The national average cost of stump grinding ranges from $160-$250, while the average stump removal cost ranges from $60-$350.
|Stump grinding cost||$160-$250|
|Stump removal cost||$60-$350|
Let's look at the costs of stump grinding and removal services (as well as related services like hauling and tree trimming), so you'll be ready to contact stump grinding services near you for personalized estimates.
What’s in this cost guide?
- Tree stump removal cost
- Stump grinding cost factors
- Stump grinding vs. stump removal
- Hourly vs. flat rates
- Tree stump hauling prices
- Other tree care services
- How to prepare for stump grinding
- Stump grinding benefits
- DIY vs. hiring a pro
- How to hire a stump grinding pro
- Find tree stump grinding services near you
When you request estimates for the cost of stump grinding (and stump removal), keep these factors in mind. Many pros will consider the following when providing a quote for their services:
Stump size and diameter
Your stump's size is important because it affects how much time the grinding it will take. Size is also 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.
Most tree stump grinding and removal professionals provide quotes for both services based on the tree's diameter. And tree roots are measured at their widest points to gauge the size of the stump below the surface.
The stump's condition 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 they will often cost less to remove than a healthy tree stump.
Tree stump removal costs also depend 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 grinding and removal.
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.
For example, 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.
Some stump removal service companies’ cost per inch includes clean-up 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.
If you live in a remote area, you might also be charged for travel and/or drive time. Be sure to ask your pro. If a service wants to charge you by the mile plus an hourly rate for every worker, that could get expensive.
Some companies charge a flat rate for stump grinding, especially if there are multiple stumps in one location. The more stumps that need to be removed, 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 many stumps, a service might quote you an hourly rate for the service, which may 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 soil condition.
So, what's the difference between stump grinding and stump removal, you ask? Here's what you need to know:
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. When grinding a stump, professionals use a chipping machine to grind away the above-level tree stump.
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.
When to grind vs. remove a stump
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.
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.
Tree stump removal and stump grinding services are available for private properties, multiunit buildings, commercial properties and office buildings.
Having the tree stump or remaining wood chips hauled away from the property will typically increase the overall stump 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.
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. For example, contact a tree trimming service and arborist to find out if your tree can be saved.
Related content: How much does it cost to trim a tree?
Stump removal and grinding benefits
Here are a few reasons why it's worth grinding your stump and removing it:
- Boost curb appeal. A large stump in your front yard could be reducing your house’s curb appeal.
- Avoid pests. If the tree stump close to the house, it could be a breeding ground for termites, and nobody wants to deal with those.
- Protect your lawn mower. It’s not always easy to hide a stump with landscaping, and small stumps can destroy a lawn mower's blades — and frequently repairing your mower can get pricey.
If it’s far enough away from your house to burn safe, you can make the stump easier to remove by burning it or pouring chemical softeners (like potassium nitrate) on it.
If you're 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. However, talk with your pro about how to prepare the stump for removal before you start shopping for potassium nitrate.
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. The pros can give you more tips to help you save money.
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 this project yourself — stump grinders are dangerous machines that are best employed by professionals.
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. Plus, pros are trained and insured for this work. Why not start planning what you’ll do with the yard once the stump removal is complete instead?
Related content: When to skip DIY and hire a pro instead.
Start by contacting nearby professionals. Once you chat with a few pros about the grinding and removal services you need, they can give you a better idea of how much you'll pay.
Next, confirm that the pro you want to hire is insured. Worker injuries can cost property owners more money in the long run than the money saved up front with a company that’s not insured.
Finally, check your 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 should be able to do the job while following all applicable laws and safety procedures.
Get the stubborn stump out of your yard, and instantly boost your home's curb appeal. Start searching for local stump grinding services on Thumbtack today.