How Much Does Stump Removal Cost in 2024?

The average cost for stump grinding is between $180 and $525, with a national average cost of $330.

The cost of stump removal can vary significantly depending on the size and type of tree, the location of the stump, and whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.

The average cost to hire a tree service to remove a stump ranges from $180 to $525, with a national average of $330.

While some tree stumps can be removed with a shovel and some elbow grease, others require special equipment and professional expertise. It’s important to factor in the cost of stump removal when budgeting for your tree removal project.

Table of contents:

Average stump grinding costs in 2024

National average cost$330
Typical price range$180 – $525
Extreme low end cost$75
Extreme high end cost$1,045

While the national average for stump grinding is $330, the possible price range is much wider, from just $75 to over $1,045.

The lowest prices are typically for small stumps that can be removed with a shovel, while the highest prices are for large stumps that require special equipment and expertise.

For example, a 6-inch stump might cost on average between $45 and $70 to remove, while the average price for a 48-inch stump is between $420 and $700 to remove.

Stump removal cost estimator by stump size

Like all things related to tree removal, the cost of stump removal depends largely on the size of the stump and other factors like accessibility and root structure.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $5 per diameter inch to have your stump removed by a professional. But, as we mentioned, there are a lot of other factors that can affect the final cost.

This price range usually covers only small to medium stumps that are accessible and have minimal to no taproots. To get an accurate estimate of the stump size, measure the widest point of the stump across its diameter.

Stump sizeAverage cost to remove
6″$45 to $70
8″$50 to $80
12″$70 to $165
18″$80 to $170
24”$115 to $330
30”$175 to $440
36”$185 to $500
48”$420 to $700
72”$500 to $1,100

The condition of the stump and surrounding soil also play a role in how much it will cost to have your stump removed. If the stump is located in an area with a lot of rocks or roots, it will be more difficult to remove and will likely cost more. If the stump is healthy and surrounded by good soil, it will be easier to remove and will likely cost less.

The type of tree also affects the price of stump removal. Hardwood trees like oak and maple are more difficult to remove than softwood trees like pine, so they will usually cost more.

These factors can add to the cost of stump removal, so be sure to mention them when you’re getting estimates.

Other factors that affect cost

From the location to the type of tree, there are a variety of factors that can affect the cost of stump removal. Don’t forget to factor in these other potential cost drivers when budgeting for your project. Here are a few of the most common:

Number of stumps

On average, you can expect to pay about $45 to $100 per additional stump removed after the first one. It’s much cheaper than the average cost for the first stump, but it can still add up if you have a lot of stumps to remove.

The good news is that most professional tree stump removal services will give you a discount if you have multiple stumps to be removed. It will save you time and money to have them removed all at once.

Root system complexity

Unlike stump grinding, where the entire stump is ground down below the surface, with stump removal, the entire stump and root system are removed from the ground. This can be a more difficult and time-consuming process, so it will likely cost more.

On average, homeowners typically pay about $2 to $4 per inch of the stump to remove it and its root system.

Root systems come in all shapes and sizes, and the more complex they are, the more difficult (and expensive) they are to remove. If you have a stump with a large, complex root system, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Type of tree

From softwoods like pine to hardwoods like oak, the type of tree can affect the price of stump removal:

  • Hardwood trees are generally more difficult to remove than, so they will usually cost more. 
  • Softwood trees tend to be easier to work with, so they may be cheaper to remove. 

Most professionals charge per stump rather than per hour, so the type of tree may not make a huge difference, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Soil condition

From loose sand to tightly packed clay, the condition of the soil surrounding the stump can also affect the price of removal. If the stump is in loose soil, it will be easier to remove and will likely cost less. When the soil is tight or has a lot of rocks and roots, it will be more difficult to remove and will likely cost more.

Soil amendments may be necessary to loosen the soil and make it easier to remove the stump.

Be sure to mention the condition of the soil when you’re getting estimates so you can get an accurate price.

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 stump$2 to $3

If you want the stump removal company to transport the stump and its roots from your property, it will usually cost an extra fee. This fee can range from $2 to $3 per inch of the stump. Some tree care companies automatically include this in their estimate, so be sure to ask.

Cost of travel

Extra travel cost on average$50 – $200
Average travel cost per mile$0.50 per mile

If you live in a rural area, you may have to pay a travel fee to have the stump removed. This fee can range from $50 to $200, depending on how far the company has to travel. If the hired company charges by the hour, this fee may be included in the estimate.

Usually, the larger the company, the lower the travel fee. But it’s always best to ask in advance so there are no surprises on your bill.

Permit cost

Whether you need a permit or not depends on your city and county regulations. In some areas, you need a permit to have a stump removed, while in others, no permit is required. If you do need a permit, the cost can range from $60 to $320, depending on the area. This is usually just a one-time fee.

