Pricing Guide: How Much Does Stump Grinding Cost?

Stump grinding prices range from $158 to $450, with most homeowners paying an average cost of $313.

You finally had that ailing oak tree cut down –– only now its old stump makes your landscape stick out like a sore thumb. How much is grinding down that stump going to cost you?

On average, stump grinding prices range between $158 and $450, with most homeowners paying $313. An enormous stump could have you writing a check as high as $533. 

Several factors can affect the overall price, including stump size, project completion time, and stump type. And while you may want to turn to DIY stump grinding methods to save a few pennies, it might prove cheaper to hire a professional in some cases. 

How Much Does Stump Grinding Cost?

  • National Average Cost: $313
  • Typical Price Range: $158 to $450
  • Extreme Low End: $158
  • Extreme High End: $533

These national averages should help you estimate how much grinding down your tree stump will cost you. Remember that factors like soil condition, stump quantity, and hourly rates will affect your final bill.

This pricing guide should help you estimate how much you can expect to pay for stump grinding.

Cost Estimator by Stump Size

Some tree service companies charge for stump grinding based on the diameter of the stump. The average rate ranges from $2 to $3.50 per inch. 

If your tree service company charges $3 per inch, and you have a 20-inch stump to grind, that would amount to approximately $60. However, most professionals have a minimum charge of $100 to cover travel costs and other expenses. 

Pro Tip: To get an accurate measurement of a stump’s diameter, measure the stump from one side to the other at its widest point. The widest point is typically at ground level and not necessarily on top.

Other Factors That Affect Cost

While the size of the stump often plays a large role in your final bill, there are plenty of other factors that can affect the cost. The number of stumps you need to grind, the time it takes to complete the project, and debris removal all can run up the price. 

Stump Type

Looking straight down on a tree stump
Photo Credit: Aah-Yeah / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Hardwoods like elm or hickory are usually more dense than softwoods like palm and pine, making them harder to grind. 

Some tree care experts may charge a flat stump grinding fee per inch, regardless of the wood type. Other arborists may increase their rates if they find a particular stump type tough to grind. 

If your stumps are dense hardwoods and the hired professional charges by the hour, costs will rise if the difficult stump type increases work time. 

Quantity 

Large pile of cut logs one or more tress
Photo Credit: Pamela Carls / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Most tree care companies offer a reduced rate if you have more than one stump to grind. They’ll typically charge full price for the first stump and then an average of $35 to $63 per additional stump

Have a large piece of land overflowing with tree stumps that need grinding? Hiring a professional who charges by the hour instead of per stump may be the most affordable option. On average, tree care professionals will charge $150 per hour for stump grinding. 

If you only need to grind a few stumps, an hourly pay rate may not be ideal. 

Completion Time

Complicated tree stump with lots of knots and bulges
Photo Credit: Forever 27 / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Complex stump grinding projects may increase the work time. Factor’s like the stump’s location, topography, or the soil’s condition may affect the professional’s ability to work within the expected time frame. Some professionals may charge their hourly rate when circumstances like these delay their work. 

Terrain

Tree stump with tree branches and the rest of the tree cut down next to it
Photo Credit: Keith Hall / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Don’t be surprised if your terrain runs up the bill. Why? Because rocks, slopes, and inclines can make a stump grinding job difficult. 

If your soil condition is rocky, professionals risk damaging or dulling their equipment as they grind your stump or stumps. Some professional stump grinders may charge an additional fee if the soil type poses a risk to their equipment. 

As mentioned previously, challenging topography can delay a tree professional’s work, causing them to charge their average hourly rate of $150 per hour. Inclines, slopes, and tough accessibility all can make stump grinding a longer job. 

Debris Removal

Truck bed full of mulch
Photo Credit: Ben Schumin / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

After the stump has been ground, the depression left in the earth is full of mulch. You may wish to leave the mulch there to keep the hole filled, or you may want to add the mulch to your flower bed or garden. 

If you want the mulch removed, that’s going to cost you extra. Most tree care companies do not include debris removal services with stump grinding.

Debris removal costs typically range from $2 to $4 per inch of the stump. Some companies may charge a flat rate for debris removal, regardless of the stump’s size. 

Extra Services

Is your landscape in need of a makeover? Maybe it needs more than stump grinding to look its best.

Whether your tree branches need a trim or a sick tree is threatening your healthy trees, tacking on additional projects can save you money.

Here’s why: If a tree care service is already in your yard grinding a stump, it’s cheaper to add projects than to call the pro back or hire another service to tackle additional jobs.  

Root Removal

Industrial sized stump grinder that ground a stump into mulch
Photo Credit: Riggwelter / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Unsightly roots can be a nuisance. They can be tripping hazards and even get in the way of future landscaping projects.

Stump grinding does not include root removal. If you have requested to have your stump ground but also want the roots removed, that’s going to cost you extra. Professionals typically charge an hourly rate for root removal ranging from $118 to $175 an hour

Keep in mind that tree stump removal includes the cost of root removal and is a different service from stump grinding. Stump removal pulls the whole trunk out from the ground along with the root system. 

If you know you’d like to have the roots removed, you may want to consider stump removal instead of stump grinding. You can expect to pay between $175 to $516 for stump removal, with most homeowners paying around $326. 

