How Much Does Stump Grinding & Removal Cost?
Millions of people ask HomeGuide for cost estimates every year. We track the estimates they get from local companies, then we share those prices with you.
Tree stump grinding is the most efficient, cost-effective method of removing unsightly stumps and removes the chance of new tree growth from the stump, tree rot, and pest infestation near your house. Hiring a professional to grind down your tree stumps can often be cheaper than doing it yourself with a rented machine.
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Stump Grinding Cost
The national average cost to grind a stump ranges from $100 to $350 for the first stump and $30 to $50 per stump after that. The average price per diameter is $2 to $3 per inch of the stump. If you grind the stump yourself, expect to pay around $200 to rent a stump grinder for half a day or $280 to $350 for a full day.
|National Average Cost||$225|
|Average Range||$185 to $415|
Stump Grinding Cost Factors
The total cost of tree stump removal will depend on the number of stumps, the tree stumps’ diameters, access to the stump(s), the depth of the grinding, the root system, and mulch removal.
|Number of Stumps||$160 for first + $40 per additional stump|
|Diameter Size||$2–$3 per inch|
|Time||$135–$150 per hour|
|Root System Removal||$135–$150 per hour|
|Mulch Removal||$2–$4 per inch of stump|
Stump Grinding Cost Per Stump
Most average-sized stumps will cost around $150 per stump. If you have a lot of stumps to grind, you might pay $100–$350 for the first stump, $30–$50 per stump after that. If you’re clearing land and have a lot of stumps to grind, your tree specialist will likely charge you per hour rather than per stump at $135–$150 per hour.
Stump Grinding Prices By Diameter
Most tree removal specials will charge by the diameter which is about $1–$5 per inch of the stump, or an average of $2–$3 per inch of the stump. The wider the stump, the more work needed to grind it down, so the price per inch will go up along with the total bid quoted. Stump grinding is much faster than stump removal because it doesn’t involve any digging. The stump is just chopped up into mulch-size pieces and what’s left will eventually decay along with its roots.
Some tree grinding companies will charge a flat rate for the job if you have multiple stumps. If you have many stumps to remove, measure the diameter of each, then multiply the total number of inches to grind by $2 or $3 to get your total estimated cost. For example, if you have 10 stumps with an average diameter of 20 inches, you will have 200 inches to grind for a total price of $400 to $600.
How To Measure Tree Stump Diameter
Measure the stump from side to the other at its widest point at ground level, not at the top of the stump.
- Access to stump – If you have a narrow or sloped sidewalk, it can be difficult to get the grinder set in place properly. Similarly, a stump on a slope or surrounded by a retaining wall, or other trees and brush, might be inaccessible with a large piece of equipment.
- Depth of grinding – A basic charge is for 6” deep, and more if you want it ground to 12”. It can be a good idea to go deeper. Stumps can start growing, especially some types of flowering cherry trees, poplar, and willow.
- Root system – This may be an additional cost if you want it done. The contractor will usually only grind roots showing above the soil level. See root removal (below) if you want the root ball removed.
Stump Grinding Rates
The average homeowner can expect to pay about $100–$350, and $30–$50 per stump if you have more than one. Larger tree stumps in difficult-to-access locations can cost as much as $600 to remove. Here are additional factors that will determine your final cost:
- Mulch Removal & Hauling – Mulch removal costs between $1.50–$5.80 per inch of the stump with the average homeowner spending $2 to $4 per inch plus more if there are a lot of chips from the root system too. We recommend that you have any grindings from diseased or dead trees removed. If they are from healthy trees, it makes more sense to keep them as a soil additive. However, even if the chips are infected, they can safely be used above the soil level if they are at least two feet away from the home’s foundation and six inches from the base of tree trunks. If the stump was originally treated with herbicide, you’re better off burning them as long as there is no burn ban in place.
- Soil Condition – If the soil around the tree is rocky, it can dull or even break the blades on the equipment. This can cost a good bit more because of the possible damage to both the equipment and the surrounding area requiring extra precautions.
- Type & Age – Hardwood and older trees can take longer to grind through, and they will require equipment with more and/or bigger blades.
- Minimum Charge & Travel Distance – Most tree care companies will charge a minimum fee of $50–$100+ to cover the cost of traveling to you and unloading the equipment.
*Some tree stump grinders will include the cost of mulching and removal in the price.
Tree Stump Removal Process
The contractor will explain what will be done before work commences—how far the grinding will go, etc. Protection is set in place all around the stump to be ground down to prevent rocks, chips, and roots from flying off the blades into windows and other plants and trees. They’ll bring a stump grinder into your yard and grind down your stump to the level you want.
- Transportation of equipment
- Safety measures (and make sure your contractor has liability insurance)
- Stump grinding labor
- *Cleanup and hole leveling
Wood chips/mulch can be left in the ground where the stump was so you won’t have a big gaping hole where it once stood. The root system will be covered up and left buried. *The more thorough professionals will leave everything clean with minimal to no damage to your lawn and garden beds.
