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How Much to Remove a Stump – Prices and Alternatives

A lot goes into owning a home; landscaping and yard maintenance are some of the most tedious and exhausting tasks. This is especially true when you have to remove a stump from a fallen tree. 

Not only is stump removal tricky and expensive, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t go about it in the right ways. 

For many, calling in professional stump removal is the most convenient and safest option. But before you hire anyone, take a look at this article. We will provide you with everything you need to know before choosing hired help and offer tips if you are looking to tackle the project yourself.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Stump?

If you have a stump that needs to be removed, you may wonder how much this job will cost. 

Before we get into actual prices, we want to warn you that it will be costly. This is a tough job that requires professional stump removal equipment and hard work. 

There is a long list of variables to consider before coming up with a final price, so let’s check those out now.


Where you live, the tree type, and the stump’s location will affect the removal cost. 

The cost of living in each state and the distance the stump removal professionals have to travel will add to the final price. For example, California’s living cost is much higher than Arizona’s, which is why the average price for stump removal in CA is $487, and AZ is $302.

When it comes to travel, most companies charge per mile after a specific distance.

Size of the Tree Stump

The most significant factor in determining the cost of a tree stump removal service is how big the tree stump is. The larger the stump in diameter, the more you must pay to take it away.

Here is an average estimation of how much a tree stump removal will cost in 2023 per

Stump SizesLow and High EndsAverage Cost
10-12 inches$24 – $60$42
13-18 inches$36 – $90$63
19-24 inches$48 – $120$84
25-30 inches$60 – $150$105
31-36 inches$72 – $180$126
37-48 inches$92 – $240$166
49-60 inches$120 – $300$210
61-72 inches$144 – $360$252

Number of Tree Stumps

Of course, the number of tree stumps that require removal will also play a pivotal role in the final bill. 

Obviously, you will pay more toward removal costs if you have multiple stumps that need to be dealt with. With that said, having these stumps removed all at once will save you a lot of money. 

While paying per stump, you will save overall since the crew and equipment are already on site.

Method of Stump Removal

A burnt tree stump

There are multiple ways to remove a stump from the ground. Some ways are more expensive than others, yet these methods are typically quicker and more effective.

The main methods for stump removal include manual digging, grinding, burning, and chemical rotting. 

Manual Removal (Digging It Out) – $300

Manual removal is the most effective and environmentally friendly way to remove a stump from the ground. However, it is also the most complex and time-consuming option, making it the most expensive. 

Grinding It Up – $200

Using an Industrial stump grinder is the most time-efficient and preferred way to remove many stumps. Depending on the diameter, the stump grinding process can take anywhere between 30 minutes for a small stump to a few hours for a large one. The only drawback is the large hole left behind that requires fill to fix.

Burning It – $250

If you are legally allowed to do so, burning is another effective way to get rid of an old stump. Permits may be required depending on your local municipality’s rules and regulations. This is ideal for removing the stump but will need the roots removed afterward.

Chemical Rotting – $100

Although chemical rotting is the cheapest route, it is also the slowest process and not always the safest. This option can take weeks before the wood is rotted enough to start removing, meaning harsh chemicals are exposed for long periods.

This can also be dangerous if not carefully executed, putting your family and the environment at risk. 

Factors That Can Increase Tree Stump Removal Cost

A lot goes into stump removal, and the price could skyrocket depending on the circumstances surrounding the task. 

Consider these various factors to get a better idea of how much you will fork out for a stump removal crew to come and tackle your old stump.


How easy is it to get to the stump? If you have brush, foliage, or other large trees surrounding the stump that needs to be removed, the crew will charge more to clear the way. 

If it is hard to access due to fencing, buildings, etc., various tools may be required for safe work, which will also take on a few extra bucks.

Root Removal

Most stump removal companies will only remove the stump unless instructed otherwise. If you also want the root system removed from the ground, that will cost you extra. 

The tree stump removal cost will differ depending on how deep the roots go. You should expect a much higher bill if you have deep roots or rough soil.

Live Stumps

Dead stumps are already rotting, and the wood is soft, which makes the removal process more manageable. If you want to remove a live stump, it could take a lot more work, adding to the expense.

Remember that many companies will not remove live tree stumps and will request you wait for them to die.

Removing a Stump on Your Own

Burned tree stump and an ax for manual removal

Depending on the project, you can save a little money by removing the old stump on your own.

We recommend you take on a manageable task, but there are ways to get by without calling in the pros or renting costly equipment.

DIY Manual Method

If you are preparing to dig the stump out on your own, you should first gear up with the correct tools. 

Below is a list of the equipment you need to complete the job.

  • Digging bar
  • Axe
  • Bow saw
  • Shovel
  • Mattock

For safety’s sake, you will also need:

  • Safety goggles
  • Steel toe work boots
  • Work gloves 

To remove the stump, start by using the shovel to remove the earth surrounding the stump root structure. You will likely have to dig deep down into the soil, which will take some time. 

Use the mattock to chop at the root structure as you go; remove them as you dig. Use the bow saw to cut them apart for larger, stronger roots. 

Once you reach the tap root (the anchor tree root securing the tree to the soil), chop at it with the ax until it is completely severed. Once the tap root is cut, you can remove the stump from the hole.

Burning the Stump

As long as you are legally allowed to burn your stump, you can do DIY stump removal without the assistance of a professional company. 

To burn a tree stump, you will need

  • Stump Out chemical
  • Large drill and bit
  • Kerosene

This method will require a few weeks of waiting time since the chemicals require some time to prep the stump. 

Using the drill and bit, create large holes in the tree stump and fill them with the Stump Out chemical. Pour water onto the chemicals and let them soak for about a month. 

Once the waiting period ends, pour kerosene into the stump and let it soak into the porous wood. Next, ignite the wood, stand by to watch it burn, and ensure the flames don’t get out of hand.

Chemical Decay

If you choose to use chemicals to remove an old stump, you have to be extremely careful during the entire process and be prepared to wait weeks or even months for it to happen.

What you need to remove a stump chemically

  • High-nitrogen garden fertilizer 
  • Mulch
  • Drill with bit 
  • Plastic tarp

For DIY stump removal with chemicals, cut it down as close to ground level as possible. 

Then, you must drill holes into the wood, filling them all with the garden fertilizer. Next, use a hose to soak the area surrounding the stump thoroughly, then pour mulch over it and cover it with the tarp.

Keep an eye on the remains of the stump over the next few weeks, frequently adding more water and fertilizer to the space. 

Instead of fertilizer, you could use Epsom salt in its place. The Epsom salt will eat away at the stump and cause it to decay similarly to the chemicals, but it is much safer.

Final Thoughts

It is always better to get help from professionals when you need an old tree stump removed. However, if the process will cost you more than you can afford, try giving one of the DIY options above a try. Just be sure to use caution and always play it safe.


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