Tree Removal

Tree freshly cut down with the chainsaw sitting on the stump
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Cutting down a tree is no light task and is best left to the professionals. Most companies do not bundle stump grinding with tree removal. If you have a tree removed and want its stump ground, expect to pay for separate services. 

Most homeowners pay between $385 to $1,070 for tree removal. For an extensive tree removal project, expect to pay closer to $2,000. 

Tree Trimming

Worker high up in a tree and using a chainsaw to trim off a branch
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Trees are some of the most eye-catching features in the landscape. Trimming back hazardous or unattractive branches is just what your lawn needs for that extra dose of curb appeal.

Depending on the size of the tree, tree trimming typically costs between $315 and $700. 

Tree Transplanting

Group of workers transplanting a large tree with the full root system
Photo Credit: Grzontan / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Sometimes a tree isn’t in the right spot to make your landscape shine. A small tree transplanting project can cost as low as $175, while a high-end relocation project can cost $800 or more.   

Cost of DIY Stump Grinding

DIY stump grinding can be an affordable option for homeowners who have multiple stumps to grind. If you have only one stump to grind or don’t already own the necessary safety equipment, it may be cheaper to hire a professional. 

For this DIY project, you’re going to need a stump grinder. You also will need safety gear and a chainsaw to cut the stump down to ground level. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDEDAVERAGE COST
Safety glasses$13
Work gloves$14
Hearing protection$25
Chainsaw chaps$71
Steel toe work boots$100
Chainsaw$150
TOTAL$373

Renting a Stump Grinder

Worker using an orange stump grinder on a stump and logs
Photo Credit: Charles & Hudson / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Homeowners can rent a stump grinder from a local home improvement store for a half-day, a whole day, or a week.

Pro Tip: Rent a stump grinder for a full day instead of a half-day. This way, if you run into any stump grinding problems that delay your work, you won’t be pressed for time. 

Renting a stump grinder typically costs between $190 and $380 per day. 

DIY Cost vs. Professional Stump Grinding Cost

Industrial sized wood chipper
Photo Credit: Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

In some cases, calling in a professional can be cheaper than renting a stump grinder and doing the project yourself. 

Most homeowners pay an average of $313 for professional stump grinding, with some paying an average of $158 for extreme low-end projects. 

For DIY stump removal, homeowners can expect to pay between $190 and $380 per day for a stump grinder rental. And if you don’t own a chainsaw or any safety equipment, that’s an additional $373 (on average) to your DIY bill. 

Stump grinding is also a labor-intensive job. Do the project yourself, and you’ll be losing time and energy in addition to money. You’ll also be in charge of removing debris and cleaning up your worksite. 

Something else to think about: If you damage the stump grinder you rented, you likely will have to pay for any repairs.  

Cost of Stump Grinding by Location

Stump grinding costs will vary depending on where you live. This cost guide covers average stump grinding costs on a national scale, but keep in mind that many factors can affect stump grinding rates at the local level as well. 

Local soil conditions, common tree types, your yard’s topography –– these are among the many elements that can affect prices in your area. Why? Because rocky soil, dense hardwoods, and steep inclines can make a professional’s job more difficult.

If these factors are common throughout your area, most tree care companies will consider these challenges and increase their stump grinding rates accordingly. 

FAQ About Stump Grinding

1. What is the difference between stump removal and stump grinding?

Stump grinding cuts a stump’s visible portion down to mulch with a stump grinder.

Homeowners can have their stump ground as little as 1 inch below ground level or as much as 12 inches below ground for larger stumps. Stump grinding keeps the roots intact and does not remove them. 

Stump removal involves taking a stump — and its entire root system — out of the ground. DIY methods of stump removal include manual digging, while professionals have special equipment to pull the stump out of the earth. 

Stump grinding is typically a more affordable option than stump removal. It’s also less labor-intensive, less time-consuming, and doesn’t leave a big hole in your landscape. 

Stump removal is ideal when: 

— Unsightly tree roots are lowering curb appeal.
— Tree roots are in the way of other landscaping projects.
— The root system is damaging your pipe system or home.
— You want to replace the stump with a new tree.

2. Can stump grinding be bundled with tree removal to save on overall cost?

Most tree care companies do not bundle stump grinding with tree removal. So, if you’re having your tree removed and want the stump ground as well, you’ll likely be charged an additional fee. 

3. Why should you have your stump ground?

Stumps can look beautiful when you decorate them with flowers or integrate them into another landscaping project, but they also can be a stubborn nuisance. 

Here are a few reasons why you should consider grinding your tree stump: 

— Stumps can be tripping hazards.
— Stumps can lower curb appeal.
— Stumps attract pests like termites and ants.
— Some diseased stumps can spread the disease to healthy trees.
— A stump can make lawn mowing more difficult and damage your lawn mower’s blades.

Conclusion 

Hiring a professional stump grinder can help you save money, time, and energy. Call a local tree care professional near you so you can get back to enjoying your landscape. 

Remember, you can expect to pay between $158 and $450 for professional stump grinding. The average stump grinding job costs most homeowners $313.

Do you have a large stump to grind? Most high-end jobs cost closer to $533. If you have only a small stump to grind, the average low-end cost is $158. 

Main Photo Credit: Riggwelter / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Jane Purnell

Jane Purnell

Jane Purnell is a freelance writer and actor in New York City. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia and enjoys a warm cup of French press coffee.