The national average cost for stump grinding ranges from $160 to $250. Stump grinding costs anywhere from $75 to $1,000, while the average cost for tree stump removal can range from $60 to $350.
Many of us have lived in a home with a tree stump left behind after incomplete tree removal, and it can be such a relief to have it gone. A large stump in your front yard could be reducing your house’s curb appeal. If it’s close to the house, it could be a breeding ground for termites, and nobody wants to deal with those. It’s not always easy to hide a stump with landscaping, and small stumps can destroy a lawn mower blade. Let's look at the costs for tree stump grinding and stump removal services, as well as related services like hauling and tree removal, so you can get ready to call a pro to take care of the job.
What’s in This Cost Guide?
- Stump Grinding vs. Stump Removal
- How Much Do Stump Removal and Stump Grinding Cost?
- Hourly Rates
- Size of the Stump
- Type of Tree
- Condition of the Stump
- How to Hire a Stump Removal Professional
- Benefits of Professional Stump Removal and Stump Grinding
Stump Grinding vs. Stump Removal
Tree stump removal entails removing the entire root ball of a tree from below the soil. This process leaves a large hole in the ground and takes considerably more time and labor than stump grinding. For an old tree with a large root system or that is embedded in very hard soil, stump grinding down to ground level may be more cost-effective than removal. For stump grinding, professionals use a chipping machine to grind away the above-level tree stump. Tree stump removal and stump grinding services are available for private properties, multiunit buildings, commercial properties and office buildings. In some cases a tree stump should be removed completely instead of just ground down. Roots that are growing too close to a structure or near ground level might cause damage like cracks to your foundation, sewer pipes, and paved walkways and driveways. Also, stumps are fertile ground for future tree growth, so if you don’t want more trees growing in the same spot, you may want to remove the stump altogether. Professional stump removal services that offer tree removal may charge an extra fee for stump removal, because the job requires different equipment and often must be performed by a subcontractor.
How Much Do Stump Removal and Stump Grinding Cost?
The average cost for stump removal can range from $60 to $350, while grinding a stump down could cost $75-$1,000. The final price will depend on the stump’s size, condition, location, and condition of the soil around it.
Most home repair stores that rent power tools can also offer stump grinder rentals by the day or half-day, but think twice before you do it yourself: stump grinders are dangerous machines that are best employed by professionals.
Some companies charge a flat rate for stump grinding, especially if there are multiple stumps in one location. The more stumps to be removed at one site, the lower the average cost per additional stump. For example, a company that charges $150 for one stump may charge only $75 for each additional stump because the equipment and labor are already on hand. Hernandez Tree Service in Plano, Texas, charges $100-$150 for grinding each individual tree stump.
If you have a lot of stumps, a service could quote you an hourly rate for the service, which should be about $150 per hour. Hauling away the stump and wood chips after stump grinding will add to the cost; the average price for this service is $100-$120. The final price will depend on the stump’s size, condition, location, and condition of the soil around it.
Having the tree stump or remaining wood chips hauled away from the property will typically increase overall removal costs. Once a tree is felled, Hernandez Tree Service charges an additional $100-$120 to haul away the pieces, less for only the wood chips from a stump that’s been ground down.
Tree Removal Services
While trees contribute generously to curb appeal, they sometimes can become damaged or diseased and need to be removed. If you have doubts about any tree on your property, talk to a tree care company to get an idea of your options and what they will charge for each option offered.
Tree removal along with the stump, or multiple stumps, will cost more. The location of the tree and the tree’s health also play a role in the total cost. Hernandez Tree Service removed a hackberry tree and its stump that was damaging a home’s foundation for $1,500, including rope down, house protection, tree quartering and stacking, and stump removal.
Check state and local laws before removing a whole tree. Many laws apply to tree removal, especially if the tree is near an existing home or power lines. A pro will be able to do the job while following all applicable laws and safety procedures.
Size of the Stump
Size is an important factor in the cost of stump removal because a large stump will have an equally large root system. The stump diameter (measured at the widest point), soil conditions and other factors may also affect the overall cost. For stump grinding, size is important because it affects how much time the project will take. Most tree stump removal professionals provide quotes for both stump removal and stump grinding based on the diameter of the tree. Tree roots are measured at their widest points to gauge the size of the stump below the surface.
Some stump removal service companies’ cost per inch includes cleanup costs, while other companies charge additional fees to clean up the site. Stump Pros in Canton, Massachusetts, offers tree stump grinding services starting at $4 per inch, which includes blow-off services for the remaining wood chips.
Type of Tree
The average cost of stump removal also depends on the kind of tree the stump comes from. The stump of a hardwood tree like oak, hickory, elm, birch, or aspen will be very strong and tough, and you may be charged a premium for its removal.
Condition of the Stump
The condition of the stump can affect how difficult stump removal is, and how a stump grinding service might go about the work. Rotting or old tree stumps are easier to grind down and remove, so will often cost less to remove than a healthy tree stump.
You can make the stump easier to remove by burning the stump, if it’s far enough away from your house to burn safely, or by pouring chemical softeners like potassium nitrate on it. If you are not in a hurry, you can pre-rot the tree stump by drilling holes into it and filling them with water, then letting the stump break down over time. Talk with your tree care company about how to prepare the stump for removal before you start shopping for potassium nitrate. The pros can give you an idea of which steps might be helpful or help reduce stump removal cost.
Location, accessibility, availability, rocky soil, and other factors may affect total cost of your project. Stumps that are in concrete, near a home’s foundation, on rocky soil, or blocked by other obstructions may cost more for the added time and tools necessary to remove them. If the stump is in hard soil, you can try to loosen the soil around the roots by hosing it down it for a day or two before the removal crew comes.
If you live in a remote area, you might also be charged for travel and/or drive time. Be sure to ask, because if a service wants to charge you by the mile plus an hourly rate for every worker, that could get expensive.
How to Hire a Stump Removal Professional
Start by asking the tree service company you find for a free estimate for tree stump removal services. Once you chat with a pro about what services you need, they can give you a better idea of average cost.
- Compare quotes: It’s helpful to get quotes from two or three companies to get an idea of what each will charge and why. You can let cost guide you in your final choice, but be sure you're getting all the services you need and are comfortable with their ability to do the work.
- Confirm that they’re insured: Worker injuries can cost the property owner more money in the long run than the money saved upfront with a company that’s not insured.
- Make sure the stump is easy to reach: To reduce costs for worker time, prepare the area around the stump, or multiple stumps, so that the crew can easily and quickly access it and start working.
Benefits of Professional Stump Removal and Stump Grinding
While it's true you could try to DIY this one, and stump grinder rentals may be available, stump removal is no easy task. It’s always a good idea to hire a pro for tree services like this due to the equipment and skills required for stump removal; besides, they’re trained and insured for this work. Why not start planning what you’ll do with the yard once the stump removal is complete instead?