How Much Does It Cost to Grind a Stump?

Average range: $150 - $300
Low
$100
Average Cost
$200
High
$600
(Removing a stump 24 inches in diameter along with its root)

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Reviewed by Nieves Caballero. Written by Fixr.com.

Stump grinding is the process of removing the visible portion of a stump from your yard while leaving the roots intact. This is usually done when they are 20 inches in diameter or more. After this size, they cause problems for the surroundings. It is also unsightly and affects the curb appeal of your property, so grinding is an efficient way of removing it. Grinding is a faster, less invasive, and often less expensive process than removal, which removes the stump altogether.

The national average price to grind a stump is between $150 and $300. Most people pay around $200 to remove one of 24 inches in diameter along with its root. At the low end of the spectrum, you can spend around $100 for the minimum fee to hire a professional to remove a small tree stump. At the high end, you can spend up to $600 to grind multiple stumps and clean up the area afterward.

Stump Grinding Prices

Stump Grinding Cost
National average cost$200
Average range$150-$300
Low-end$100
High-end$600

Stump Grinding Cost by Project Range

Low
$100
Minimum fee to hire a professional to remove a small tree stump
Average Cost
$200
Removing a stump 24 inches in diameter along with its root
High
$600
Grinding multiple stumps and clean up service afterward

Stump Grinding Cost per Stump

Grinding professionals price their removal services per stump or per inch. If you want to pay per stump, expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $200 per unit, but it all depends on the location and size of it. Often, you receive a discount if you have multiple units ground at the same time. Professionals may charge an initial base rate for the first one of about $80 to $150 and then an extra $40 to $75 per additional one.

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Stump Grinding Cost per Inch

Stumps have a range of sizes and diameters. You will pay $2 to $5 per inch. For example, the price to grind one with an 18-inch diameter is between $36 and $90. Some professionals prefer to charge per inch, rather than per stump because it is seen as a more accurate and precise pricing method. However, regardless of the price per inch for grinding, many companies have a minimum rate of $100 to cover travel expenses and other expenses. Some removal companies include clean up with this price per inch, while others add an extra clean up fee to the final bill.

Stump Grinder Cost per Hour

The hourly price to hire a stump grinder ranges from $150 to $200. While most projects are priced per stump or size, professionals can also charge by the hour if the job will take longer than average. The exact price depends on several factors, such as the location, the type of tree, and the machinery used. If it is located on complex terrain, the contractor would have to spend more effort accessing it and grinding it, so the price will be higher. Similarly, if the tree is a stronger type with a harder surface, a more experienced team with heavy-duty machinery would be needed for the removal, resulting in a higher price.

Cost to Grind Out Tree Stump by Tree Size

The cost of grinding a small tree stump of up to 12 inches ranges between $40 and $75 each. The cost of grinding one of a large tree over 48 inches is between $150 and $250 each. The average cost is between $75 and $150 for a medium size tree. The size of the tree affects the cost as bigger trees take longer to remove than smaller ones. Keep in mind that the correct way to measure the tree size is at the bottom, not at the stem. Usually, contracts measure the diameter where the stump rises above the ground surface level and charge based on that diameter.

Cost to Grind a Small, Medium, and Large Tree Stump

Cost to Grind a Small, Medium, and Large Tree Stump

Tree SizeGrinding Cost (Labor Included)
Small$40 - $75
Medium$75 - $150
Large$150 - $200

Stump Grinding Service Labor Cost

The average cost to grind a tree stump is $200, including removing both the stump and the root. Around 90% of this cost, or $180, is the cost of labor, while 10%, or $20, is the use of machines and other materials during the grinding. Other than being unsightly, they may be a trip hazard for people walking or playing in your yard. Because most of them are only a few inches high, many people may not see them until they make contact. In addition, a stump can encourage the growth of new trees around it, so it is important to remove it before it causes problems for the surroundings.

Usually, trained tree-care specialists and arborists take care of stump grindings. The process requires experience, machinery, and protective equipment to ensure the worker does not get injured during the process. Usually, professionals use a large grinding machine that is brought on site. The machine has a powerful blade that rotates fast and rips the wood as it turns and reduces it to small chips. The operator guides the blade over the entire thing, reducing it to ground or below ground level.

Tree stump grinding prices depend on several factors. In most cases, the cost of grinding is done by the diameter or by the inch. Older and smaller stumps are usually less time-consuming to remove and may be priced differently than younger, larger stumps. In the case of more complex cases, where the topography or type of tree means that the grinding will take longer, you may find that the process is charged by the hour at the cost of $150 to $200 per hour. The complete process only takes a few minutes and leaves behind mulch that can be either cleaned away or used for other purposes. Below is a table with different grinder service prices.

Charging MethodLabor Cost
Diameter$2 - $5/inch
Stump$30 - $200/stump
Tree Size$40 - $200/stump
Hourly$150 - $200/hour

Cost of Tree Removal and Stump Grinding

When hired at the same time, the cost to cut down a tree and grind stump is around $400 to $1,100 for a medium-sized tree. Most homeowners choose to remove their tree and the stump together to minimize the expenses. The contractor removes the tree first and grinds away the stump afterward. Doing both allows everything to be removed and cleaned at once without having to incur additional stump removal and yard clean up costs.

Colorful Stump Grinders

Root Grinding Cost

Root grinding services cost $100 to $200 per hour. While grinding removes the tree stump, the roots, root system, and part of what is below ground are left alone and intact. This requires additional root removing services with grinders that have specialized attachments designed to grind away the roots. However, these services usually remove up to 4 inches below ground and rarely remove the root completely, so you would still have to remove the root using other root removal services. You can hire both grinding services together or separately.