If you’re not sure if you need a permit or not, the best thing to do is call your city or county office and ask. They will be able to tell you what the requirements are in your area. Permits are sometimes needed because stump removal can disturb the ground and potentially damage underground utilities that might be in the area.

While you’re thinking about stump removal, here are some related services you might add to your project while you have a tree care company onsite. 

Stump grinding cost

If you want a stump gone but don’t want to deal with the hassle and mess of removing it (roots and all), you can hire a company to grind it down instead. The cost of stump grinding is between $140 and $450, with a national average of $295.

The cost of stump grinding will depend on the size of the stump, the type of tree, and the condition of the soil. It’s generally cheaper to grind down a stump with a stump grinder than it is to remove it completely.

Sodding cost

Sodding is the process of planting new grass by the square in a prepared area of soil. The average cost to sod a lawn is $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot, depending on the size of the job. Sodding is the quickest way to grow new grass over the hole left by the stump.

Tree trimming cost

On average, tree trimming costs $255 to $655, depending on the size and type of tree. This service is usually needed when a tree is too close to a power line or poses a danger to your property. While you have a tree care pro at your property removing a stump, you might have them look at your other trees and determine if they’re in need of trimming.

Tree removal

If you want the company to remove the entire tree rather than just the stump, the tree removal cost will usually be between $385 and $1,070 on average. Tree removal is a more complex and time-consuming process, which is why it costs so much more. If you have multiple trees to be removed, usually a tree removal service will give you a discount.

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

Cost of DIY stump removal

You can remove a stump yourself with the help of a few tools. This will save you money, but it will take time and effort. Depending on the method you choose, you can use chemicals, burn the stump, or dig it out by hand.

All of these methods have their own pros and cons. If you’re considering DIY stump removal, be sure to take into account the time, effort, cost, and dangers involved with each method.

DIY stump removal by hand

If you’re up for the challenge, you can remove the stump by hand. This is the most labor-intensive method of stump removal, but it’s also the most rewarding. This method will cost you $445 for the tools you need.

Equipment needed to remove a stump by handAverage cost
Safety glasses$15
Work gloves$15
Hearing protection$25
Shovel$35
Chainsaw chaps$70
Steel toe work boots$100
Chainsaw$150
Ax$35
Total$445

How to remove a tree stump by hand DIY in 5 steps

If you’re up for the challenge, removing a stump by hand is definitely possible. Just be warned, it’s not going to be easy. Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Start by digging a hole around the stump. Be prepared to get dirty and use a shovel to dig up the roots. It can be helpful to use a chainsaw to cut through any large roots.

2. Once you’ve dug up the roots, you can use a chainsaw to cut them into smaller pieces. This will make it easier to remove them from the hole.

3. Expose the tap root. This is the main root that’s holding the stump in place. You’ll need to cut through this root in order to remove the stump.

4. Sever the tap root. Use a chainsaw or an ax to cut through the tap root. This can be a difficult task, so be sure to take your time.

5. Pull the stump out of the hole. Once you’ve cut through the tap root, you should be able to pull the stump out of the hole. If it’s stubborn, you can use a winch or a come-along to help you remove it.

Note: Be sure to wear the proper safety gear when using a chainsaw or an ax. These tools can be very dangerous if used improperly.

DIY stump burning

Burning is the quickest and easiest method of stump removal but also one of the most dangerous. If you’re not careful, you could easily start a fire that could spread to your home and beyond.

The cost of this method will be $165 on average for all of the supplies you need.

Equipment needed to burn a stumpAverage cost
Safety glasses$15
Work gloves$15
Power Drill$60
Shovel$35
Funnel$5
Plastic scoop$5
Potassium nitrate$15
Bucket$15
Total$165

For this method, you need the tree stump to be as dry as possible. If you’ve just had a tree removed, you might need to wait a few months for the stump to dry out.

Note: Some areas have restrictions on open fires, so be sure to check with your local authorities before burning a stump. You might even need a permit.

How to burn a tree stump DIY in 5 steps

If you’re looking for the quickest method of stump removal, burning is definitely the way to go, but it’s also the most dangerous.

Just be sure to take all of the necessary safety precautions and follow the regulations in your area. Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Start by drilling holes into the stump. Use a power drill to make holes about 1 inch in diameter and about 8-10 inches deep. Depending on the size of the stump, you can also drill holes in the sides. Remember to clean out any sawdust that accumulates in the holes.

2. Fill all of the holes with potassium nitrate. You can use a funnel to pour the potassium nitrate into the holes. Then use the funnel to pour water into the holes. This will dissolve the potassium nitrate and create a highly combustible mixture.

3. Fire up the stump. You can use a blowtorch, matches, or a long-handled lighter to ignite the stump. Be sure to stand back when you light it.

