How Much Does It Cost to Grind Stumps?

Typical Range:

$100 - $400

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 21, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Stump grinding typically costs $250. Depending on the stump’s size and job’s difficulty, you could pay anywhere from $100 to $400 for a stump grinding service.

Cost to Grind Stumps by Size

Some stump grinding professionals charge by stump size, with set costs for small, medium, and large stumps.

Stump Size Cost
Small stumps $40 – $75
Medium stumps $75 – $150
Large stumps $150 – $200

Others charge by the stump but offer a discount for each additional stump, reducing the overall cost per stump. For example, many pros have a base call-out fee of $80 to $150 for a single stump, but then offer additional stump removal at $40 to $75 each.

The most accurate way to charge for stump grinding is per inch; it’s also the most common pricing model. The local stump grinding expert measures each stump’s diameter and charges per inch of diameter. Do note, however, that they may also have a minimum call-out fee.

Tree stump removal costs compared by size, with a 24 inch stump averaging $84
Photo: BanksPhotos / iStock / Getty Images

Stump Grinding Cost Factors

While stump grinding is relatively straightforward, there are a number of factors that can influence the total project price. One crucial point to remember is that grinding pros will have a minimum service fee that covers their base rate, time, travel expenses, and the use of their equipment. This fee is often around $100, but could be considerably more if the pro travels a long distance. 

Type of Stump

The type of tree species can impact how difficult the stump is to remove, and therefore how much a pro will charge to grind it. Softer woods like pine, conifer, palm, cedar, and cypress are all comparatively soft and easy to grind down. However, oak, maple, birch, hickory, beech, and cherry trees are denser and take more time and muscle to remove. These more challenging types of tree stumps can cost up to 20% more to grind out.


The more stumps you have removed, the less you'll pay per stump. While a grinding service might charge you a flat fee of between $100 and $150 for the first stump, additional stumps may cost just $40 to $75 each, reducing your overall cost per stump. And, for large quantities of stumps, you may be able to negotiate an even better deal.


Working on difficult terrain incurs additional costs of up to $50 per hour or a flat fee upcharge of up to $200. Grinding a stump on flat, grassy terrain is considerably easier than working on a stump on rocky, uneven, or hilly terrain. Working in difficult conditions takes longer, hence the additional labor costs.


Depending on where you live, stump grinding may require a permit. Permitting starts at $50 and can go as high as $300, depending on your location and the scope of the work. In some locations, whether or not you need a permit can even come down to the type of tree. Your contractor should take care of any permitting issues for you, but it's still worth checking to see what the regulations are in your municipality and what the fees are. 

Additional Cost Considerations

Aside from the actual grinding, there are other services that you may want to order as part of your stump grinding service which will increase your cost but result in a fuller job.

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Debris Removal

Debris removal and disposal cost $50 to $200. You may pay an additional hourly labor rate of $50 per hour, or the pro may calculate waste removal by the diameter of the stump, at $2 to $4 per inch. 

Root Removal

Root removal or root grinding costs $100 to $200 per hour. Stump grinding doesn't get rid of all of the underground root system. So, if you want to replant the area or build a structure over it, you need to have the roots removed. 

For planting, not removing the roots makes digging difficult. And, for building a structure, if you don't remove the roots, they'll decay over time, leaving a void in the soil, which can cause a foundation to shift or crack as the void collapses in on itself.

Tree Removal 

Removing a tree costs $750 to $1,000. This cost doesn't include the price of grinding out the stump, in most cases. It only includes felling the tree and hauling away the wood. A pro can relocate some trees rather than felling them, which costs $1,000 to $2,000.

Yard Repairs

The cost of yard repairs depends on the size and quantity of removed tree stumps, and what's needed to fix the damage. 

Mulching costs an average of $0.35 per square foot and lets you fill in the holes left by the stumps quickly and affordably. It prevents the holes from becoming a trip hazard for humans and pets and fills those holes with rich, fertile matter ready for planting. 

Laying sod over the area costs $1 to $2 per square foot. You can lay the sod right over the mulch or go with a layer of rich topsoil instead. Sodding creates an instantly-green lawn area, which is a good option if you don't want to plant another tree or a flowerbed in place of the old stumps. You may also want to take the opportunity to simultaneously sod the rest of your yard to maximize savings.

DIY vs. Pro

Stump grinder rental costs about $270 per day, so taking the DIY approach won't save you any money. In fact, given the price of the equipment rental, it'll cost you more than hiring a pro. Stump grinding is hard, laborious, time-consuming work—and it's risky, too. So, given that you also won't save any money, best leave this one to the pros. 

If you still want to try to save money, you can do the cleanup yourself. Remove the waste or use it as mulch elsewhere in the garden, or compost it little by little, depending on the type of tree. You can also do the yard repairs yourself including mulching, replanting, and sodding.


How much is a stump grinder?

Stump grinders vary in price, but the average homeowner can expect to pay around $2,500. Remember, though, that using this equipment carries risk and requires skill. Plus, unless you're grinding many tree stumps on a regular basis, the cost is not likely worth it, compared with hiring a pro.

How long does stump grinding take?

How long stump grinding takes depends on the stump’s size. A small stump from a soft tree can take just a few minutes to grind. However, a large hard tree stump, such as a 70-inch sequoia, can take a full day to remove. 

Is it cheaper to grind or remove a stump? 

When it comes to stump grinding cost versus the cost of stump removal, stump grinding is cheaper. The average stump grinding price is $100 to $400, whereas stump removal costs $370 to $675

What are some stump grinding alternatives?

There are several alternatives to stump grinding:

  • Winching

  • Chainsaw

  • Grubbing out

  • Burning

  • Natural rotting

  • Chemical rotting

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