facebook pixel
cost guide icon
 

Stump Removal Cost

The average cost of removing a stump is $320.

In this guide

Why to remove a stump
Cost factors
Removal process
Labor
Grinding vs removing a stump
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to remove a stump?

If you have a problematic tree stump, removal may be an important step in achieving beautification, safety, landscape planning, and/or improving access to and from your home or yard. Unlike stump grinding, where a machine basically churns the stump into mulch 1, stump removal involves a heavy machine coming in to pull the entire stump, and at least some of the root structure, up out of the ground.

The cost of the average stump removal project is $320, including partial removal of the visible and accessible root structure.

Why to remove a stump

Reasons to consider tree stump removal include improvements to aesthetics and accessibility. Any walkways, sidewalks, or driveway areas around a property should provide a clear and safe path. Good care and maintenance of the exterior of the home include ground checks for drainage and clearings for tree root structures. A stump may have new growth or rot. The stump would be removed if it begins to rot or takes up too much space in the yard. Root structures from a stump may have continued growth and it’s important to consider removal when the growth may threaten the exterior perimeter of a home or building.

Cost factors

There are several factors that could affect the cost of stump removal:

  • Location and accessibility of the stump may affect the cost if the professional needs to invest additional time.
  • Most stump removal pros charge a flat rate for an average of 1 to 7 stumps, on the higher end for more significant yard cleanup. The cost for an estimated hourly rate ranges from $50 on the low end, all the way up to $2,200 for more than 7 stumps or those that require more labor or additional equipment.
  • Around 12” in diameter is commonly considered the average size for a tree stump; anything larger than 48” may increase the amount of the flat or hourly rate due to the additional labor, equipment, and cleanup. The additional fee per over-large stump ranges from $85 to $150.
  • There are soil types that might add additional labor or equipment costs, but many professionals will bring along the appropriate tools and equipment to complete the job and include the extra costs within their flat or hourly rate estimate.
  • The type of tree may affect the cost if you request that the root structure also be removed, or if the roots are showing and determined to be part of the necessary cleanup. Planning for the area may determine a need to clear out more of the root system.
  • A more mature tree may have a larger root structure going in multiple directions.
  • The additional cost to remove the stump from the property as part of the cleanup may affect the cost. If this additional cost is involved, it may range from an average of $25 to $250 if numerous stumps are being removed.

Removal process

Professionals will remove the stump with a digging process, which may involve using large tools or heavy equipment. To remove an average-size stump of 12” in diameter takes about 3 hours from start to finish. Chainsaws or cutting tools could also be used to cut the stump into several pieces for easier removal.

Plans for the specific removal process can be determined by the owner of the property, with suggestions from a professional. Landscape services may provide tree or stump removal as part of a cleanup or during yard maintenance. Professional landscaping companies usually fill in the gap that they leave in the ground.

The process could include removal of a larger root system, especially if it was a more mature tree. Knowing the future plans for the area where the stump is located helps the professional know how much of the root system needs to be removed. For example, if you’re going to be installing a sprinkler system 2 or pouring a concrete foundation for a sidewalk you will need to have clear paths for the water lines or concrete forms. Rebar 3 for a planned retaining wall 4 could require a more extensive cleanup of the tree stump and root system. A new lawn area with an automated sprinkler system could require the area to be root-free to a depth of 15-28”. You would of course want to make sure that any remaining root system would not disturb concrete that is poured for a sidewalk, driveway, or handicap ramp.

Labor

There are many benefits to working with professionals for stump removal. Professional-grade equipment, such as a backhoe, costs between $20,000 and $90,000. Understanding the root structure is also better when working with a professional. Prep work and proper grading 5 after the stump is gone can all be completed by a professional landscaping company.

The cost of hiring a landscaping company for a four-hour stump removal project could range from $50 to $350. The cost of hiring a handyman ranges from $100 to $300. The cost estimate may be based off of accessibility of the tree stump, expansiveness of the root structure, condition of the soil, type of tree, and cleanup requirements. A flat rate is often used for an average stump removal and can range from $50 to $300 for a simple removal.

Grinding vs removing a stump

Clearing your land of one or more tree stumps can be completed by either grinding or excavation. When comparing both options, there are various considerations specific to each method of cleanup. After the removal, ground compaction and leveling 5 are recommended for best future land use, valuation, resale purposes, and landscape planning. The following table compares grinding versus removing a stump and the prices refer to the cleanup of 1 stump of 20” in diameter:

Methods of stump cleanupProsCons

Grinding

($100-$400)

Simpler cleanup

Levels the ground

Quicker

Stump may be used for mulch

Best method to remove numerous stumps

Grinding can be done to the desired height

Requires access for large equipment

Depending on water saturation, the root structure may rot

Not a good choice if your tree stump has a disease

Removal

($290-$690)

More elimination of stump and roots

Better foundation for other landscaping plans

Stumps removed may be used for recyclable projects

Planning may be easier for a wood deck area, concrete, or asphalt 6 that needs to maintain its durability

