How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree Stump?
$161 – $355
The cost to remove a tree stump is $2 to $4 per inch of diameter or around $60 to $300 per stump depending on its size. However, many tree stump removal companies charge a minimum fee of $100. Additional charges may apply if the stump is in a hard-to-reach area. Get free estimates from stump removal companies near you.
Tree Stump Removal Cost
Tree stump removal costs between $161 to $355 on average with most homeowners spending about $283. The cost to remove a tree stump is $2 to $4 per inch of diameter, or around $60 to $300 per stump depending on its size.
The cost to grind a stump ranges from $100 to $350 for the first stump and $30 to $50 per stump after that. However, many tree stump removal companies charge a minimum of $100. Additional charges may apply if the stump is in a hard-to-reach area.
|National Average Cost||$283|
|Average Range||$161 to $355|
Table Of Contents
Stump Removal Prices Per Stump or Inch
The average cost to remove tree stumps is between $2 to $4 per inch of diameter. On a per stump basis, expect to spend $60 to $300 or more depending on its size. A stump that is 18” in diameter will cost about $60 to remove. However, many tree stump removal companies charge a minimum of $100. Additional charges may apply if the stump is in a hard-to-reach area.
If you have cut down some trees yourself or had a tree removal service take down dead or dying trees, and you didn’t have stump removal included in the services you paid for, the stumps may start to grow shoots again, giving you a rather odd-looking bush and making mowing difficult.
Stump Grinding Rates
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. On a per diameter basis, it costs $2 to $3 per inch of the stump.
The main difference between tree stump removal and stump grinding is that with removal, whatever is left of the tree is taken from the ground. With grinding, a machine will shred the majority of the tree stump down a few inches below ground level. Then it will be covered, and whatever remains with the roots will be left to decay in the ground.
|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 Factors
Homeowners have reported stump grinding costs ranging from $75 to $1,000 depending on the size of the stump, but most homeowners end up paying somewhere between $100 and $350 unless they have many stumps that need removing and the tree service company offers a discount for multiple stumps. 
- Is the stump accessible? A stump grinder is very heavy and is usually on a trailer of some kind, allowing you to wheel it right up to the stump.
- Are there a lot of rocks and debris around the stump? You can decrease the cost by removing the rocks and debris yourself, as well as clearing the path that leads to the stump. Rocks can damage the equipment, which will end up delaying the job and costing more money.
- How deep do you want the stump ground? The standard depth is 4” below ground because of the size of the blade, but it can be ground deeper.
- Do you want or need the roots to be removed? If you want the roots removed because you plan on planting another tree in the same location, that is not included in stump grinding, and there will be an additional charge.
How Grinding Works
A large electric or gas grinder is used to chew up the stump, creating lots of sawdust and mulch. The grinder has a wheel-type blade, rimmed with sharp teeth. Grind the stump until you are 4” below ground level. The roots should (but not always) die off on their own. Once the grinding is finished, to prepare the area to return to normal, it is best to fill the hole with soil and plant grass seed over it.
Stump Grinder Rental Cost
For homeowners who want to do the work rather than hire a professional, you can rent a stump grinder for around $200 for a half day or between $280 and $310 for a full day. 
|Rental Time||Average Cost|
In addition to this cost, unless the rental company can organize delivery, you must have or rent a trailer heavy enough to pull 1,000 pounds to transport the grinder to the location where the stumps are located.
Grinding out a stump yourself is backbreaking work and will also require a good chainsaw, an ax, a rake, and a shovel. You’ll also need safety equipment such as safety glasses, hearing protection, leather gloves, good sturdy boots, and long pants. This job entails working with aggressive, wood-chewing equipment, and it can be quite dangerous.
Keep in mind that the typical rental stump grinder may not be powerful enough for a large stump because they are not commercial grade. A 24” stump will cost $90 to $150 to be removed, so it might be more economical and easier to have a professional remove it.  Stumps left behind from huge trees can measure 50”–60” from base edge to base edge or more.
Stump Removal Cost Estimates By Type
You don’t need to use a grinder to remove a stump. They can be removed by burning, chopping it out with an ax, or with a chemical rotting process. Grinding is simply the fastest way to do it, and if you want results now, it is the best way to obtain those results. Chopping takes some hard work; burning and rotting both take time—up to months. Grinding is also the most expensive option, whether you hire someone to do it or rent the equipment to DIY.
Stumps can be removed chemically, and hiring a professional will generally cost around $100 per stump, with discounts available for multiple stumps. The process will typically take 4 to 6 weeks. If you want to do it yourself, it costs $7.50 for the chemicals to do it.  Drill holes in the stump and pour in the granules. Follow that with hot water and the stump will disintegrate and start to become porous over time, and it can be easily burned or chopped out.
When hiring professionals to come to your property, it is common to see a minimum call out fee of $250 to take care of the first stump and around $40 for each additional stump after that. If you want to take care of it yourself, a tree stump can be burned following the same method as for chemical rotting.
Once you fill the drilled holes with the nitrogen-rich granules, you’ll set the stump on fire. The nitrogen will accelerate the burning process. It does need to be watched to prevent flying embers. It can be helpful to cover the stump with a galvanized steel sheet to protect surrounding landscaping or structures. Sometimes burning may be the follow-up step to the chemical treatment, and once it has been thoroughly burned, you can remove the ash and fill in the hole with soil and plant new grass.
