How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Tree Stump?

Typical Range:

$171 - $526

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 13,047 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated June 21, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

It costs between $171 and $526 to remove a tree stump. The national average price for tree stump removal is $348. Costs vary from $2 to $5 per diameter inch with a minimum fee of around $100

Prices fluctuate with size, accessibility, and your location. Stump removal is usually best left to professionals due to buried utilities and the potential for property damage.

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National Average $348
Typical Range $171 - $526
Low End - High End $95 - $1,200

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 13,047 HomeAdvisor members.

Stump Removal Cost by Size 

Stump removal pros sometimes charge by the hour or by the average stump size, but many choose to charge per diameter inch, as that's the most accurate method of stump removal pricing. 

You'll still generally pay a minimum fee to make the job worth the pro's time and to cover their equipment and travel expenses. But, in general, expect to pay $2 to $5 per diameter inch. Take a look at common stump sizes and the typical costs to remove them.

Size of Stump (Inches) Cost Range Average Cost
12 $24 – $60 $42
18 $36 – $90 $63
24 $48 – $120 $84
30 $60 – $150 $105
36 $72 – $180 $126
5 stump sizes compared by costs for removal, with 24 inches averaging $84
Photo: canerozkan/iStock/Getty Images

Stump Removal Cost Factors

The price you'll pay for professional tree stump removal in your area is dependent on many factors, including how many stumps there are, the method you choose, the location and accessibility of the site, soil condition, and more.

Number of Stumps

While removing more stumps costs more overall, the more stumps you have removed in one project, the less you'll pay per stump. With just a single stump, you're covering the contractor's travel expenses, equipment use, and hourly rate. 

But, when you opt to get rid of more stumps at once, you'll only pay for the increase in time and labor, because the equipment and the contractor are already on site. 

Methods

Stump removal costs vary by method. For example, the cost to chemically remove a tree stump is $60 to $200, while the cost of full manual removal is $200 to $700. Other options include burning, which costs $100 to $200 and should only ever be attempted if it's safe and legal to do so and should be undertaken with extreme caution. Grinding is another popular option and costs $100 to $400

Location 

Both geographic location and accessibility impact the cost of tree stump removal. Hiring a local tree stump removal company ensures you only pay their standard travel fee within their service area. Using a business outside of their standard service area incurs additional travel expenses of around $0.55 per mile

Where you live also affects pricing. Expect to pay more in large urban centers where accessibility, permitting, insurance, and overhead drive up professional fees. Rural areas tend to be less expensive, though most still have a minimum of $100 per job.

Accessibility can drive up prices. If the distance between the driveway and the tree is excessively long, you'll incur extra labor costs. Other accessibility issues that can drive up prices include the terrain, the width of passageways, gates, or walkways between where the contractor parks and the tree stump, the proximity of buildings and utility lines, and other logistical issues.

Root System 

The costs vary as much as the root systems do, but you can expect to pay in the range of $100 to $200 per hour for root removal. Older trees with sprawling root systems are harder to remove. Commercial grinders need to have attachments specifically designed to eat away at the roots, which can add time and effort to the project.

Preparation and Cleanup

Hiring a professional to remove a tree stump may not include many of the steps that come before and after the actual grinding. A professional will need to cut any remaining trunk above ground to ground level before grinding. This is often free but can incur additional charges. After grinding, there may be piles of unsightly sawdust. Professional sawdust removal runs about $2 per diameter inch.

Soil Condition 

Rocky soil can damage some machine blades. Contractors tend to take more time in preparation and removal in rocky soil. This can increase costs by 50% or more. However, pricing generally reflects the dominant soil type in any given region. So, if you live in an area with mostly rocky terrain, local professionals have already taken this into account with their pricing.

Whole Tree or Trunk Removal 

Total tree removal costs an average of $650 and can be as high as $1,500 or more. Tree removal costs don't include removing the stump. Sometimes, partial trunks remain. Partial tree removal runs on the lower side of the range, usually between $150 and $600.