Stump Grinder Rental Cost
It’s true—you can rent your own stump grinder and grind down those stumps on your property yourself. Below we have given standard rental equipment prices and a summary of the types of grinders and how they work. Tree stump grinder rental prices Keep in mind that rental stump grinders have been used by many people before you, so they may not be in the best condition or have the sharpest blades in place, thereby making the job longer.
Home Depot Stump Grinder Rental
|Rental Time||Average Cost|
Add $69 for delivery which includes a trailer (minimum 1-day rental).
Lowe’s Stump Grinder Rental
Unfortunately, Lowe’s doesn’t rent out stump grinder equipment.
What type of stump grinder should I rent?
Rent a small machine for small stumps and larger machines for larger stumps. The main grinders homeowners rent are made by Toro and Carlton.
- PTO stump grinder means power takeoff. “Most commonly, it is a splined driveshaft installed on a tractor or truck allowing implements with mating fittings to be powered directly by the engine” 1.
- Skid steer stump grinder refers to “a small, rigid-frame, engine-powered machine with lift arms used to attach a wide variety of labor-saving tools or attachments” 1.
- Toro stump grinder – available with cutter wheels of 12.25”–36.5”, a cutting capacity below ground of 9”–25”, and a cutting capacity above ground of 21”–72”.
- Carlton stump grinder – available with cutter wheels of 9.5”–22.25”, a cutting capacity below ground of 6”–18”, and a cutting capacity above ground of 10”–35”.
Stump grinder renting tips
- Don’t use a grinder after heavy rain—it will tear up your yard.
- When researching, choose from a walk-behind, self-propelled, tow-behind, or track-mounted stump grinder. Most of the smaller machines take longer to do the job.
- Check the width of the equipment before renting to make sure you can move it into your trailer and then your yard. Sometimes you have to take the wheels off a machine to get through gates.
- A sheet of plywood on the trailer bed can help absorb bumps as you travel, and you can use it as a shield while grinding later.
- Decide if you want a grinder with a fixed or sweeping arm.
DIY Stump Grinding vs. Hiring A Pro
- Be aware that without the right precautions and experience, you could seriously damage yourself and the surrounding area. Stump grinding contractors are bonded and have liability insurance to avoid any mishaps.
- Make sure your stump is not sitting on or near gas, water, or electric lines. Call 811 if you’re not sure. They’ll have to come out and mark them for you if there are any, so they’re not in danger. A contractor will do this for you and will contact right people to be present if there are lines near the stump.
- Set up a shield to protect the house and surrounding landscape from ejected rocks, wood chips, and root pieces. Vs. When hiring a contractor, they will have all the supplies necessary.
- Rent the stump grinder of choice for $280–$345. We recommend you rent it for the day in case the job takes longer than expected, and you might also have to rent a trailer to bring it to the house or pay extra to have it delivered. DIY could cost more than the standard fee of $200–$350 to pay someone else to do it for you. The wider the stump, the more time-consuming and labor-intensive the job.
- Some cleanup jobs can be huge, depending on whether or not you had barriers in place when grinding. Contractors will usually clean up everything after the work is done.
- Prepare to be incredibly sore the next day, and a few days after that, if you’re not in a permanent state of prime physical fitness. Or, enjoy watching someone else do the heavy labor while you watch.
How To Remove A Tree Stump
Tree stump removal is different than grinding and involves digging around the root ball, which can be 3–10 times the width of the felled tree, and lifting it out with a crane. Unless the tree is really small, you’ll need to hire professional help for this at the cost of $200–$300. The larger the tree, the larger the root system to remove. Dispose of the stump and root system carefully if it was infected with a disease or termites.
Tree stump and root killer - “Homeowners have used many methods over the years to remove tree stumps after a tree removal. Stumps have been pulled out, dug out, burned out, or have poured various chemicals on stumps to accelerate the decay of the stump. Although there are many ways to remove stumps, using a stump grinder is the fastest way to remove a tree stump.” — National Arborists 2
How long does it take to grind a tree stump?
Stump grinding can be taken care of in as few as five minutes or as many as seven hours, depending on the size of the stump, the depth you want the stump ground to, and the capabilities of the equipment used. This is why asking for hourly quotes can end up costing you more—one machine can do in ten minutes what a smaller one might take seven hours to do. Older rotting stumps will grind down much faster than young wood.
How does a stump grinder work?
A stump grinder rotates a cutting disc that chips away at the remaining wood and roots of a felled tree. It usually cuts down to a depth of 6”–12” below the topsoil, and the ground-up chips can be used as mulch elsewhere in your yard, or mixed with soil to prep it for grass seed, or removed for an additional fee.
Tree roots after stump grinding – Roots don’t need to be removed once the stump is ground down, but if you’re concerned about new growth even after grinding it down, you can cut through the roots around the stump’s base.
Tips When Hiring A Tree Stump Removal Service
- Get a detailed estimate from at least three contractors based on the height, diameter, and condition of the trees, and include the cost of stump removal and all cleanup.
- Make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.
- Check their rating on sites like the Better Business Bureau.
- Look for great reviews on HomeGuide and Google
- Ask how long the stump grinding will take.
- Ask what equipment will be used.
- Is punctual and responds quickly to email, phone calls, and text messages.
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