Tree stump grinding will cost from $60 right up to $900. The national average is $95 per stump. The price difference is determined mostly by the diameter of the stump and the number of stumps, but other factors like access and root spread play a role.

Here you will find everything you need to know about the various sizes of stumps and how much they will cost to grind, as well as DIY to professional comparison, hiring costs and everything in between.

You will not be hard-pressed to find a local tree stump grinding company eager to remove your stump. You will struggle to find one at a reasonable price. Contractors seem to write their own tickets these days, so knowing where to look and who to go with is tough.

Go Tree Quotes is a FREE service that tracks the prices of local stump grinding companies and helps you find the 3 best prices businesses closest to you.

How it works is that we get hundreds of stump grinding quote requests weekly and match customers with local contractors. Those customers then let us know when gave them the best prices.

Based on those votes, we have a real-time list of the best-priced professionals local to you.

All you need to do is fill out the quick form below, tell us a little more about your stump grinding job, and we ask the local companies who voted best priced to price your job also.

They should be able to give you a price over the phone.

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Calculate the cost of stump grinding

To calculate the cost of stump grinding take the diameter in centimeters and multiply it by three *3). That will give you a starting price.

Formula: Cost = Diameter x 3

Example: 25cm x 3 = $75
120cm x 3 =$360

As mentioned above, everyone seems to be charging different prices for the same service. If you go with the wrong service you can wind up paying 300% more for the same job.

The above is a starting price for an easy to get to stump in the front yard of a property.

There are other factors that will increase the cost, so to include them, you will need to multiply your diameter x 4.5.

Formula 2: Diameter x 3 – 4.5

Example: 85cm x 3 – 4.5 = $255 – $380

Average prices for stump grinding

These prices are for the grinding of the stump only and do not include the removal of the fine shavings created. Those are left on site but raked neatly across the garden.

Stump DiameterAvg. Cost $Palm stumpAvg. Cost $
15 – 25cm6015 – 25cm45
25 – 40cm10025 – 40cm85
45 – 60cm18045 – 60cm110
65 – 80cm29065 – 80cm180
85 – 120cm38585 – 120cm250
120 – 150cm590120 – 150cm420

What adds to stump grinding cost?

Several things add to the price of stump grinding, but the main one is access. The stump grinding machine is very large and very heavy, so things like:

  • Steps
  • Proximity to windows or other breakables
  • Narrow access
  • Underground services
  • Raised garden bed
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Small bushes vs. large tree stumps

There is a big difference between these two types of stumps and a world of difference in price. Stumps from small bushes are really a clump of smaller stems that all converge into one mass. They are super easy to grind and one with a diameter of 1m would not cost more than $100.

A large tree stump removal on the other hand is 100% timber and takes a lot more time and effort to remove. A stump of the same size 100cm would cost closer to $400 to grind out.

How to grind a stump

If you have decided you will give it a go, then there are a few things we need to go through to keep you safe and make sure you get the job done right.

Stump Grinding DIY

Cost comparison DIY vs. Professional tradesmen

Many people opt to remove their tree stumps by hiring a grinder. This is a cheaper option if you have several larger stumps to remove. You can end up saving yourself quite a bit of money.

Other methods include:

Hand removal – Dig around the stump and hack it with an axe.

Burn – When dry enough, set fire to the stump just as it sounds. (This is not always ideal in an urban environment)

Epson salts – I have read about this online but advise against it. The problem is salt will kill anything living. So when it rains and the salt seeps into your garden, the rest of your plants will die.

DIY stump grinding Pros

It can potentially save you money if the cost of stump removal is greater than $200. I use that benchmark price because that’s what it is going to cost you to hire the stump grinder, hire the trailer or Ute to transport it, fill the grinder with fuel etc.

Basically, if you only have 2 or 3 stumps no bigger than 30cm diameter I recommend getting a pro in to do the job. If not, the amount you save hiring a grinder will not be worth your while.

DIY stump grinding cons

  1. If you don’t have a Ute, you will have to hire one to transport the grinder to the job.
  2. You will need someone to help you get it on and off the Ute. They weigh a minimum of 200kg
  3. If you are not familiar with how it works you can damage underground services, fences, and break windows with flying rocks.

DIY Conclusion

If you’re a chip off the old block and reckon you have it covered, then give it a crack. You could save yourself some money. But if you are not good with heavy equipment, I would leave it to the pros.

To get prices from the top-voted local stump experts click here to submit details of your job.

Preparation of work area

You will need to clear anything breakable from at least 2 meters around the work area. I recommend you set up a tarp in front of the stump to stop the wood chips flying everywhere.

Remember, long sweeping moves across the entire face of the stump, only taking 1 -2 mm at a time. You cannot rush it, even if you tried as the machines are not strong enough. Take your time!

Personal protective equipment

As per Australian standards AS/NZS 1337:1992 you will need to wear eye protection. This should be provided to you by your hiring company. If they do not offer it, you must ask for it.

PPE work safety tree work

Dial before you dig

As the purpose of a stump grinder is to go below the earth, you are best making a quick call to 0011 ‘dial before you dig.’ The assistant will soon tell you if there are any underground services where your stump is located.

Severed optical fiber cables cost hundreds to repair.

Remove excess trunk with a chainsaw

It is far easier to cut a 10 cm slab off a stump than it is to stump grind a 10cm thick piece of the trunk. I strongly suggest getting the stump as low to the ground as possible before you begin grinding.

remove stump with chainsaw perspective

Cover when done

Once you are done, there will be a lot of excess wood chips churned up by the machine, Make sure you rake the wood chip back into the hole and over the garden bed.

Stump grinder hire cost

You can hire stump grinder machines from most equipment hire places, but we found the cheapest to be Kennard’s Hire.

Small machines will cost $170 for 4 hours and larger machines for $276 for 4 hours.

Remember you will need a Ute or trailer to transport them which will set you back anywhere from $68 – $120 per 4 hours

Removing whole tree or trunk

If the tree is smaller than 5m high, then you could consider doing this yourself, but I strongly recommend getting in an expert tree removalist. Depending on the job you might be able to get away with a local garden maintenance type company, but anything above a single-story home height, I recommend getting in a professional.

Author: Ben McInerney is a qualified arborist with over 15 years of industry experience. He uses his in-depth knowledge of the tree service industry to give readers to most accurate information on tree service costs and helps to educate them about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.