How to Remove Tree Stumps with a Mini Excavator October 24 2015, 3 Comments

I remember the first time I ever tried to use an excavator to remove a large stump on a side job we were doing for a customer. It was one of the most difficult experiences ever. I'm not sure if it was the size of the stump or the huge root system but one thing I am sure about is that the stump did not want to come out no matter how much we dug or how hard we tried to pull it out. 

The real problem was that the excavator we were using at the time just didn't have the power and lift capacity to dig a giant old stump up out of the ground. I wish I had thought about that prior to renting the machine but you live and you learn. Now I want to share some great tips for removing tree stumps with you but first check out this great video Dirt Ninja made on removing stumps .

Removing Stumps with a Cat 305.2

Now that you've watched the video it'll be easier to explain how to dig up these hard to move stumps. I know they make it look easy and sometimes it will be but you won't always be so lucky. For those times you find yourself having a hard time I have made a list of questions to keep in mind when removing stumps with an excavator.

Questions to ask when Removing Stumps

  • Is your machine large enough?
  • What type of tree was it?
  • How large/old are the roots under ground?
  • Where do these roots lead?

Once you've answered these questions you can start to form a plan of action. Not every stump with come out the same way. Think back to the video, the operator wasn't just scooping all of these stumps up head on. Also notice that they were using a thumb attachment for this machine which made stump removal way easier. If your looking for a hydraulic thumb for your excavator check out before you start your next project. Here are some tactics for digging up stumps. 

Stump Removal Tactics

  • Aim for the roots
  • Use a Thumb Attachment
  • Use leverage to get under the stump
  • Pull in on the  top of the stump to break it free

These are just a few tips to make your stump removal project 10x easier and faster. Remember having the right tool for the job is always the most important thing no matter what the project is so make sure you have the correct size machine and the right excavator attachment before taking on any new jobs. Best of luck to all you other operators out there.