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Stump Removal Method Costs

Stump removal costs vary by method. Chemical rotting is the least expensive option at $60 to $200, but it's also the least expensive and most damaging to the environment. Full manual removal is the most costly option but it’s also the most complete.

Stump Grinding

On average, professional stump grinding costs about $250. The most popular and effective removal method is to have professionals come in and use a commercial grinder. It costs about $3 per diameter inch in most cases. Clearing large areas or multiple stumps will run about $150 an hour.

The actual process of grinding when equipped with a commercial grinder can be a very short task, usually about one to two hours. However, the speed of the job depends on the expertise of the user and the quality of the machine.

Burning

Burning a tree stump costs $100 to $200. This is generally only permissible in rural locations and where fire risk is low. Check with a local contractor about regulations, permit requirements, and legality before you attempt this.

Chemical Rotting

Chemical rotting costs $60 to $200. Chemical solutions require the least amount of labor, but the potassium nitrate can take weeks to soften the wood before making it easy enough to remove. 

A professional applies chemicals, which costs $10 to $50 for the materials and $50 to $150 for labor. Chemical rotting isn't always effective for larger trees and those with deep roots. Plus, it can be detrimental to the environment and, if not applied safely, dangerous for homeowners, children, pets, and wildlife. 

Manual Removal 

Digging out a stump costs $200 to $700 and requires digging and cutting through the tap root and any other roots until it is loose. Manual removal is the most environmentally friendly option, and also the most complete, as the root system is also removed along with the stump.

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Additional Costs

Some additional services, such as shrub and tree removal and landscaping can drive up the price of tree stump removal, as they're not included in the initial project fee. 

Tree or Shrub Removal 

If you need to take out the whole tree or bush as well as the stump, you'll need to hire a local arborist. The cost of shrub removal is generally $75 to $125 per shrub. For trees of up to 24 feet tall, expect to pay between $400 and $1,100 per tree.

Landscaping

Hiring a landscaper costs $50 to $100 per hour. How much you'll spend depends on what you want to do with the area from which the stump was taken. You could simply turf the area or install a flower bed, or you could create a deck or patio. 

DIY vs. Pro

Stump removal is a job best left to the professionals. Incorrect chemical application is dangerous to your health and the environment, and burning can rapidly get out of control. Grinding is labor-intensive, the equipment is costly, and the process is dangerous. Manual removal is also gruelingly labor-intensive and takes a long time. 

Aside from the physical dangers, limitations, and risks, DIY stump removal can be costly. Grinding, for example, generally costs more to DIY than to hire a pro. 

Renting a Stump Grinder

Renting a stump grinder costs an average of $270 per day, while professional stump grinding costs $40 to $200 per stump. Therefore, it's safer and more cost- and time-efficient to hire a pro to remove stumps. 

FAQs

Should I grind or remove a stump?

Grinding a stump is faster, easier, and more efficient. The stump can be mulched, and grinding is environmentally friendly. However, it doesn't get rid of the roots, so if you want to build on the area or easily plant there, you'll want to consider full manual removal. 

Manual stump removal costs more than grinding, but it gets the roots out, too, so there's no chance of roots decaying and leaving a collapsing void. Manual removal is effective and environmentally friendly, but chemical removal is not. Chemical removal can pollute the environment, poses a risk to humans and animals, can contaminate the soil, and isn't always effective for large trees and those with deep roots. 

When should I remove a stump?

Ideally, have the tree stump removed at the same time the tree is felled. This is the most cost-effective option and gets the whole job out of the way at once. If you leave a stump, eventually it will decay, although it may take 10 years or more. 

You can also speed up the process by burying the stump in mulch, leaf litter, and wood chips. 

If a decaying tree stump is growing fungi or attracting pests, you should have it removed sooner rather than later because the fungi can pose a risk to kids and pets, and the pests can spread to other plants and trees, causing more widespread garden problems.

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