How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree Stump

Tree stumps can be unsightly and even dangerous. Removal should be a priority for homeowners, but how much does it cost to remove a tree stump? The easy part is done, the tree has been chopped down. Removing the stump left behind is a whole other story. You can’t just leave it there. It needs to be removed due to safety concerns and the enhancement of the appearance and accessibility of your property. The only thing left to ponder is just how much does it cost to remove a tree stump?

Average Cost To Remove A Tree Stump

Many factors affect the cost involved with removing a tree stump. You can avoid unpleasant surprises by learning a little about the cost and prices associated with tree stump removal. The average cost fluctuates based on accessibility, age, and overall project time. 

Typical cost range – $60 to $350 per stump removal

Average cost – $2 to $5 per inch of diameter

Best/Cheapest Cost – $75 to $150, renting, DIY

Factors contributing to total stump removal cost include:

  • The size of your stump. Larger stumps usually have more complex root systems, and tree stump removal services may charge between $100 and $200 per hour for root removal. Commercial grinders need to have attachments specifically designed to eat away at the roots, which can add time, effort, and cost to the project.
  • Geographic location affects the cost in two ways – market cost and travel time. Most professional services work for a minimum amount, usually $100 within their service area. If you live outside that area, you can expect additional travel expenses. You can also expect to pay more in large urban centers where accessibility, permitting, insurance, and overhead drives up professional stump removal fees. Rural areas tend to be cheaper, though most still have a minimum of $100 per job cost. 
  • While grinders can work their way through most trees, some professionals may demand a higher cost to grind a stump from certain tree types they find are more difficult to remove. 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, while a tree with soft bark like palms, and pine, may need less. Check with your local removal service for the exact cost to remove the stump. 

Do It Yourself Or Call In A Tree Removal Professional 

Many small but important factors can influence how much your tree removal will cost, and while the financial cost may not be hugely different, there are other things to consider. Remember that time is money. A professional will get the job done quickly and efficiently, much quicker than you could do it yourself. You may find that professional stump removal is worth every penny. 

Professional Stump Removal Prices

The national average price for professional stump removal is around $165. It takes around one hour. Professional companies may charge based on different criteria:

  • If they charge by diameter inch, you can expect to pay between $2 and $5 per inch. Most companies charge a minimum of $100. The larger the diameter, the larger the cost.
  • By total number of stumps. Many companies offer cost breaks for customers who have more than one stump removal service. You may be charged $100 to $150 for the first stump and between $30 and $50 for each additional stump. 
  • If you need a large expanse of land cleared and a huge number of stumps along with it, you can expect to pay a flat hourly rate. On average, customers are usually charged around $150 per hour. You may be charged on the average diameter of the stumps needing to be removed. If the average diameter is 12 inches and you have 200 stumps, 2400 inches need to be cleared. At $2 per inch, you will pay $4800. 
  • The soil condition can affect the cost to remove your tree stump. Rocky soil may damage some machine blades, which can increase the price by a good 50 percent.
  • Certain types of tree stumps are tougher to grind than others, so they can incur a higher cost. 
  • Stumps with minimal root systems are cheaper to remove than stumps with more extensive root systems.
  • If you want the ground-up stump to be removed as well, you will need to pay more.

DIY Tree Stump Removal Cost

The national average for removing a tree stump yourself is approximately $100, but it takes an average of three hours to get the job done. 

Home improvement stores rent out hydraulic stump grinders in half-day and full-day increments. The average cost to rent such a machine for half a day is $75 to $100, while the whole day will see you charged an average of $150 to $400.

Hydraulic tree stump grinders available for rent are generally only designed for very small stumps. Due to the rather high cost of renting such a machine, it’s usually only worthwhile if you have several stumps to remove. You’ll need a trailer hitch to get the grinder home, or you’ll have to pay extra to have it delivered. 

Ask yourself how much you value your time and how motivated you are to get the job done. Professionals may cost a little more, but the job will be done quicker and more efficiently than you can do yourself. Other considerations include things like hidden utilities and the potential for property damage.

Stump Grinder Rates

On average, professional stump grinding will cost about $200. The most popular and effective method to remove a tree stump is to have professionals come in and use a commercial grinder. It cost around $3 per diameter inch in most cases. Clearing large areas or multiple stumps will run to about $150 per hour, and will usually take one to two hours. The speed of the job depends on the expertise of the user and the quality of the stump grinder machine.

How Grinding Stumps Works

A stump grinder is equipped with large spinning blades at the front. The machine works quickly to reduce even hardwood to sawdust. They slowly grind back and forth to create mulch and sawdust from tree stumps. These machines grind stumps beneath the ground into the root system to a depth of about four inches. The blades also work away at the roots in the ground, clearing the area for a garden or lawn. 

Tree stump grind machines can be rented for a DIY job for an average cost of $190, slightly less than hiring a professional. To grind the stump yourself, you need to call the 811 dig line and follow all local codes and permitting requirements. Do not attempt anything located near utilities or when property damage is possible.

Tree Removal Without A Grinder

There are alternatives to hiring a professional with a commercial grinder, including using a chemical solution, burning, or digging the stump out. Some professionals will dig out a small tree stump by hand, but a larger tree stump has roots that are too large to make that a viable option. 

Burning Your Tree Stump

Burning your tree stump is an alternative option that will save the homeowner on costs. The costs to remove a tree stump by burning are an average of $6 to $100. These costs come from power drill rental and purchasing potassium nitrate. Bypassing the professional option and choosing to create a wood fire and burning away the wood from the tree stump is an excellent option for the homeowner that wants to save on their stump removal cost. Make sure you check with your fire department and follow all safety precautions before burning.

Chemical Rotting

The costs of chemical solutions for tree stump removal are identical to those of burning. The idea is to use chemical solutions to soften the wood to make for easier tree stump removal. Chemical solutions require the least amount of labor, but the potassium nitrate can take weeks to soften the wood before making it easy to remove a tree stump. The costs involved cover the potassium nitrate and the drill. 

Manual Stump Removal Cost

Digging Out a stump costs $50 to $350 and requires digging and cutting through the taproot and any other root system until it is loose enough to remove the tree stump. Costs are incurred for landscaping tools like shovels and axes on top of your average labor costs of $38 per hour.