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How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree Stump?

Typical Range: $168 - $504

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Tree Stump Removal Cost

It will cost between $168 and $504 with a national average of $329 to remove a stump. Cost vary from $2 to $5 per diameter inch with a minimum cost around $100. Prices fluctuate with size, accessibility and your location. Stump removal is usually best left to professionals due to buried utilities and the potential for property damage.

average cost to remove a tree stump is $2 to $5 per diameter inch.

Tree stumps can be unsightly and even dangerous. Removal should be a priority for homeowners. This guide provides information on the importance of stump, small trunk and root removal. It will also recap the various costs associated with the process, how grinding works, and the several factors that can increase or decrease the total expense.

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National Average $329
Typical Range $168 - $504
Low End - High End $85 - $1,100

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 10,928 HomeAdvisor members in .

Average Removal Prices Per Stump or Inch

Professionals price removal both per stump and by the diameter in inches. Removal usually takes about an hour and most companies charge a minimum around $100. You'll spend about $2 to $5 per diameter inch. Per stump charges range anywhere from $60 to $350 or more depending on location and size. Always measure at the widest point at ground (grade) level.

Average prices fluctuate based on accessibility, age and overall project time. Multiple stumps usually get a price break with the initial one costing between $100 and $150 and each additional one running about $50 each.

Stump Grinding Rates

On average, professional stump grinding costs about $200. The most popular and effective removal method is to have professionals come in and use a commercial grinder. It costs about $3 per diameter inch in most cases. Clearing large areas or multiple stumps will run about $150 an hour.

The actual process of grinding when equipped with a commercial grinder can be a very short task, usually about 1 to 2 hours. However, the speed of the job depends on the expertise of the user and the quality of the machine.

Stump Grinding Cost Factors

There are multiple factors that affect the price of grinding including size, time, and quantity.

Calculate Stump Grinding Cost
FactorAverage CostDetails
Size$3 per inchMeasured in tree diameter
Time$150 per hourLength depends on accessibility & tree type
Quantity$150 + $50 per stumpFirst one = $150. Each additional = $30 - $50 each
Root System$150 per hourRoot removal is an additional cost
Cleanup and Mulch Removal$2 per inchNot always included in the project. Varies depending on value of sawdust and regional disposal fees.

How Grinding Works

Equipped with large spinning blades at the front, these machines quickly reduce even hardwood to sawdust. They slowly grind back and forth to create mulch and sawdust. They grind below the ground to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. The blades also work away at the roots in the ground, clearing the area for a garden or lawn.

Renting a Grinder for a DIY Project

Stump grinder rental prices run an average of $190, slightly less than hiring a professional. This can be a DIY project so long as the homeowner calls the 811 dig line and follows all local codes and permitting requirements. Don't attempt to remove anything located near utilities or when property damage is possible.

Stump Grinder Rental Rates
13 hp$150$610
11-14 hp$300$925
20-29 hp$250$750
25 hp$365$1,400
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Cost Estimates for Removing Without a Grinder

While hiring a professional with a commercial grinder, it also tends to be the most expensive. There are alternatives, and these include using a chemical solution, burning or digging it out. Some professionals will dig out small ones by hand, but larger ones have roots that are too large to make this a viable option.


Burning a tree stump costs $6 to $100. Those costs come from power drill rental and purchasing potassium nitrate such as Spectracide Stump Remover Granules. Homeowners who want to save money and skip the professional option can choose to create a wood fire and burn away the wood. Be sure to check with your fire department and follow all safety precautions before burning.

Chemical Rotting

Chemical solutions require the least amount of labor, but the potassium nitrate can take weeks to soften the wood before making it easy enough to remove. Prices for rotting are identical to burning at $6 to $100 - requiring potassium nitrate and a drill.

Manual Removal

Digging out a stump costs $50 to $350 and requires digging and cutting through the tap root and any other roots until it is loose. Costs come from landscaping tools like shovels and axes on top of average labor costs of $38 per hour.

Cost Factors

The biggest factor that will influence the project budget is whether homeowners hire a professional to tackle the job or try to do it themselves. While the average price of professional services is similar across the country, size, location, tree type, root systems, and clean up all affect cost.

Small Shrubs vs. Large Stumps

Size matters. Since most removal services charge between $2 and $5 per diameter inch, the larger the stump the higher the price. Larger ones usually have more complex root systems. Removal services may charge between $100 to $200 per hour for root removal.

Geographic Location

Location affects pricing in two ways: market costs and travel time. Most professional services work for a minimum amount, usually $100 within their service area. If you live outside the service area, expect additional travel expenses of at least the federal travel rate of $0.55 per mile.

The market you live in will also affect pricing. Expect to pay more in large urban centers where accessibility, permitting, insurance and overhead drives up professional fees. Rural areas tend to be cheaper, though most still have a minimum of $100 per job.

Type of Tree

Most professionals charge per diameter inch or per stump regardless of the tree type. The type generally won't affect pricing much - grinders can eat through most trees at the same rate. However, some professionals may charge more for certain tree types they find are more difficult to remove. Check with your local removal service for exact pricing. The trunk and roots of many dense hardwood trees like aspen, birch, elm, hickory and oak might require more time for a saw to eat through. Thin trees with soft bark like palms and pine may be less.

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Root Balls & Systems

The costs vary as much as the root systems do, but you can expect to pay in the range of $100 to $200 per hour for root removal. Older trees with sprawling root systems are harder to remove. Commercial grinders need to have attachments specifically designed to eat away at the roots, which can add on time and effort to the project.

Soil Condition

Rocky soil can damage some machine blades. Contractors tend to take more time in preparation and removal in rocky soil. This can increase costs 50% or more. However, pricing generally reflects the dominant soil type in any given region. So, if you live in an area with mostly rocky terrain, local professionals have already taken this into account with their pricing.

Clean-up and Preparation

Hiring a professional to remove a tree stump may not include many of the steps that come before and after the actual grinding. A professional will need to cut any remaining trunk above ground to ground level before grinding, this is often free but can incur additional charges. After grinding, there may be piles of unsightly sawdust. Professional sawdust removal runs about $2 per diameter inch.

Whole Tree or Trunk Removal

Total tree removal costs an average of $650 and can be as high as $1,500 or more. Tree removal costs don't include removing the stump. Sometimes, partial trunks remain. Partial tree removal runs on the lower side of the range, usually between $150 and $600.

Reasons to Remove

Unlike trees, which can pose a hazard to structures or become fire hazards, stumps can appear relatively innocuous. However, there are several important reasons for removal.

  • When grass and shrubs hide them, they present a hazard to people and lawn mowers.
  • It can reduce a property's curb appeal
  • They attract insects like termites, ants and boring beetles
  • New tree sprouts can grow through sucker roots near the surface. Removal prevents these roots from creating new trees or damaging plumbing, which can cause thousands in repairs.

DIY vs. Hiring a Removal Service Near You

Grinding is labor intensive. On top of the time spent, the grinder rental costs are nearly as much as hiring a tree service. Overall, you only save about $100 to $200 removing one yourself. If total removal isn't an option, you can still save some money by prepping the area for a professional.

Older tree stumps that have vines or weeds growing on them can be hard to access, so homeowners should do their best to clear the area of overgrowth before professionals begin. This will speed up the process and make it easier to see the diameter.

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