Tree stumps have complicated root systems that can cause safety problems as well as potentially disrupting the overall appearance of your garden.
Though tree stumps may appear small, when it comes to removing them, it’s best to work with a professional tree surgeon who will be able to deal with the underlying root system.
If the tree stump is small in size and you have some expertise in the field, then you can cut costs by trying to remove the stump yourself, but due to the machinery involved, it is best to leave the job to a qualified professional.
Our guide will explain the process of grinding and removing tree stumps, how much this is likely to cost, what will impact the costs and ways in which you can save money.
How Much Does a Stump Grinding or Removal Cost?
The table below breaks down the estimated costs for a stump grinding or removal.
|Size||Stump Grinding||Stump Removal||Labour Costs||Time Required||Total Estimated Cost|
|Small||£40||£50||£50||30 minutes to one hour||£90-£100|
|Medium||£60||£100||£100||One to two hours||£160-£200|
|Large||£100||£150||£150-£350||Two to four hours||£250-£500|
Stump grinding is different to stump removal. Stump removal removes the entirety of the stump, including the root system below ground, and can be quite a complex job. Stump grinding uses a chainsaw or motorised machine to cut down the top of the stump and then grind the remainder away.
The best rule of thumb to work out the cost for tree stump removal is typically £3-£5 per inch of diameter if the tree stump is very low to the ground. Remember that this is only the cost for the removal and that the labour charges added to the cost will spike the price up.
Companies do differ in how they price the job – some will charge for the job itself rather than their time and vice versa, so you will need to double-check with the professional regarding their rates.
Also, keep in mind that if you have multiple stumps or the tree stump is very large, the cost for removal will be between £150-£300 in labour charges due to the amount of work involved. Some tree stumps will require longer than one day to remove, and a small team may have to be dispatched.
What Affects the Cost of Grinding or Removing a Tree Stump?
Several key factors affect the cost of grinding or removing a tree stump. Below we list the most common factors to bear in mind when considering a tree stump grinding or removal.
If you have a particularly small tree stump, the cost for removal can be as low as £30, however, labour costs will push the cost up.
If you have multiple or particularly large tree stumps, then be prepared to pay as much as £400 to have them removed.
Grinding a tree stump is a cheaper option than removing it altogether as it does not include taking out the root system and you will likely only be charged an hourly rate for the job.
If the appearance of a tree stump is bothering you but you don’t have the budget for removal, consider grinding the stump as this is likely to cost between £50-£100 depending on the size of the stump.
Number of Stumps
If you have multiple stumps you need to remove or grind down, then it is best to hire a qualified professional to do the job for you.
Removing multiple tree stumps could be quite expensive, stretching up to £300-£400 in cost. This is because multiple tree roots will have extensive underground root systems that will be tricky to remove and could take a lot of time.
The more stumps you have, the more the grinding or removal will cost.
Type of Wood
The type of wood of your tree stump will impact the cost of removal or grinding.
For softwood stumps, such as pine, spruce or larch, you will likely be paying between £50-£125 depending on the size of the stump and whether or not there are multiple.
For hardwood stumps, such as beech, ash or birch, you will likely be paying between £150-£400 depending on the size of the stump and whether or not there are multiple.
Condition of the Wood
You may not think it, but the condition of the wood of the tree stump does affect the cost of the job.
If the tree is diseased or the stump has been left untouched for many years, the tree stump could develop fungal diseases. Fungal diseases could spread to any nearby trees and cause numerous issues with the health of your garden.
If this is the case, and the tree stump is diseased, a tree surgeon will most likely recommend you remove the stump entirely.
This will cost you more than a simple grinding of a stump.
If your tree stump is next to a building or a fence, the root system could have spread as far as 3-4 metres below the ground. This is an extensive job to remove and so the labour costs will be more.
For grinding and removal, a tree surgeon will need to use heavy machinery, if your tree stump is next to a wall, you could have to pay more for the labour cost due to the unhelpful location.
Accessibility of the stump is hugely important considering the cost of a stump grinding or removal.
A tree surgeon has large machinery to deal with tree stumps and they will need the space to move the grinder or chainsaw around. If there is no clear access to the tree stump with ample space around it, then expect to pay more for the labour of getting to the stump.
Can I Save Money on Stump Grinding or Stump Removal?
There are various things to consider if you’re hoping to save money on stump grinding or removal.
