How Much Does Stump Grinding Cost in 2024?

The average cost for stump grinding is between $140 and $450. 

The cost of stump grinding varies depending on a few factors, such as the size and condition of the stump, as well as the complexity of the job. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $140 to $450 for most stump grinding jobs.

You can save money by renting a stump grinder from a local home improvement store and doing the job yourself. However, if you don’t have experience operating a stump grinder, it’s best to leave the job to a professional.

Table of contents:

Average stump grinding costs in 2024

National average cost$295
Typical price range$140 – $450
Extreme low end cost$120
Extreme high end cost$1,010

While most stump grinding jobs cost $140 to $450 if you hire a professional, there are exceptional cases where you might spend less or more than that typical range. 

For example, small stumps that are less than a foot wide and easy to access may cost as little as $120 to grind. Larger stumps that are difficult to reach or are located in tight spaces may cost up to $1,010 or more.

Stump grinding cost estimator by stump size

Every stump is unique, so it’s hard to provide an estimate without knowing the specifics. Depending on the size of the stump you want grinded, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $4 per inch of diameter for stump grinding services.

This price range covers small stumps that are less than a foot wide and easy to access, as well as larger stumps that are difficult to reach or are located in tight spaces. It’s best to measure the widest point of the stump to get an accurate estimate of its size.

Stump sizeAverage cost to grind
Small stumps (< 1 ft. wide)$60
Medium stumps (1-2 ft. wide)$110
Large stumps (2-3 ft. wide)$165
Extra large stumps  (> 3 ft. wide)Call for a quote

The condition of the stump also plays a role in the cost of stump grinding. If the stump is healthy and easy to grind, the cost will be on the lower end of the spectrum. However, if the stump is rotted or infected with insects, it will be more difficult to grind and will likely cost more.

Other factors that affect cost

Depending on your location, the number of stumps, and other factors, the price of stump grinding services may be higher or lower than what you’d typically expect given the size of a stump. Here are a few things that can affect the cost:

Number of stumps

On average, it will cost $140 to $450 for the first stump and an additional $40 to $70 for each additional stump. You get a discount on additional stumps because the initial setup cost is the same, regardless of the number of stumps. The cost per stump decreases as the number of stumps increases.

Root removal

The cost of root removal varies depending on the size and condition of the roots, but you can expect to pay an additional $150 per hour of work. 

In some cases, the roots of the tree may need to be removed in addition to grinding the stump. This is typically only necessary if the root system is causing damage to your property or creating a trip hazard.

Debris removal

Average overall cost of debris removal$125
Average cost per hour for debris removal$80
Average cost of debris removal per inch of ground stump$2 to $4

In most cases, the company that grinds your stump will also remove the debris for an additional fee. The cost of debris removal varies depending on the amount and type of debris, but you can expect to pay an additional $80 per hour that it takes to clean up and haul the debris.

Some companies may include the cost of debris removal in their initial quote, while others will charge it as an additional service.

Cost of travel

Extra travel cost on averageAverage cost per mile
$50 and $200$0.50 per mile

If you live in a rural area, the cost of stump grinding may be higher due to travel costs. Companies typically charge an additional fee for travel if you live more than 50 miles from their location. The general fee for travel is $0.50 per mile, but this may be higher or lower depending on the company.

Permit cost

The cost of permits varies depending on the municipality, but you can expect to pay an additional $60 to $320. This is a one-time fee that covers the cost of the permit and the inspections required to ensure that the stump is removed properly. 

You need a permit because there could be utility lines such as gas, water, or sewer underneath the stump. If these lines are damaged during the stump grinding process, it could cause major problems for you and your neighbors.

A few other services may be required in addition to stump grinding, such as tree removal or stump removal. If you need both tree and stump removal, your costs will be on the higher end of the spectrum.

Stump burning

On average, stump burning typically costs $150. This is a popular alternative to stump grinding, and it’s typically less expensive.

Stump burning is a method of stump removal that involves setting the stump on fire and allowing it to burn until it is completely consumed. This method is typically only used for small stumps that are less than a foot wide, and it may not be available in areas at high risk of wildfires. 

Chemical rotting

Chemical stump removal is another popular alternative to grinding, and it typically costs $100. With this method, your pro will drill holes into the stump and fill them with a chemical solution that will dissolve the wood.

It can take several weeks or months for the stump to completely decompose, so this method is not ideal if you need the stump removed immediately.

Tree removal cost

The cost of tree removal varies depending on the size and condition of the tree. For example, the cost to remove a small tree that is less than 30 feet tall may be as low as $285. However, the cost to remove a large tree that is more than 80 feet tall can be as high as $2,000.

Tree heightAverage cost to remove
Up to 30 feet$285 – $435
30 – 60 feet$435 – $870
60-80 feet$870 – $1,160
Over 80 feet$1,160 – $2,000

Tree trimming cost

If you want to have your trees trimmed, it will cost $255 to $655 for an arborist to do the work, with a national average cost of $420.

The cost of tree trimming varies depending on the size and condition of the tree, as well as the number of branches that need to be trimmed. This is a necessary step if you want to keep your trees healthy and prevent them from damaging your property. 

