut down.

We need to set up our worksite correctly to stop any people or vehicles entering when we are carrying out stump removal works. This site setup will include signage, bollards, danger tape and a spotter. Our team will come prepared with Australian Standard approved personal protective equipment, traffic management equipment and the correct tools to carry out the job safely. If we are on-site with other contractors we ensure that we are signed on to the correct paperwork and make everyone aware of the works we are carrying out.

All of our tools and machinery are checked before works commencing, maintained regularly and are tagged out should any tools not be fit for purpose. If we are using a large excavator or other machine, we ensure all pre-operational checks are carried out before use.

What is Stump Grubbing?

You may have guessed already what stump grubbing is. ‘Grubbing out’ a tree stump is an industry term that is used to explain digging or pulling a stump completely out of the ground. It is not so common to use stump grubbing now as we have stump grinders available to us but in some cases digging stumps out is the best option.

If we are removing a stump by hand with digging tools and axes we will generally start by digging around the stump to expose the attachments to the roots. In some cases we may use hydro-excavation to suck out the soil, this avoids any sharp implements damaging pipes or cables. Using hydro-excavation allows us to see exactly what is below the tree stump and exposes roots that will need to be cut to remove the stump from its place.

We will then sever the roots and manually extract the stump using levers or some kind of mechanical aid, such as a winch. Once the stump is loose, we can then process it for removal from the worksite either by mulching the wood or cutting it up with a chainsaw. The debris will then be removed from the site and recycled into wood chips for garden beds, paper or power.

When we are using large excavators on big worksites, we will use the bucket or log pick attachment to dislodge the stumps from the soil as well as any roots. We will then pile the tree stumps and roots in a suitable place ready for them to be processed. This processing may just be being removed by trucks or being mulched on-site with a tub grinder or large wood chipper.

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The Clean-Up Process

No matter how we carry out stump removal we are always very conscious about how the site is left. We always like to leave the site safe, clean and free from any debris that has arisen. We are always very clear on our client’s expectations before we commence the stump grubbing or digging operations. In some cases, stumps and roots may be cut up, used for firewood or used around the garden. We have also provided some furniture makers with whole tree stumps to make coffee tables or art pieces. We recommend backfilling any dips or holes left to prevent any tripping hazards being left on site. If we are using a large excavator then we can grade the site level after removing the stumps from the ground. We always like to leave sites flat and clean from debris unless otherwise specified.

If we remove any wood waste from the site, we always recycle the wood. It may be run through a large wood chipper or mulcher and used in garden beds or may be used for other purposes. If we are working on a large project with lots of stumps we may carry out the wood processing on site.

Mulch Recycling In Melbourne

After completing a stump grinding project, we have mulch and lots of it! We have committed to the environment to recycle 100% of the mulch we produce. Generally, mulch will stay on-site after completing a stump grind but this isn’t always the case. If we are tasked with mulch removal from one of our client’s properties, we can deliver it after the job is completed.

We also retain mulch at our depot and use it ourselves or forward it on to customers who may want to use it in their garden. Mixing the mulch or wood chips in with some organic compost makes for a great soil. The organic compost helps to break down the wood fibres and release the nutrients. Not only is it good for the garden, it’s great for vegetable patches or paddocks. If you are looking for some stump grinding mulch on your property, give us a call or contact us.

Large Construction Site Stump Grubbing

If we are tasked with a large project that involves digging and removing many stumps on one site, we can carry out a full site inspection and provide advice on the best work methodology. Included in our quotation will be machinery rates, staff required on-site, any hydro-excavation needed underground utility mapping and waste removal. If you have a large stump removal project in Melbourne that you wish to discuss, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

All of our team are fully qualified to work on large construction sites, have completed their construction inductions, are qualified to use large machinery and have many years of experience.

Our Other Services

At Proleaf we offer several different types of stump removal. The type of machine and work methodology can vary greatly depending on the size of the stump(s), the size of the project, the access to the worksite and if underground utilities are present.

There are many reasons a stump may need to be removed and this also plays a part when deciding which machine or removal technique we will use. In most cases we will book in an appointment and provide a free written quotation on site.

Large stump grinder cutting wheel

Stump Grinding

Stump grinding is our most common stump removal technique. We have several different size machines from a small pedestrian stump grinder to a large tracked diesel grinder. Our small pedestrian stump grinder is perfect for small stumps in backyards or hard to reach places, this machine can be lifted into place by hand if necessary. Our bigger machines are more suited to large stumps or work on construction sites.

Tree Stump Marked to prevent trip hazard

Stump Poisoning

Stump poisoning is not an effective way to remove stumps quickly however it will prevent trees or shrubs from regrowing after being cut to ground level. When poison is applied to a stump it will kill off the root system and slowly break it down over time. This can be a good option if the site is hard to access and there is no immediate need to remove the stump. We can provide this service and we are happy to provide free advice regarding tree stump poisoning.

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Root Pruning

Similar to tree stumps, tree roots can be just as problematic. They may be impeding on construction projects, surfacing on lawns or be a tripping hazard. We offer a full root pruning service by qualified arborists. We can grind the roots with our root grinding machinery or dig them out depending on the desired results.