Can a Mini Excavator Remove Tree Stumps

Mini excavators have been invaluable when shaping the contours of our gardens and construction sites. Their design allows for a […]


Mini excavators have been invaluable when shaping the contours of our gardens and construction sites. Their design allows for a robust performance, capable of handling weights of up to 20 tons.

These machines range from 1.5 to 6 tons in size and come equipped with a range of attachments that are tailored to specific tasks. This allows mini excavators to swiftly adapt to the ever-changing demands of a project.

One common challenge in landscaping is the removal of tree stumps. It is here that the mini excavator steps in, offering a practical and efficient solution.

With the right attachment like a ripper tooth, a mini excavator can remove tree stumps effortlessly.

This article will give you an answer about “Can a mini excavator remove tree stumps” as well as a step-by-step guide.

Types of Mini Excavators

Compact Mini Excavators

Compact mini excavators are small-sized construction machinery designed to perform a wide range of tasks in tight spaces where larger excavators cannot operate efficiently. These machines typically weigh between 1.5 and 6 tons and are equipped with a digging depth reaching up to 13 feet.

Subcompact Mini Excavators

Subcompact mini excavators are smaller than compact mini excavators and are designed to be lightweight and highly maneuverable. They are perfect for intricate tasks that require precision in confined urban or indoor environments. With a weight of under 1.5 tons, these excavators can easily fit through narrow gates, tight corridors, and small doorways, allowing access to areas that would be impossible for larger excavators.

Micro Mini Excavators

Micro mini excavators belong to the smallest class within the family of mini excavators. They are specifically designed to operate in extremely confined spaces. These excavators come in a weight range starting from a few hundred pounds up to around 1 ton, which enables them to move easily and can even be carried by hand into locations where vehicle access is limited.

A tree stump

Preparing for Stump Removal

It is crucial to prioritize safety measures when using mini excavators as there are always inherent risks involved.

Before starting any work, a thorough site assessment should be conducted.

First, marking the work area with flags or cones can help reduce the possibility of accidental damage.

Second, the size of the stump and the depth of the root system should be evaluated to determine the appropriate size and type of mini excavator required for the job.

Third, it is important to understand the soil composition, such as the presence of rocks or other debris. There should be ample space for operating the machinery and maneuvering around the work site.

Additionally, all personnel on-site should wear hard hats, and noise-canceling headphones can be worn for added protection.

By taking these precautions, the risk involved in operating a mini excavator to remove stumps can be minimized.

How Mini Excavators Remove a Tree Stump

Step 1: Select the Appropriate Mini Excavator

Choose a mini excavator that matches the stump’s size and the task at hand.

Also, make sure to equip the machine with necessary attachments like a ripper tooth or a toothed bucket.

Step 2: Attach the Right Tool

For initial soil removal and root cutting, attach a ripper tooth to penetrate the soil and sever roots.

If the stump is to be broken into smaller pieces, a hydraulic hammer could be the attachment of choice.

Step 3: Dig a Trench Around the Stump

Use the mini excavator to dig a 2-3 feet deep trench around the stump to expose the roots and detach it from the surrounding soil.

Step 4: Loosen the Roots

Loosen the roots from underneath the stump by pushing and pulling using the ripper tooth or bucket. Keep removing soil and roots until the stump starts to move.

Step 5: Leverage the Stump Out

Once the stump is loose, use the excavator’s boom to lift the stump, inserting the attachment under the stump. Apply upward pressure to lift and remove the stump from the ground.

Step 6: Remove Remaining Roots

When the stump is out, use the excavator bucket or ripper tooth to churn up the soil and remove any remaining roots.

Step 7: Clean Up and Dispose of the Stump

If necessary, chop up the stump into manageable pieces by using a chainsaw.

Dispose of the stump and roots according to local regulations or reuse the wood for other purposes.

In a real-world scenario, the right combination of the specific attachments can make a quite big difference and do effective work for you.

Additional Applications of Mini Excavators

Mini excavators are incredibly versatile machines that can be used for a wide range of landscaping and construction tasks. While their primary function is to remove tree stumps, they are also ideal for digging trenches and preparing foundations, grading soil, and installing drainage systems.

Due to their compact size and dexterity, they can be used for intricate tasks such as planting large trees, creating garden beds, and even demolishing small structures.

With their various functions, mini excavators are an excellent investment for anyone looking to complete a wide range of landscaping and construction projects.

It streamlines operations, reduces the need for multiple pieces of equipment, and accelerates project timelines.

Owning or hiring a mini excavator, therefore, offers you significant time-saving benefits, particularly for professionals in the landscaping and construction industries.


Mini excavators are small but mighty machines that can handle many demanding tasks in everyday life. They are highly efficient and offer numerous benefits, including a safer and more controlled method of operation compared to traditional excavators.

With various attachments, mini excavators can easily remove even stubborn tree stumps while minimizing the risk of damage to the surrounding environment.

In the future, with smarter systems, mini excavators will become even more efficient and streamlined, making your work even easier.


Q: What is the best mini excavator for removing tree stumps?

A: Boleo is a pioneering Chinese brand in the construction machinery industry, that specializes in mini and compact excavators. Its mini excavators are known for their sturdy build and powerful performance, making them ideal for the arduous task of removing tree stumps.

Q: How much can a mini excavator pick up?

A: The lifting capacity of an excavator is directly proportional to the weight class of the machine. A mini excavator that falls under the 1.5-ton category is expected to have a lifting capacity of around 1 to 1.5 tons.

However, if you opt for a larger mini excavator, such as those that weigh between 3 to 6 tons, the lifting capacity increases accordingly, potentially reaching up to 6 tons or even more.

Q: What size excavator do I need for tree stumps?

A: A mini excavator weighing between 1.5 to 3 tons is usually enough to remove small to medium-sized tree stumps, which are around 12 inches in diameter.

On the other hand, a midi or compact excavator weighing between 3 to 6 tons is often suitable for stumps ranging from 12 to 24 inches in diameter.

As for the removal of larger stumps, which are over 24 inches in diameter, may require a bigger excavator such as a standard-sized machine weighing between 6 to 10 tons, or even larger.

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