How much does it cost to remove a tree stump?

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Price guide

$60 - $1,000







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Stump removal is a process that not only heaves up a tree stump but also digs up all the tree's roots. It can be risky if you don't have the proper experience and knowledge. That's why it is better to hire tree surgeons or professional arborists for the job. On average, stump removal costs $325

Don't hesitate to have stumps removed. When left to grow, tree roots can cause pipes to crack and pavements to lift. It can also be easy for family members and guests to trip over the tree stumps in your yard. Read on to learn more about stump removal and its costs. 

Stump grinding vs. stump removal

a man holding a tree stump

When it comes to tree stumps, two terms are used interchangeably but are actually very different: stump grinding and stump removal. 

Stump grinding is a form of removal when a stump is ground down to soil level. This is done using a machine called a stump grinder, which uses its powerful blade and teeth to cut away the wood. In this process, the tree roots are left to decay. In the US, stump grinding costs $158 - $450

Meanwhile, stump removal refers to the entire process of removing a tree stump down to its roots. A professional arborist has different ways to remove a stump. They may use chemicals to poison the tree's roots or fire to burn them down. Sometimes even force is used to take out the stump. 

When posting a task and talking to a contractor, specify the exact service you need to avoid miscommunication.

Stump removal methods

1. Manual removal

The average cost of manually removing a single tree stump ranges from $200 - $700. In this method, a professional digs and cuts through the roots. Among other options, this is the safest for the environment. The manual labor assures you that the entire root system is removed.

2. Burning

It costs an average of $100 - $200 to burn a tree stump. This can only be done in areas where fire risk is low. Double-check with your neighborhood if there are regulations or requirements for this method. 

3. Chemical rotting

It costs an average of $60 - $200 to chemically rot a tree. It's the least labor-intensive method, but it takes time and isn't always effective. Larger trees with deep root systems might not soften, and the chemicals might harm the environment when misused. 

Stump removal price list 

The cost of tree stump removal mainly depends on the diameter of the stump and the city you live in. Below is a table of the average expenses for this service: 

Stump diameter

Average removal cost

12 inches


18 inches


24 inches


30 inches


36 inches


Other factors affecting stump removal costs

Tree stump removal costs depend on other factors. For example, professionals give price quotes based on the tree type and root depth. You can also inquire about the cost of having trees removed from your garden if you get an arborist for the job. 

Tree species

Certain tree types are easier to remove than others. You can classify wood into soft and hardwood. The cost of softwood tree stump removal is lower than hardwood tree stump removal. Palm trees are a kind of softwood, and they will be easier to remove than oak trees. 

If you plan to repurpose stumps, note that certain tree species can't be recycled due to their lumber quality. For example, if your trees fall under Grade D, their wood has many knots and blemishes. In this case, arborists can simply remove the wood shavings or debris after the grinding or removal process. 

See also: Garden Waste Removal Cost Guide

Number of stumps

Do you have a big yard with many dead trees? If you want to clear the area for new plants, preparing a big budget is wise. The cost of tree stump removal can increase quickly because additional stumps require more machinery and labor from the expert you hire.

Site accessibility

The easier it is for your arborist to get to the site, the lower the stump removal cost. Note that stump removalists might bring many things with them, from their trucks to their heavy tools. 

Root system

Upon arrival, a professional will inspect the stump and its root system. If they see that its root system is very complex, expect to pay more for stump removal. Root depth significantly affects the overall labor cost because of the time and effort required to remove the entire system. 

a man preparing to remove a tree stump

Reasons to hire a professional for stump removal 

When considering DIY tree stump removal, be aware of the job's hazards. Taking a tree stump on your own can be challenging, even when using the proper machine. 

Tree stumps might fly straight out of the ground when pulled. This can lead to damage to your property, to yourself, and even to other people on the premises. On top of that, getting the right equipment can cost a hefty sum of money.  

That's why it's wise to rely on arborists who are prepared for the task. They can advise you on the proper course of action for your tree stump and be able to operate the various machines or tools needed for stump removal. 

Post a task for stump removal

Now that you know the cost of stump removal, you can finally post a task. Remember to include the following details when filling out the request form:

  1. Your location

  2. Your budget

  3. Tree species and the number of stumps for removal 

  4. Your preferred date and time

You'll shortly receive offers from Taskers near you, and you can choose the best one for your needs. With Airtasker, you can say goodbye to unsightly stumps and say hello to a more spacious garden. 

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Depending on the tree and its root system, it can take one to five hours. This includes the entire process of removing the roots and leveling the soil. 

Tree stumps can compromise your safety. If they’re hidden in the grass, they can cause people to trip or stub their toes. Stumps can also be a fire hazard in a bushfire-prone area. 

The roots of the tree remain underground. They’re supposed to decay after the stump grinding process naturally, but this can take up to 10 years.

If you choose not to use chemicals to kill a tree stump, you can use 100% Epsom salt. Then, it will take six months for the stump to die.

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