4. Let the fire burn. The fire will need to burn for several hours in order to consume the stump completely. You may need to add some wood or other combustible materials to keep the fire going. Remember to monitor the fire at all times.

5. Once the fire has burned out, you can remove the remaining ashes and debris. Use a shovel to dig out any remaining roots or pieces of stump.

Note: This method is only recommended for small stumps. If you have a large stump, it’s best to hire a professional to remove it. Fire can cause extensive damage to property and is very dangerous.

DIY chemical rotting

Chemical rotting might be the most affordable method of stump removal, but it does take some time. It can take up to six months for the chemicals to break down the stump. On average, it costs about $155 for all of the necessary tools and chemicals.

Equipment needed to rot a stump chemicallyAverage cost
Safety glasses$15
Work gloves$15
Power Drill$60
Large drill bit$20
Tarp$15
Hand-saw$15
Potassium nitrate$15
Total$155

The cost of this method will depend on the type and amount of chemicals you need. This method isn’t as effective on larger stumps, due to their large root systems.

Note: Be sure to follow the instructions on the chemical product you choose. Some chemicals can be harmful to people and animals, so it’s important that you take all necessary precautions.

How to DIY rot a tree stump chemically in 5 steps

If you’re looking for a method that’s a little less dangerous than burning, you can try chemically rotting the stump. This process will take several weeks, but it’s much safer than using fire. Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Use a hand saw to cut the stump as close to ground level as possible. This will give the chemicals better access to the stump.

2. Drill several holes into the top of the stump. Use the biggest drill bits you have to make the holes as big as possible.

3. Add water to the holes, then add potassium nitrate. This will create a chemical reaction that will start to break down the stump.

4. Cover the stump with a tarp. The tarp will trap heat and moisture, which will speed up the rotting process.

5. Check on the stump periodically. After a few weeks, the stump should be soft and spongy. At this point, you can remove it with a shovel.

Note: Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when handling the potassium nitrate. This substance can be harmful if it comes into contact with your skin or if you breathe in the fumes.

DIY cost vs. professional cost

The cost of stump removal can vary depending on the method you choose. If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll need to factor in the cost of renting or buying the necessary equipment. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of any materials you need to remove the stump.

In most cases, it’s better to leave stump removal to the professionals. Unless you have the necessary equipment and experience, it’s very easy to damage your property or injure yourself. Not only is it safer, but it’s usually more cost- and-time effective than doing it yourself.

MethodAverage pro costDIY cost
Stump removal$330$445
Stump burning$150$165
Chemical rotting$100$155

Cost of stump removal by location

Your location plays an important role in the price of stump removal. In general, rural areas will have lower prices than urban areas because there are fewer regulations and more competition among businesses. However, if your area is so rural that the nearest tree care company is several miles away, you might end up spending quite a bit on travel fees. 

If you’re living in an area where hardwoods (i.e. oak, maple, and cherry trees) are common, you can expect to pay more for stump removal because hardwoods are more difficult to remove than softwoods. The same applies to your locale’s soil type: If the soil is loose, it will be easier to remove the stump and thus cost less.

FAQ

What do I do after removing a stump?

Once you’ve removed the stump and all the debris, you can start to fill the hole. You can use topsoil, compost, or other materials to fill the hole. Be sure to compact the material so that it doesn’t settle over time. After the hole is filled, you can replant grass or other plants in the area.

What is the difference between stump grinding and stump removal?

Stump removal is the process of completely removing the stump and its roots from the ground. Stump grinding, on the other hand, only removes the stump, not the roots. Grinding is typically used when the stump is too large or too difficult to remove completely.

Do dead tree stumps attract termites?

Yes, dead tree stumps can attract termites because the stump is an easily accessible food source for the termites. If you have a stump on your property, have it removed as soon as possible to avoid infestation, especially if you live in a humid climate. 

When should I remove a stump?

You should remove a stump as soon as it’s safe to do so. If the stump is in an area where people or animals walk, it can be a tripping hazard. Additionally, stumps can attract pests and other animals that can damage your property. Ideally, you should have the stump removed when the tree is first cut down or falls.

Final thoughts

Stumps can be unsightly and dangerous. If you have a stump on your property, it’s important to have it removed as soon as possible. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, be sure to factor in the cost of removal. Most of the time, it’s best to hire a professional to remove the stump for you.

For an accurate estimate of the cost of removing a stump from your property, be sure to quote at least three different companies. Don’t forget to ask about any additional or hidden fees that may be associated with stump removal.

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

Main Image by: VSPYCC – Flickr

Adrian Nita

Adrian is a former marine navigation officer turned writer with more than four years of experience in the field. He loves writing about anything and everything related to lawn care and gardening. When he's not writing, you can find him working in his yard, constantly testing new lawn care techniques and products.