Register Now


Lost Password

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email.


Register Now

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.Morbi adipiscing gravdio, sit amet suscipit risus ultrices eu.Fusce viverra neque at purus laoreet consequa.Vivamus vulputate posuere nisl quis consequat.

DIY Excavator stump elimination+grading for excellent justice (price: $1000 + 2 days)

April 2023, Woodinville WA (Unincorporated King Co.). I need to put up a pole-frame workshop. Employed a tree service to chop down an enormous tree ($1200) however they wished $2500 to take away two (very massive) stumps. So I rented an excavator to do that plus different massive yard work. That is my 4th or fifth time renting earth transferring tools like this, so I suppose I form of know what I am doing.


I rented this excavator, costing aprox $1000 for two days (together with supply+15 gal diesel):

[10’5″ excavator w/thumb. main target stump is to the right.](

**Some suggestions recognized/realized relating to what excavator:**

1) **Thumb:** Get one with a thumb. Too onerous to govern issues like roots with out it

2) **Underpowered:** the ten’5″ I rented (Kubota U35-4) is a bit underpowered for what I did (large stump!) . It is specs as “blade down, 1200lb”. so I ought to have spent an additional $100/day and obtained the 12′ which specs as 2300lb blade down. That mentioned, it did the job, simply barely.

3) **Slender Bucket for digging:** for stump/root work, get as slim of a digging bucket as attainable. In my rental I obtained a 12″ digging bucket and 36″ “clear out” bucket, which I believed can be helpful for grading work. it form of was, so okay I obtained that too.

4) **Entrance blade for leverage:** get the entrance blade so you possibly can brace to get higher leverage pulling roots, plus it is nice if you wish to do mild grading work, which I did.

5) **Entrance blade for grading:** grading work with the blade is feasible (I did it) however it’s not as elegant as a entrance loader. simply lower your expenses renting one piece of kit



That is the principle goal stump. a freshly lower hemlock. large stump larger than the excavator.


As proven, dig across the stump tearing out the roots as you go. I used to be cautious to take away as a lot of the roots as attainable, and made periodic stops to take away wooden particles from the world, as I’m going to be placing a workshop right here and don’t desire decomposing wooden to trigger the inspiration to settle.

# The Particles

Whole I eliminated the massive stump and one other smaller/older stump. As a substitute of renting a chipper I like to make use of the wooden particles to make a berm. This is my scrap pile/berm. I will be including water and grime to assist it break down over the approaching years.


[Berm made from the stump/roots/scraps. ](


Whole time taking out the 2 roots and stacking within the berm was most likely 7-8hrs. (5hrs on the excavator timer) I additionally took this as as a chance to grade the world, aprox 40’x60′ space which was barely off stage. That took me an extra 11 hrs or so (aprox 8hrs on excavator timer). I’m fairly thrifty with the excavator, turning it off then getting out and eyeballing the world/grade.


[30×40 area marked out](


1) Measuring: that will help you determine the grade of an extended stretch of grime, Use an extended 2×4 with a stage on prime.

2) Grading: There are some good youtube vids explaining easy methods to grade with an excavator blade. Typically going ahead is less complicated to alter the extent (dig/push stuff round) and going backward is less complicated for smoothing/spreading. Use them in combo!

3) massive slope adjustments: I discovered it helpful to make use of the massive 36″ clean-out bucket to seize a piece of slope and unfold it out in a 270 diploma arc behind me. takes much less time than making an attempt to make use of the entrance blade.

# Ultimate notes

1) Because it’s moderately costly renting tools, strive to determine easy methods to maximize it is utility. Along with the stump and grading work I did, I additionally ripped out a number of scraggly timber.

2) excavators just like the one I rented appear to be probably the most versatile piece of kit to hire. entrance loaders are nice for hauling materials and grading however actually cannot dig in any respect.

3) purchase a siphon to switch the diesel from can to the tank. I realized that the onerous approach, protecting all my garments in diesel, twice in two days, is just not a pleasing expertise.

**Hope this helps somebody! AMA**

Comments ( 9 )

  1. Super impressive, this is the most serious DIY I’ve seen. Good work!

  2. Or put a ring of rocks around the stump and use what’s left over from cutting the tree to have a big fat bonfire. (You need to dry the wood first of course).

    Budget the $1000 for liquor and have some friends over. You can party late into the night. Stab the stump with a shovel or shitty old axe now and then as you are trying to burn that thing deep into the ground.

  3. > for great justice

    Did you take off every zig?

    I’m inclined to think all your base are belong to us

  4. Did you ever call 811 and get locates?

  5. I haven’t made a berm before. How do you mix the materials to prevent it from becoming a pile of rot or worse, getting warm from decomposition?

  6. If this was your first time with a machine like that, you did well. Nice job grading.

  7. Tips from an arborist for diy stump removal.Get the arb contractor to leave the stump high, more leverage.After digging around a bit, saturate the ground with a hosepipe.If you’re tempted to pull it out with your truck at any point use straps not chains or cables, put a heavy piece of tarp or material over the strap, absorbs the energy if it lets go.Expose the roots & cut them.Be safe!

  8. Awesome job! I’m looking at renting an excavator soon to dig out for a pool and widen our driveway so I may look at removing a couple of stumps now with it!

Leave a reply