If the tree stump is relatively small, around five inches in diameter, you could attempt to dig it up yourself with a mattock which can be purchased at local DIY stores for between £10-£30 depending on your requirements. Ensure you remove both the stump and the root system.
You can also hire or buy stump grinders from local DIY shops for between £50-£70 if you want to reduce the size of the stump without dealing with the root system. However, please note that these can be very dangerous without the proper training and may not include any safety equipment.
The best rule to follow is that if the stump is large or there are multiple stumps, you should call out a professional tree surgeon to safely and efficiently deal with the stump.
HouseholdQuotes can help you find a professional and qualified tree surgeon to grind or remove any tree stumps.
Click To Get Quotes
How Does a Tree Surgeon Grind or Remove a Stump?
Grinding a tree stump involves a specific machine that is similar to a woodchipper. Once positioned correctly, the machine will grind down the wood of the tree stump reducing its size and appearance.
How deep the machine grinds depend on your plans for the space. If you want to grow the lawn or plant flowers over the stump, the stump will need to be ground deeper than if you were looking to pave patio.
The deeper the tree stump needs to be ground, the more expensive the job, so take into account what your plans for the ground are once.
There are different methods to remove a tree stump, and this largely depends on the tree surgeon you enlist to help you.
If the stump is small enough to be dug out, a circle will be dug around the roots and they will then be cut up. Once all the roots have been cut and removed, the stump can be pulled from the ground.
Can I Use Chemicals or Kerosene to Remove a Stump?
There is a myth of a chemical that can be painted onto the stump itself to quicken the rotting process, however, this isn’t a tried-and-tested method for stump removal.
If you drill a hole into the stump and permeate it with potassium nitrate fertilisers, it will assist the decomposition of the wood, breaking it down so that it can be removed with an axe. This costs around £10 per kilo and can be a cheap alternative to grinding or complete removal.
However, do bear in mind that the chemical removal of a tree stump can be an incredibly long process that can take up to a year.
It is also possible to burn a tree stump with kerosene, however, this isn’t advisable as it can potentially be very dangerous and may cause excessive smoke that could cause problems with your surrounding area.
Like using chemicals, burning is also a longer process than simply grinding it down or removing it. If you have a particularly large tree stump, burning it is not advised due to the time it will take and the possibility of the fire going out before the stump itself even begins to burn.
How Do I Hire Someone to Grind or Remove a Tree Stump?
You could seek recommendations from friends, family or neighbours that you trust. Recommendations are a great way to hire a qualified professional you can count on and trust on your property.
HouseholdQuotes can find a qualified tree surgeon who can either grind or remove the tree stump for you.
Click To Get Quotes
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
To make sure you’ve found the best person for the job, we recommend you ask them for the below:
- For a written quote. You can then see exactly what the tree surgeon is offering and for what cost. Make sure to ask if rubbish and waste removal is included in their quote.
- For their experience.
- For their references. If they can provide you with references you can be sure of their ability.
- If they and their tools are insured. This can protect you from lawsuits if they or your property is damaged when they come to your home.
Use the below checklist to ensure you know the best steps to take when it comes to getting a tree stump ground or removed.
- Measure the tree stump to determine its size.
- Decide what you want to do with the area once the tree stump is ground down or removed.
- f you’re cutting costs and have a small tree stump, consider removing it yourself.
- For larger or multiple tree stumps, hire a professional to grind the stump down or remove it entirely.
- Use HouseholdQuotes to find a tree surgeon who will best suit your needs in grinding or removing a tree stump.
Click To Get Quotes
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which Is Better: Stump Grinding or Stump Removal?
If the tree stump is healthy and you’re looking to cut costs, then consider having the stump ground as it will be cheaper whilst still removing the presence of the tree stump above ground.
If the tree stump is unhealthy, close to any buildings, fences or underground pipework, consider having it removed as the root system could cause problems by growing into or around existing pipes or even poison healthy trees with fungal diseases.
I Want to Keep My Tree Stump. What Are Some Ways I Can Use It in My Garden?
You can use the tree stump as a potholder, filling the pot with long, draping plants to elevate it from the garden ground.
If your tree stump is in a shaded and humid spot, encourage moss growth to give it a magical, aged feel.
There are online tutorials for using your tree stump as a planter, with plants sprouting from the top and sides of the stump.
Tree stumps can be ideal for holding or balancing garden décor or lighting and if the stump is big enough, you could even consider using it for garden furniture!