Tree Root System Removal
Root system removal will cost $135–$150 per hour, as the root ball of the tree must be dug out with excavation equipment.
Depending on the size of the stump, this could be an all-day project. Hiring to have it done starts at $300 and goes up from there. Manual tree stump removal will require a good chainsaw, ax, and shovel. First, you’ll use the chainsaw to cut the tree stump as low to the ground as you can. Then chop out the wood, pulling out the wood and roots as you go along.
Tree Stump Removal Cost Factors
Some things that affect the cost of stump removal from your tree service company are
- How big is the stump? – The bigger it is, the more it will cost. Smaller stumps on level ground will cost less to remove than larger stumps on rocky terrain.
- What kind of tree was it? – Different species of tree stumps are harder to remove than other types. Hardwood trees such as aspen, birch, elm, hickory, and, oak will take longer. Softer wood trees such as pine—not as long.
- Are the roots deep and long? – While some trees have very long roots, others have short root systems, so they will cost less to remove.
- How old is the stump? – Trees that were just cut down are considered wet wood, still “alive.” It likely won’t burn well and will be more difficult to chop out. If the stump has been in your yard forever, it’s dry and will burn quickly. The drier stump will also be easier to grind or chop out. Older trees can be rotted to a certain extent, and they will be easier to remove.
- Where is the stump located? – If it’s on a hill with rocky or treacherous terrain, it will cost more than if it was in a smooth field.
- What do you want to be done with the stump remains? – If you can haul away the stump parts, it will cost less than having the stump removal company doing it.
- How many stumps are there? – Sometimes you can pay full price for the first stump and then receive a discount on subsequent stumps. As long as the company is there with the equipment, they can pass on some savings to you.
Small Stumps vs. Large Stumps
Large stumps take longer to remove than small stumps. If you have a field of small stumps to remove, the stump removal company could charge by the hour rather than by the stump. The hourly cost for removing stumps is $88–$175.
How To Measure Diameter of a Tree Stump
The correct way to measure a stump includes taking into account the base of the stump (not the cut surface). You’ll measure from one edge of the base, up and over the stump and down again, to the opposite edge of the base. That is the size of the stump.
Much of the cost will depend on where you live and the cost of living, and the prices charged by local companies. Some areas are more expensive to live in than other areas of the country, so you must always take into account the area prices for professional work.
Type of Tree
Hardwood tree stumps—aspen, birch, elm, hickory and oak—will take longer to remove, whether by grinding or manual removal, than stumps left from softer wood trees.
Root Balls and Systems
Some root balls can extend 3’–10’ beyond the stump, and digging them out can be a big task. You’ll pay an hourly rate of $88–$175 for someone to dig out the root ball.
If the soil is rocky, the stump removal professional runs the risk of dulling or damaging the wheel of the stump grinder, so you’ll pay extra for having a stump removed from rocky terrain. This terrain also makes it harder to dig into it, and harder to wheel up the grinder.
Clean-up and Preparation
Clean-up and preparation is an area where you can save money. If you clear the area around the stump of rocks and debris, it will help out your contractor immensely, and when you save them time, you will save yourself money on your stump removal project. If you can haul away the sawdust and mulch, that will save you about $2–$3 per inch (stump measurement).  It might be more expensive to hire a professional, but if you do part of the work, it might become more affordable.
Whole Tree or Trunk Removal
It will cost about $150 to $1,500 to remove a tree depending mostly on its height and trunk diameter.
Reasons to Remove a Tree
- The tree is interfering with your home or the electrical lines. Sometimes just a few branches may need clipping, but if the tree is older and interfering, it should be cut down.
- If the tree is diseased, it should be cut down and removed to prevent the spread of disease to the other trees and garden plants.
- The tree roots are interfering with plumbing or foundations. Large repair bills tend to come with this kind of damage from tree roots. Sometimes the tree needs to go.
- If you want another tree planted in the same location.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Better To Grind A Stump Or Remove It?
It’s faster to grind it. Other methods can take days to months to get the stump out. No one way is better than another; it just depends on what you want and when you want it. The main difference is that if you're going to plant another three in the same place, you will need to remove the stump. If you have no plans for another tree, then you can grind the stump.
How Do You Remove A Tree Stump Yourself?
Depending on what equipment you may already have, or are willing to rent or purchase, you could use a grinder, dig it out of the ground (along with the roots if you are planning on planting another tree at that location), use chemicals, or burn it.
DIY vs. Hiring A Tree Stump Removal Service
The cost to rent a grinder is $100 to $300 a day. You’ll need to be able to transport the grinder to the stump site or pay an extra fee to have it delivered.
If you don’t have the right tools, you’ll need to purchase a chainsaw, ax, shovel, and all the safety equipment (safety glasses, hearing protection, sturdy work boots, long pants, leather gloves, and a shirt with long sleeves).
Your total expenses for purchasing all this equipment could total between $350 and $500 depending on the quality of materials you buy. You could save some money by renting some of the equipment and purchasing the rest, or if you only need a few trees removed, and don’t foresee the need for any future stump removal, it's more economical to hire a tree stump removal service.
Limitations of Removing A Stump Yourself
Removing a tree stump is back-breaking work, especially if you can’t get the right equipment. Yes, you can rent a stump grinder, but it may not have the power you need. You could end up working on a stump for hours when the professional could have it done in a much shorter time. Your time is valuable too.
And the last thing to consider is that it is dangerous work. Sometimes it’s just better to pay the professionals to do the job.
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