Goodbye Gargantuan: Back Yard Landscaping

Yup… it’s official!  Gargantuan (originally seen here) is completely gone, as are his other tree buddies.  In case you’re new to our blog and have no idea what the heck this crazy lady is talking about, you can check it all out in this post.  No joke though… this was a full, more than 8-hour day, process to get rid of Gargantuan once and for all with a stump grinder!  And, unfortunately, when you’re runnin’ a stump grinder, it’s really a one person job… meaning, Eric had to go at it alone while I did other things!

In case you don’t remember, this is where we left off… Eric chillin’ on Gargantuan’s stump after the chain saws (yes plural… there were two of them) broke!


To finish the DIY-job, we rented a stump grinder from our local equipment rental company.  Out the door, we rented the stump grinder for $85 (out-the-door, including the trailer).  This brought our total tree removal cost to… $85!  YUP!  All we paid for was the stump grinder.  Thanks to a wonderful father-in-law, amazing hubby, and some determined chainsaws, we were able to cut some major costs.  The average estimate for the tree removal was over $400!  Ouch!  Ya, we really didn’t want to spend that.

Anyways… back to the stump grinder stuff…  To allow ourselves ample time to get the job done, we rented the grinder on a Friday afternoon, which gave us the full weekend (with returning on Monday) for the price of only one day!  :)  GOOD DEAL!  We figured it was probably a safe bet to keep it an entire weekend in case we ran into issues… which, we did, but those will come later.

So, as soon as the stump grinder was home, Eric chopped off the last bit of the stump (the part he was sitting on in the previous picture), which left us with this:


And then the knight in shining armor my hubby rode in on his valiant steed stump grinder… LOL


Eric saying… yes babe, I DO know how to run this! (Me… “impressive!”  Seriously, there were a lot of levers!)


Only a little grass damage done on the entrance… Naively, I thought… maybe we’ll get outta this unscathed… (remember my naivety for later on in this post!)


Eric, again, looking at me and saying… “babe, seriously, get outta the way. what if this throws wood chips?” Aww… he loves me. :) Seriously though… I was totally too excited about the big machinery to care about my safety! You know?  Don’t be that way people!


First pass attempt at grinding the stump…


…Not the most successful first attempt. This grinder really took some gettin’ used to. After several hours later, burn marks on the stump (from the blade attempting to grind it), lots of curse words, and a steaming-mad hubby… Eric got the hang of it!

DISCLAIMER: I have to throw this in, in Eric’s defense.  He is very mechanically-inclined, so if you are planning to attempt to do this too, make sure you allow yourself some time to get “used to” the machine (even if you, too, are “mechanically-inclined”)!

Anyways… after all the frustration passed and he got the hang of it, he man machine-handled Gargantuan’s stump and told it who was boss! (Though, apparently, the “boss” lecture involved leaving a whole bunch o’ tractor tracks in our grass.)  Unscathed, my butt… :(


Yes, that’s mud all over the walls of our house (in addition to the tracks in the grass, our house got pelted!)


Finally, things started to fall into place!  Eric became one with the machine and ground Gargantuan into submission!




In the end… Gargantuan was offically… machine-handled!!!


He was soooo proud (and so was I)!


After the stump was ground out, then came the root-digging… See the disappointment on his face.


Well the root-digging proved interesting to say the least. As we mentioned in our other post about why we decided to take out Gargantuan, we were sure glad we did. Look at these roots!!!


It’s probably hard to tell, but some of them are bigger than our thighs!



What a muddy mess this all left!  Safe to say that new grass is in our near future!!!



In the end, Eric felt like he hit a home run. (and yes, that is a natural smile from him!)

IMG_1878 Can you tell my man loves him some baseball???


After the WILD success with Gargantuan, we took a quick peak at his neighbor and for the first time noticed a tag on it’s back.  We were so excited about finding out what kind of tree he was, BUT were suddenly set into shock when we researched him online and found out that he was a fast-growing tree that would reach about 50ft. tall!  EEK!!!  That’s bigger than Gargantuan!!!  Sadly, we immediately decided to chop him down and grind out the stump while we had a stump grinder!  This kind’a became a two-for deal.  Eric drug out the chainsaw and had me steady the tree with the rope.

IMG_1880 A 1-2-3 count and he was DOWN!

IMG_1881 Then the grinding began.



Tree #2… HANDLED!


Both officially D-O-N-E!!!


Afterwards, we went on a final search for roots… who knew one tree could have so many roots?!?!?


How about you guys?  Any big surprises when you set out on your landscaping adventures???

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  1. We took a tree out of our yard 9 years ago. When they dug the foundation for our house there were TONS of roots still left. I couldn’t believe it. We had pulled out a whole bunch. We have clay soil so trees have to work very hard to root themselves. Great work!

  2. Haha oh I know those frustrations! My husband and dad took a tree out about 6 months ago and it was quite the fiasco, they weren’t too pleased when I managed to get a tree in the backyard out by myself one night (there was lots of digging and watering weeks before)!

    It must be a man thing, my husband finds anything reasonable to become his baseball bat!

  3. This looks like fun?…. :P

    Were you lounging in the pool?..because I totally would have been…of course I live in Iowa with no sun…or pool. Does living in California change things?

    • LOL! Well, I definitely would have lounged by the pool or even in the pool if it had been warm enough, but sadly, it was only in the low 70s… WAY too cold for the pool! I was mostly studying for exams. Not now though! Seriously though, we’ve been working on the yard quite a bit and normally we get 80-90 degree weather this time of year, but we are still stuck in the 60-70s. :( NOT a fan! We want some warm weather for yard work!

  4. thanks for posting about this! we have some trees and the previous owners leftover stumps to remove in the future! if we can get out for as little as 85 bucks, I will be pretty excited!

  5. Congratulations on getting the trees and stumps gone — that is a lot of work! Sorry about your poor grass :(

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