Sodding cost

The cost of sodding your lawn after stump grinding typically ranges from $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot. This is a necessary step if you want to avoid having an unsightly hole in your lawn.

The cost of sodding depends on the size of the area that needs to be covered, as well as the type of sod that you choose.

Cost of DIY stump grinding

The cost of DIY stump grinding is typically around $445 to $585 for the tools and supplies needed to do the job. This includes renting a stump grinder, which can cost anywhere from $85 to $330 for a full day

If you have a large number of stumps or if they are located in difficult-to-reach areas, it may be more cost-effective (not to mention safer) to hire a professional stump grinding service.

Note: Stump grinding can be a dangerous job if you don’t have the proper training and equipment. Be sure to wear safety gear and follow all manufacturer’s instructions when operating a stump grinder. We recommend hiring a professional if you are not comfortable and familiar with heavy machinery. 

DIY cost breakdown

DIY equipmentAverage cost
Chainsaw$60 – $200
Steel toe work boots$60
Chainsaw chaps$20
Shovel$45
Hard hat$25
Safety glasses$15
Hearing protection$25
Work gloves$15
Renting a stump grinder$180 per day (average)
Buying a stump grinder (optional)$1,730 – $3,370
Total DIY Cost with renting a stump grinder$445 – $585
Total DIY Cost with buying a stump grinder$1,995 – $3,775

How to grind a stump DIY in 8 steps

These are the basic steps you’ll need to take to grind a stump yourself:

Step 1: Remove any debris from around the stump. This includes rocks, roots, and other objects that could damage the stump grinder or cause you to trip.

Step 2: Cut the stump as close to ground level as possible with a chainsaw. It’s important to make a clean cut so the stump grinder can get a good grip on the stump.

Step 3: Place the stump grinder over the stump and start the machine.

Step 4: Slowly move the stump grinder back and forth over the stump, using the teeth to grind it down into wood chips.

Step 5: Continue grinding until the stump is about 6 inches below ground level. This will clear the roots and make them easier to remove.

Step 6: Use a shovel to remove any remaining wood chips and debris.

Step 7:  Fill in the hole with the wood chips or compost. You can also plant grass seed or another type of ground cover.

Step 8: Water the area to help new growth get established.

DIY cost vs. professional cost

If you’re considering whether to DIY or hire a professional for stump grinding, there are a few things to keep in mind. From a safety standpoint, stump grinding can be a dangerous job if you’re not properly trained and equipped. It’s also a physically demanding task that requires the use of heavy machinery.

The other problem is that stump grinding requires a lot of equipment. If you don’t already own a chainsaw or the necessary safety gear, you might end up spending more on DIY equipment than you would on a professional tree service. Unless you expect to grind many more stumps in the future, you would actually save money by hiring a pro.

Average pro grinding costAverage DIY cost
$140 – $450$445 – $585

Cost of stump grinding by location

The cost of stump grinding varies depending on your location and the local market conditions. In general, tree care services are more expensive in urban areas than in rural areas due to the increased cost of living.

Although the national average cost of stump grinding is $140 to $450, you may find that prices in your area are higher or lower depending on common types of trees, soil conditions, and other local factors. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to consult with a local tree care pro.

FAQ

Is it worth it to grind a stump?

Most of the time, yes, grinding a stump is worth the money and the trouble. 
A stump in your yard can be extremely inconvenient when you’re mowing the lawn or even just playing around with your kids in the backyard. Even worse, a dead, rotting stump can attract pests such as termites, which can then find their way into your home. Stump grinding prevents such issues. 

How long does it take to grind a stump?

The amount of time it takes to grind a stump depends on the size and type of tree, as well as the condition of the stump. A small stump can usually be ground down in an hour or less, while a large stump may take several hours to grind down completely.

What happens to roots after stump grinding?

After the stump is ground down, the roots will still be in the ground. They may eventually decompose on their own, or you can use a shovel to remove them.

Will a tree regrow after stump grinding?

It’s unlikely that a tree will regrow after stump grinding because the roots are typically damaged or killed in the process. However, if you’re concerned about new growth, you can always remove the roots after grinding the stump.

How long does it take for stump grinding debris to decompose?

The amount of time it takes for stump grinding debris to decompose depends on the type of wood and the conditions of the area. If the stump is made of hardwood, it may take several years to decompose completely. In moist conditions, the process may be quicker.

Final thoughts

Stumps can be unsightly and difficult to remove on your own. If you’re considering stump grinding, it’s important to weigh the cost of the project against the benefits. In most cases, hiring a professional to remove a stump is the best option.

For an accurate estimate of the cost of stump grinding in your area, it’s best to get a quote from three to five local tree service companies and compare the prices. It’s also a good idea to ask about any hidden costs, such as disposal fees, before hiring a company to grind your stump.

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

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Adrian Nita

Adrian is a former marine navigation officer turned writer with more than 3 years of experience in the field. He loves writing about anything and everything but specializes in covering smart technology and gardening. When he's not writing, Adrian enjoys spending time with his family and friends or hiking in the great outdoors.