Cost Range for Tree Stump Removal
The cost range for stump grinding or completely digging up a tree stump in your yard is $85 – $675. DIY stump removal will cost around $85 per day to rent a stump grinder from a local tool rental company, or $325 per day to rent a backhoe and trailer to dig it up yourself. If you hire a local pro, expect to pay between $75 – $200 for each stump they grind. For larger stumps that you want completely removed and dug up, expect to pay between $400 – $800 for a backhoe operator to come to your home and dig up, then dispose of the tree stump.
The average cost to have a stump removed with a stump grinding machine is around $135 for a 12-18″ ground level tree stump. If the stump needs to be shortened, is a hardwood, or wider than 18″, expect to pay a bit more. DIY stump removal requires the rental of a stump grinding machine, which run around $85/day.
Overview of Tree Stump Removal
Tree stumps detract from the beauty of a well-kept yard and are a nuisance to mow around. As they decompose, they attract ants and other wood eating insects to your yard, as well as being an injury risk that creates liability for homeowners. Once a tree is down, grinding the stump to several inches below grade, filling the space with topsoil and planting grass is the easiest way to remedy the problem.
This page of Costimates provides stump grinding costs for renting a grinder and doing it yourself, as well as the cost of hiring a professional to either grind your stump down or dig it up and dispose of it completely. This page, along with several other related tree removal cost estimates shown below, allow you to compare how much to grind a stump with the cost of digging it out entirely. If you have trees you’re planning to take down, reading the tree removal cost page below will prove helpful too.
Stump Grinding Cost Factors
- Method of Stump Removal – Digging up a tree stump with a backhoe and disposing of it at the local landfill is going to cost considerably more than having the stump ground down to ground level.
- Who Does the Work – DIY stump grinding with a rented grinder saves money vs. hiring a pro but involves an investment in time and hard work. It’s noisy work too and potentially dangerous.
- The Type of Tree – Professional stump grinding costs are higher for hardwood than for softwoods because hardwood takes longer to grind and is harder on the equipment.
- The Size of the Stump – Most tree services estimate how much to grind a stump based on its diameter, which includes not just the tree trunk but all exposed roots. A general rule is $3.50-$5.50 per inch of diameter at ground level plus additional cost based on how large the exposed root system is. A minimum fee is charged for small stumps to cover time and travel expenses.
- Height of the Stump – Most grinders can handle stumps up to 12” to 16” tall. Taller stumps need to be reduced in height using a chain saw, and that will incur additional cost.
- The Number of Stumps – Pro stump grinding cost per stump is usually lower for multiple stumps.
- Your Location – Professional stump grinders consider the distance to your home when determining stump grinding cost estimates, and cost rises with distance.
- Cleanup – Cleaning up the saw dust and chips might be an extra cost or included in stump grinding estimates.
Stump Grinder Rental and Other Costs
If you’re going to do the work yourself, here are your supply costs:
- $90-$150 | Half-day to full day stump grinder rental
- $500-$600 | Weekly stump grinder rental
- $350 – $600 | Backhoe and trailer rental to dig up the stump and remove it completely.
If you have a heavily wooded property and have 40 or more stumps to grind, you may considering buying a machine yourself to save money in the long run. If you buy your own stump grinder, expect to pay upwards of $5,000, as well as high maintenance costs.
The time required for pros to do the work is considered below. Add 25-50% to those totals if you don’t have experience running a grinder because it takes time to become efficient.
You will also need a shovel or hoe to expose roots and a rake and tarp to clean up debris after grinding. These items are available for $5-$20 if you don’t have them. Eye protection ($8-$15), hearing protection ($5-$35) and protective gloves (up to $45) should be worn.
Permits, Inspection, and Related Costs
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 | A permit is not required for stump removal, though one might be needed if you’re felling a large tree before grinding its stump.
Prevent utility damage and cost: While you don’t need a permit, you might want to have the location of underground utilities marked, especially if removing long lateral roots. In most communities, your local utility company will mark locations at no cost. Call 811 or your utility company to take advantage of this free service. Most areas require 72-hour notice, and marking is valid for 21 days.
Stump Grinding Labor Cost and Time to Complete
Taking the cost factors listed above into consideration, here are estimated stump grinding costs for common types of work.
- $75-$125 | Minimum fee to grind a few small stumps or a single stump up to about 18”
- $175-$325 | Cost to grind 3-5 small or medium stumps or single large stumps 18” to 36” plus surface roots
- $300-$600 | Cost to grind two stumps 18” to 36” or single very large stumps and surface roots
Stump grinding costs continue to rise as the number and diameter of the stumps go up.
Here are typical timeframes for professional stump grinding:
- 2-3 Hours | Removing turf and dirt from around the stump, grinding stumps up to 30” plus grinding roots and cleaning up debris
- 3-5 Hours | Removing turf and dirt from around the stump, grinding stumps up to 48” plus grinding roots and cleaning up debris
- 5-8 Hours | Grinding two or three stumps 30” to 48” including all related preparation and cleanup
Removing the tree stumps in your yard will immediately make a difference in the usable area you have to enjoy. Take a look through these other tree removal and landscaping projects at Costimates.
Are You a Stump Grinding or Removal Pro?
If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.
DIY or Hire a Pro to Remove Stumps
Renting a stump grinder and removing your own is definitely a DIY project for the right person. I’ve gone many ways on this in the past and if you aren’t comfortable handling a powerful, jumpy piece of power equipment, it may be best left to the pros. I had 3, approximately 24 inch stumps removed near our driveway 2 years ago, and it cost $385, without cleanup. Next time, I’ll call them back to do it again since it’s much easier and faster than diy!
- Equipment rental is affordable, but plan to take a little beating and use muscles you forgot about. You’ll also need a truck or trailer to move it around, and it’s not a light piece of equipment.
- Make sure you have a helper, tools and proper safety equipment on hand.
- To save money, have them come in and remove several stumps at the same time if you can, or talk to neighbors and see if they need stump removal also.
Compare Costs from Leading Resources
- LawnStarter: $175 - $516, Stump Removal
- HomeGuide: $160 - $355, Per Stump
- HomeAdvisor: $170 - $525, Typical Range
- Fixr: $200 - $700, National Average
- Reliable Tree care of Utah: $300, Per Stump
- Yelp: $350, Average Cost