There are many varieties of palm species and they have one thing in common – they have a long fibrous root system that has evolved to withstand tropical cyclones. These roots go deep into the ground and spread a distance around the palm tree. They can be responsible for movement in building’s walls, retaining walls, pavers, concrete, sewers, or other nearby structures.
You only have two feasible options for removing a palm tree stump – using an excavator, or hiring a stump grinder to remove the stump to below ground level. As you can see from the pictures of the palm tree stumps it would take a long time to dig up and cut through all those roots. We have spoken with people who said it took them years to remove palm tree stumps even though they worked on it a few hours every weekend till it was gone. They vowed never to do it again.
Using an excavator
In this method you use an excavator to dig a huge hole around the stump so you have access to the palm tree’s root ball. You cut off any long running roots and lift the stump and root ball out of the ground and transport it to the tip. This method is best if you need the entire stump removed if you are already planning to build a structure there or requiring to plant another large mature tree. If you plan to use this method, ensure it forms part of your construction plan (if building a house), since an excavator & truck adds up quickly. Depending on the size of the excavator it can be around $80 per hour, with additional costs for hiring truck hire to dump the stump, paying the tip to take your stump, and then all the additional time to restore the site.
Hint: You must dial before you dig to check for buried services. Their could be telecommunication, water, gas, or electrical lines where you want to dig!
With stump grinding a machine is used that has rotating discs with teeth on them that are used to literally grind the stump away. It operates in a fashion similar to a chainsaw – reducing the area being grinded to sawdust. The grinder can only remove what it can reach – which is usually only 1-2 feet below ground level. This method is usually cheaper than excavating, with a typical stump grinder costing around $100 per hour (with operator) but the work will be carried out in less time (around 3-4 hours). This option is the better value for money choice, but you still have the stump rotting away below ground level. You can plant a garden on top, but you will have to wait a while if you want to plant something that requires deep root penetration.