Stump Grinder Rental Cost

For a half-day rental, expect to pay around $100 to $200 to rent a stump grinder. For a full day, the price is about $200 to $350. If you choose to rent a grinder for an entire week, you will pay $600 to $1,000. If you have some DIY experience and want to tackle the job yourself rather than hiring a professional, many big-brand and smaller independent stores offer grinders for rent. Aside from the half-day, daily, or weekly fee, rental shops may also charge a delivery fee if you are unable to transport the grinder on your own. If you opt for this service, make sure you have the appropriate machinery and safety equipment to complete the job quickly and safely.

Old Tree Stump on Grass

Stump Grinding vs Stump Removal

Stump grinding price is $150 to $300, while removal projects are slightly more expensive, having a price of $200 to $700 for an average-sized unit. Many homeowners consider whether grinding or removal would be better for their project. When deciding between the two, consider not only the price but also what you intend to do with the area. If you want to plant a new tree or garden in its place, then full removal is the best method to choose. If you simply want a level yard, grinding may be a better option.

Stump grinding is minimally invasive and simply cuts down and mulches the visible portion of it. You can grind as little as 1 inch below ground level or as much as 12 inches for much larger ones. There is less area to fill when you finish, and in many cases, the old stump can be covered over with a thin layer of loam and grass. On the other hand, extricating the entire thing, roots and all, from the ground requires heavy machinery, so removal services are more expensive than the average price of grinding. Removing also leaves a large hole, which must be filled afterward.

Comparison of the Cost to Grind and Remove a Tree Stump

Comparison of the Cost to Grind and Remove a Tree Stump

ServiceAverage Cost (Labor Included)
Grinding$150 - $300
Removal$200 - $700

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Stump Grinding Clean Up

Grinding clean up price is about $2 to $3 per inch of stump. After it has been ground down, sawdust, mulch, and debris are left in the area where it was previously. Many professionals do not include this as a regular part of the removal but rather as a separate service. You can also opt to do the clean up yourself, saving you the clean up expenses.

Mulching

Mulching is usually put down after stump removal, especially if the tree roots are removed at the same time, and has a price between $150 and $400. The process leaves a hole in the landscape, marring the yard’s appearance and creating a safety hazard for people walking over it. By mulching 1, you fill out the hole and make the soil more fertile for planting another tree or other plant over it.

Sodding

Sod is grass grown in a controlled environment with an average price ranging from $0.30 to $0.83 per sq.ft. Sod is usually sold by the pallet that covers between 450 and 600 sq.ft. of area. The exact price depends on the type of grass and the area itself. After the contractor removes the tree and stump, this will leave a hole in the lawn. Sodding is a great way of ensuring you will not have unsightly dead patches of grass or holes.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Complete removal. If you want to replant a tree or do other landscaping where the stump is located, you may find that the best option is to remove it and its roots completely.
  • Wood type. Certain stumps are tougher to grind through than others. This is because some woods are stronger overall and require more force to be ground down. Older ones also tend to be tougher in general, and they need more high-powered grinders and larger blades to cut through.
  • Preparation. To reduce expenses due to time, prepare the area beforehand by removing any debris, rocks, or small plants from around the stump so that it can be accessed quickly and easily.
  • Utility inspections. You may also be able to lower the price if you can determine ahead of time if there are utilities such as gas, electric, or water near the stump. Call your various utility companies for an inspection before work begins. In the U.S., call 811 before digging on your property.
  • Location. The location of the stump has an impact on the price. If it is difficult to reach, on a hill or angle, or surrounded by other trees, it could raise the price.
  • Environmentally friendly. Grinding may be considered better for the environment than other forms of removal. By grinding, the remaining stump can decompose naturally and return vital nutrients to the ground without burning or the use of chemicals.
  • Tree sprouting risk. Leaving the stump in the ground may mean that it will eventually sprout a new tree. By grinding, rather than removing, you run this potential risk.
  • Buying a grinder. Stump grinder models vary in size and horsepower. Buying a new grinder will be slightly expensive because most models have a starting price of $1,500 and upwards of $11,000.
  • Insurance. While it is not always required, most professional companies have insurance against any damage caused to your property during grinding.

FAQs

  • Is it cheaper to grind or remove a stump?

The grinding average price is $75 to $150 per medium-sized stump, while removal expenses range between $200 and $700 for about the same size. Grinding is a more affordable option, although some cleaning may be required after, which is not always the case with removals.

  • What is the average cost for tree stump grinding?

The average price to grind stumps is around $200 for a new, 24-inch unit.

  • Will stump grinding kill the roots?

The tree was killed when it was cut down, so the roots are already dead. However, in some rare cases, the stump may regenerate a new shoot. Grinding will not prevent this from happening, only removal.

  • What is the difference between stump grinding and removal?

Stump grinding uses a saw to essentially mulch the visible part. Removal completely lifts the whole thing from the ground.

  • What does stump grinding mean?

To grind a stump is to mulch or grind up the visible portion of it, leaving the roots beneath the ground.

  • Do trees grow back after being cut down?

In most cases, no. However, it is possible for some stumps to regenerate a shoot, which can grow into a new tree.

  • How long does it take to grind a stump?

It can take between 15 minutes to 2 hours to grind a 20-inch stump.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Mulching: A natural substance derived from plant, animal, or mineral matter that is added to soil in order to make it more fertile

Cost to grind a stump varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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Machine Grinding a Stump Surrounded by Grass
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