garden tools gardening Landscaping

How Much It Costs to Remove a Tree Stump

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

We thought removing an unwanted tree in our back yard wouldn’t be that big of a project because the tree wasn’t large. In fact, cutting it down was a slow but methodical job. Removing the stump, however, now that was a different story. But thanks to a rented stump grinder, we got the job done. You could spend a day cutting and hacking at a tree stump, but to remove it, you have to grind it up into small pieces, and that’s why a powerful grinder is necessary equipment.

A landscape contractor or tree service will charge $246 to remove a 14-inch diameter tree stump, which includes labor and material. You can rent a gas-powered stump grinder for the day for $150 and do it yourself, but there’s more than your time and money to consider. You need a trailer hitch on your vehicle to transport the grinder or pay extra to have it delivered. If the tree stump is located in a gated yard or area that’s difficult to reach, you may have difficulty getting the grinder in place. If there’s any doubt, survey the approach and determine how you’ll get the grinder to the tree stump by measuring the width of the widest opening to the yard. Choose a grinder that can be maneuvered through it. If there’s no easy access to the stump, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way and dig it out with a shovel.

You can do preliminary work to the stump before the grinder is in place by using an ax and chainsaw to cut it down to about six inches from the ground. Remove any rocks or debris around the stump so they don’t dull or damage the cutting wheel. And always wear eye and hearing protection operating the brut. Before you begin grinding, have a game plan for using or removing all the wood chips you created.

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garden tools gardening Landscaping

Safely Using Outdoor Power Equipment

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

You’ll be proud of your home and property when it looks its best with a freshly cut lawn, manicured garden beds and trimmed shrubbery and bushes. The pros at the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) have some sage advice with these 8 tips to help care for, store and use oudoor power equipment.  Read their suggestions (and follow them) so when you’re using outdoor power equipment you know you’re playing it safe.

* Read the operator’s manual to understand the controls of your equipment

* Inspect your equipment for loose belts and missing or damaged parts. Drain and responsibly dispose of old oil and put in fresh oil before starting equipment that has been in long-time storage. Install clean air filters so your engine and equipment will run optimally.

* Have your lawn mower’s cutting blades sharpened so your mower will operate more efficiently, cutting your lawn cleaner and making it healthier.

* Only allow responsible adults who are familiar with the instructions to operate the machine. Do not let children use outdoor power equipment.

* Confirm the locations of pets and children, and ask that they be kept out of the area where you are working.

* Clear the area. Remove debris, wires, branches, nails, rocks, or metal that may become projectiles if thrown by lawn mower blades and other equipment.

* Wear substantial shoes, long pants and close-fitting clothes. You may want eye or hearing protection.

* Fill your gasoline tank only when the engine is cool. If you need to refuel before completing a job, turn off the machine and allow the engine to cool. Never light a match or smoke around gasoline.

garden tools gardening hire a landscaper Landscaping

Give Your Yard a Good Manicure

One of the best ways to improve a lawn and garden is by edge trimming the beds and create a distinction between where the lawn begins and ends. It shows the property is well maintained and the landscape is well manicured. Edge trimming is one of the few gardening chores I like to do because it’s so easy and creates such a nice appearance. When we talk to new homeowners at our local Choptank chapter of Habitat for Humanity an edger is one of the tools I suggest they buy because they’ll use it several times during the growing season. For $20 at our local Easton Hardware store you can buy one and use it for your life as a homeowner.

At where we analyze the cost of edge trimming yourself vs. hiring a landscape service we use the cost of buying a propane-powered string trimmer. To edge trim 600 feet of lawn a landscape service will charge $42. To have it edged 8 times in a typical growing season you would pay $336. Investing in a propane-powered string trimmer and your time is easy on the planet and will save you money in the long run. Here’s a link for more information: Edge trim a lawn.

No matter what type of edge trimmer you use, it’s a must-do garden chore all summer long.

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