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How Much Does It Cost To Grind A Tree Stump?

Typical Range: $100 - $400

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Cost of Stump Grinding

Professional stump grinding prices average anywhere from $100 to $400 depending on a wide variety of factors, including girth, diameter and any hazard factors. Large tree stumps can cost anywhere from $200 to $400 to grind because of the equipment and time involved. Smaller tree stumps generally cost between $100 and $250 to grind. Here is more information to know ahead of time before calling in the professionals:

On This Page:

  1. Tree Stump Grinding Cost Factors
  2. Stump Grinder Rental Prices
  3. Advantages & Disadvantages of Tree Stump Grinding
  4. How to Save Money

Cost Factors for Tree Stump Grinding

Stump Diameter

Some companies charge based on the diameter of the stump in inches. Diameter is measured across the widest part above ground level. On average, homeowners should expect to spend roughly $3 per inch of diameter. For example, if the tree stump has a diameter of 20 inches, homeowners should expect to pay in the neighborhood of $60 for tree stump grinding. However, most companies have a minimum charge of $100, so this option would not be best for homeowners who only have a single small stump to remove.

Project Completion Time

Some companies charge based on the length of time a project takes to complete. They generally charge around $150 an hour to remove stumps. This type of pricing is best in situations where dozens or even hundreds of stumps need to be removed from a property. Most homeowners will not find it cost effective to choose a stump grinding company that charges by the hour.

Number of Tree Stumps

Tree stump companies most commonly price their projects by the stump. Just know how many stumps to remove when calling the stump company ahead of time. Tree stump grinding companies may charge a higher rate for the first stump and less for subsequent stumps, or they may charge a flat rate for a set number of stumps.

What’s Included in the Cost?

The price of professional stump grinding generally includes:

  • The cost of transporting the professional and their machines both to and from the job site
  • The cost of preparing the area for the stump removal, which may require protecting existing structures, so that they are not damaged in the process.
  • The cost of labor as well as any overhead the company has for expenses such as purchasing the machines, maintaining the vehicles and operating a company location.

There are some additional costs that are not generally included in the average rate quoted above, however. The general contractor who oversees the project is not included -- an additional 12.1 to 19.3 percent will be added to your total. The estimated cost also does not include any sales tax or permit or inspection fees.

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Stump Grinder Rental Prices

If you decide to rent a stump grinder and proceed with this as a DIY project, you can either rent it for half a day or for a whole day from a local home improvement store.

  • The average cost to rent a stump grinder for half a day is between $70 and $200.
  • If you decide to rent a stump grinder for a whole day -- because of its girth or the extent of the project -- the cost will average between $300 and $400 depending on the brand.

Some local home improvement stores that offer stump grinders to homeowners include Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menard’s. There are also manufacturers you can rent stump grinders from like SunBelt, who averages their prices at around $70 to $300 a day by the size of stump grinder -- small, medium and large.

Reasons Not to DIY

There are some potential risks that come with stump grinding as a DIY project. They include:

  • Stump grinding is labor intensive and could pose potential medical risks. In the most extreme cases, it can dismember or kill a contractor, let alone someone who isn’t experienced working with it. It can cut through a lot of objects like they’re butter, including electrical wires. You could get shocked if you aren’t careful.
  • You have to deal with removal and cleanup. You’ll have a lot of fragments and soil debris that could measure up to a car’s height. How are you going to clean that up?
  • If you’re renting a grinder and a tooth breaks, then you’re potentially liable for repairs. That’s additional money down the drain -- up to $30 per tooth. It’s a potentially dangerous and expensive hassle you probably don’t want to take on if you can avoid it.
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Advantages & Disadvantages of Tree Stump Grinding

A leftover stump in the yard can be rather unsightly. Tree stumps are also a safety hazard if left in a spot where people can trip over them, and they can make mowing a hassle. Hiring a professional tree stump grinding company is the best way for homeowners to reclaim their beautiful and functional lawn again.

On the other hand, old stumps can add character to a property, and they can be used to plant flowers or as a seat. Also, choosing to forego stump grinding reduces the chance of an unprofessional company tearing up the homeowners’ lawns or accidentally hitting a buried wire.

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How to Save Money on Stump Grinding

Look online at ratings and reviews for local stump grinding professionals and try to get quotes from four of the best in your area. Because different companies have different amounts of profit to make and different pricing, the estimates a homeowner gathers can vary substantially. You can also get some of the equipment yourself and save that way, but be warned that pros may not recommend it. They have access to equipment you don’t, and it could be higher quality. You should check with them ahead of time before making any purchases.

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