May require access for large equipment

More labor-intensive

A professional needs to evaluate the type of tree, growth rates, or stump growth with sprouts

Uneven surface following stump removal

Filled dirt or soil may require compaction before any concrete pouring

Leveling the ground after removal may cost more


Additional considerations and costs

  • Talk to a few different companies when selecting a contractor and review the contract or proposal carefully before signing. You should get proof of insurance for liability and workers' compensation and ask what local licenses and permits will be required.
  • Yard maintenance may be simpler if the ground is level or slightly sloped. Removal of stumps can make it easier for mowing, maintenance, beautification, and overall yard care. Regular yard maintenance can include plans to improve the areas outside of a home with beautification, ground leveling, safety checks, or seasonal cleanup. Landscape planning can improve the valuation of a home.
  • Removal of a stump can be a do-it-yourself project, but may require rental equipment costs or advice from a trained professional. One method of DIY removal is using a chemical solution such as potassium nitrate for decomposing the stump and roots. After that, you can create a teepee of scrap wood around your stump and set it ablaze, of caurse taking precautions. If you have the tools on hand, you could also wrap a chain or strap around the stump while the come-along is attached to a sturdy, stable object (a vehicle tow hitch or another tree) and then you raise and lower the arm on the come-along to steadily rachet the stump out of the ground.
  • A tree stump may have growth of sprouts or additional smaller trees that grow around it. Larger sprouts with their own root structures, or having numerous smaller trees around the stump may make the stump removal process more challenging, and, thus, more costly.
  • Sprout growth on or around a tree stump could possibly be replanted. This may be a consideration before you decide on the use of any chemicals or treatments for stump removal.
  • Cleanup may include additional costs for disposal of the stump and root system. The cost on average is $25, or it could be part of a flat rate for the cleanup.
  • A tree’s root structure may extend underneath your home. Regular checks are suggested to ensure a slight downward slope of grading around the exterior of the home. A professional can also check the type of trees close to the exterior and examine the root structure. Any recommendations for tree or stump removal could include an understanding of how a root structure is growing.
  • Ground compaction can be done in many ways with basic tools, equipment, or natural rainfall. Ground leveling and monitoring are recommended for safety and planning reasons. Regular checks with rainfall and seasonal changes can be part of highly-educated property maintenance plans.
  • There are resources and possibly local providers who use stumps as part of artistic decor features. Environmentally-friendly suggestions for your stump include using the stump for furniture assembly, table supplies, or for painting or artistic presentations. Additional costs may apply.
  • Any needs for large equipment may require land access with reviews of accessibility through fencing, ease of maneuverability, neighborhood entry, safety checks, and protection of other landscaping areas. Before they arrive, try to give your stump removal pro as much information as possible about the stump and any access concerns.

FAQ

  • Is it better to grind a stump or to remove it?

The landscape or other future plans will determine the best method of removal when deciding to either grind a stump or to remove it. Keep in mind that grinding may leave more of the root structure behind than excavation-style removal.

  • Do it yourself stump removal?

There are several methods for do-it-yourself stump removal. Drilling holes into the center of the stump and pouring potassium nitrate into each hole with hot water is one sure-fire, if slow, method.

  • Is it necessary to remove tree stump?

Considerations for tree stump removal include unimpeded access to walkways, safety, aesthetics, and planning for the area. It is not always necessary to remove a tree stump, but a review of some considerations should include safety checks, plans for access, and beautification planning.

  • How much does it cost to rent a stump grinder?

The average cost to rent a stump grinder is $85.

  • How do you remove a stump without a grinder?

The pieces of a stump can be chopped or sawed. The root structure that is seen may be able to be removed with this method if it is visible or accessible. Stump removal pros usually use a backhoe or similar heavy equipment to dig the stump out of the ground.

Was this guide helpful to you?
  

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Mulch: A natural substance derived from plant, animal, or mineral matter that is added to soil in order to make it more fertile
glossary term picture Sprinkler System 2 Sprinkler system: Set of equipment used to irrigate lawns
glossary term picture Rebar 3 Rebar: A mesh or bar made of alloy, used in construction projects to reinforce concrete
glossary term picture Retaining Wall 4 Retaining wall: A structure used to support vertical slopes of earth or to hold back water
5 Leveling: (Also known as Grading) The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
glossary term picture Bitumen 6 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads

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

picture related to the guide

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Augusta, GA
-13%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Binghamton, NY
-3%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Brockton, MA
+38%
Brookfield, CT
+43%
Broomfield, CO
-6%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Childress, TX
-54%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Davenport, IA
-4%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Decatur, GA
+9%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Durham, NC
-1%
Elkhart, IN
-5%
Erie, PA
-17%
Fayetteville, NC
-20%
Franklin, WI
+12%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Griffin, GA
-26%
Hartsville, SC
-30%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Houston, TX
+24%
Hudson, NH
+33%
Hudson, OH
+8%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Kennesaw, GA
+10%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Louisville, OH
-11%
Madison, IN
-33%
Mayville, WI
+15%
Methuen, MA
+19%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources