How Much Does Tree Stump Removal Cost?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

There may come a time when you envision the perfect landscaping job for your property, only to find there are a few tree stumps in the way. Or, you may need to cut some trees down and need the stump removed in the process. In this case, you’ll need to remove them to finish your project. But, how much does it cost to remove tree stumps?

The average trump removal cost is $314, and you will pay an average of $3.50 per diameter inch cleanup fee. You can expect to pay $100 per hour in labor costs, or $150 per stump with a flat rate. Professionals charge an average $0.55 per mile travel fee, and it costs $1,050 to remove an entire tree.

In this guide, we offer facts about removing stumps, small trunks, and roots. We’ll summarize the expenses you’re likely to incur, explain the grinding process, and consider several factors that impact the total costs.

Tree Stump Removal Cost

Average Cost For Tree Stump Removal



Typical Range




$164 – $493



The cost of removing a tree stump will range from $164 to $493 or $2 to $5 per diameter inch. Expect to pay at least $100, with the average cost, nationally, being $314. Prices will vary according to:

  • The size of the stump
  • How easy it is to access
  • Where it is located

As long as the stump is not in a complicated location, this project is very DIY friendly! Although, if it’s near buried pipes or lines, it’s better to have a professional do the job. That way, if your lines or pipes are accidentally cut, you’re covered for repairs.

Average Removal Prices Per Stump Or Inch

Professional contractors charge by the stump and by diameter. The work typically takes around 1 hour, and costs about $2 to $5 per diameter inch, with a minimum charge of approximately $100. Additionally, the cost per stump can be anything between $60 to $350+, depending on where you live and the stump’s size.

Average prices will vary according to the ease of access, the tree’s age, and the total time needed. If removal of more than one stump is required, expect the first one to cost anywhere from $100 to $150. Each additional tree will cost around $50.

Stump Grinding Rates

Professional stump grinding typically costs around $200. Hiring a professional to use a commercial grinder is the most preferred method, although you can rent a grinder and do it yourself to save on labor fees. Expect to pay around $3 per diameter inch as a guideline. If you need to clear a large area or several stumps, the hourly cost will be about $150.

With commercial equipment, the process of grinding a stump typically takes 1-2 hours. Of course, the level of the user’s experience and the capability of the machine will affect the time required.

How Grinding Works

With powerful rotating blades which slowly move forward and back, grinders reduce even the hardest woods to mulch and sawdust. They will work to a depth of 4-6 inches under the ground, even cutting away at the roots. This helps to prepare the area so you can install a lawn or garden.

Stump Grinding Cost Factors

Many factors affect the cost of grinding. These include the number of stumps, their size, and the total time required.

Stump Grinding Cost Calculation


Average Cost

Cleanup and Mulch Removal

$2 per inch

Root System

$150 per hour


$3 per inch


$150 per hour


$150 + $50 per stump

Cleanup And Mulch Removal

For cleanup and mulch removal, you can expect to pay about $2 per inch of your stump’s diameter. However, this price will vary depending on the value of the sawdust. The other factor for pricing this particular part of the project is the regional disposal fees. The higher the disposal fees, the higher the rate.

Usually, contractors will factor this into the overall price. However, not everyone does. It would be best if you asked instead of assuming, so you can bypass any surprises in your fees.

Root System

Most of the time, you will find deeper set roots to your stumps. The roots also need to be removed, which will cost you an additional $150 per hour. Most times, for easy jobs, it will only take about an hour to remove the roots. However, if there are pipes or lines nearby, this can take 2 – 3 hours.


The cost, according to size, is measured by your stump diameter and runs at a rate of $3 per inch. So, for example, say your tree is 7 inches in diameter, then that would be $21. This does not include any labor fees, so the $21 would be in addition to all the other costs for stump removal services.


Labor for tree stump removal costs around $150 per hour. The time that it takes to get the job done depends on the location as well as the tree type. If your tree type is not of the ‘hard’ variety, and it’s easily accessible, the price will be lower than that of a complicated job.


You can expect to pay an initial cost of $150 for the first stump. If you have more stumps to remove, it will also cost you between $30 and $50 for each additional one. The extra price you pay will depend on the type of tree you have, as well as the location of the stump.

Cost Estimates For Removing Without A Grinder

Hiring a contractor who will use a commercial grinder is usually the most expensive choice. There are other options for removing a tree stump, including the application of chemicals, burning, or digging.

Prices Of Alternative Stump Removal Process




$6 – $600

Chemical Rotting

$6 – $600

Manual Removal

$50 – $350

It is sometimes possible to dig out small stumps, but bigger ones have root systems that are too extensive to be viable.


It costs anything from $6 to $100 to burn a tree stump. This represents the cost of renting a power drill and buying chemicals such as Spectracide Stump Remover Granules. If saving money is your priority, you can light a fire and burn the wood. However, ensure you take all necessary safety precautions and check with your fire department.

Chemical Rotting

The application of chemicals requires the least amount of labor. However, using potassium nitrate, it can take several weeks to soften the wood before removal. The cost of chemical rotting will be the same as burning, $6-$100, consisting of the cost of potassium and a drill.

Manual Removal

Manual removal will involve digging and severing the taproot and other roots until the stump becomes loose. This method typically costs between $50 and $350. The need for landscaping tools such as shovels and axes, plus average labor costs of $38 per hour, also need to be factored into the total.

Cost Factors For Tree Trunk Removal

Many other variables come into play when you are pricing tree trunk removal. These additional variables include everything from whether or not the trunk is large or where it’s located. If you’re too far away from the contractor, they will add a travel fee to your service charge.

Cost Factors For Pricing



Small Shrub vs. Large Stumps

$100 – $200 per stump

Property Location

Local/Rural: $100Further Travel: +$0.55/mile

$100 – $200 per hour

Clean-Up And Preparation

$2 per diameter inch

Small Shrubs vs. Large Stumps

The size of the stump influences the cost of the work. Professional removal contractors typically charge between $2 and $5 per diameter inch. Bigger stumps usually have more complex and extensive root systems—labor charges for root removal range $100 to $200 per hour.

Property Location

Location influences cost in two main ways: Typical market costs in the area and travel time. Most professional services make a minimum charge, usually $100 within their local area. You can expect to be charged extra for travel expenses for properties outside this area, of a minimum of the federal travel rate of $0.55 per mile.

The going market-rate in your area also affects what you’ll need to pay. Charges tend to be higher in larger towns and cities where difficulties with access, permits, insurance, and overhead costs impact professional rates. Rural locations are usually less expensive, although a minimum charge of $100 per job should still be expected.

Root Balls & Systems

Professional contractors typically charge between $100 to $200 per hour to remove roots. Expect older trees with extensive root systems to be more challenging to remove. Commercial grinders need to use attachments specifically designed to eat away at roots, which can add to the cost of equipment and increase labor costs.

Clean-Up And Preparation

When hiring a contractor to remove a tree stump, it’s crucial to consider the preparation and clean up that may be required.

Any remaining trunk will need to be cut to ground level before grinding can commence. This may be provided as a free service or could be charged as an extra. Once grinding is complete, you may have to pay around $2 per diameter inch for sawdust removal.

Whole Tree Or Trunk Removal

Removing an entire tree will cost, on average, $650 and can be as much as $1,500+. These costs are exclusive of stump removal. Sometimes, only part of a trunk remains. Removal of a partial tree will be less expensive and will typically cost between $150 and $600.

Reasons To Remove A Tree

Trees can present a clear risk to structures or become fire hazards. Stumps seem harmless in comparison. However, there are many significant reasons to remove them.

  • If concealed by grasses or shrubs, they are a trip hazard for people.
  • If concealed, they can damage lawnmowers.
  • They look unsightly.
  • They attract insects such as ants, termites, and beetles.

New trees can sprout from sucker roots just below the surface. Removing roots prevents new trees from damaging plumbing or other structures, potentially costing thousands in repairs.

DIY vs. Hiring A Removal Service Near You

If you’re considering a DIY tree-stump removal, keep in mind that grinding is heavy work. Not only will you spend your valuable time on the project, but you’ll also need to rent and transport the grinder. This will cost virtually the same as if you hire a professional – you may save only $100 to $200.

If paying for a total removal isn’t viable, you could cut down costs by preparing the ground before grinding. For example, you can make access more manageable by cutting away overgrown weeds or vines before the contractors arrive. Not only will this help the work be completed in less time, but it will also be easier to see the diameter of the stump.

Renting A Grinder For A DIY Project

To rent a stump grinder will cost approximately $190, which is marginally less than hiring a contractor. If a homeowner wants to treat this as a DIY project, they must call the 811 Dig Line. Also, you have to obtain all the required permits and adhering to local codes.

Stump Grinder Rental Rates By Store





Herc Rentals

20 – 29 hp



Home Depot

13 hp




25 hp



United Rentals

11 – 14 hp



Local Stores

$150 – $400

$525 – $1,650

Related Questions

What is the cheapest way to get rid of a tree stump?

If you have larger or multiple stumps to remove, it’s best to rent a stump grinder. You can do this through your local home improvement store. You will also need to have a shovel on hand to dig around the stump.

Do copper nails kill trees?

Copper nails do not kill trees; this is a myth. Unless you purchase enough pins to cover the entire tree, the copper nails will not kill the stump.

What poison will kill tree stumps?

Arborists recommend using Tordon as a tree killer. You apply it to a freshly cut stump within 30 minutes, and it will ultimately kill the stump down to the roots.

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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