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How Much Does Stump Grinding Cost?

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Are you removing a tree from your property? If so, you'll also need to remove the stump that's left behind. Abandoned tree stumps are a tripping hazard and prevent you from building on the spot where the tree was. Tree stumps can also harbor pests like white ants that will then move to your home. Stump grinding is the most efficient way to remove a tree stump, but how much is it going to cost? Is stump grinding a DIY job?

Why You Should Hire a Professional Stump Grinding Service

Some equipment hire shops have stump grinders, so theoretically DIY stump grinding is possible. Before you choose to go the DIY route, though, ask yourself some questions. How much experience do you have using stump grinding equipment? How are you going to tackle the job? What's beneath the visible surface of the tree stump? Are you aware of the danger of using stump grinding equipment?

Stump grinders are not inexpensive to hire and if you don't know what you're doing, you could do an incomplete job at best or badly injure yourself at worst. Before you decide to hire a stump grinder, find out how much it's going to cost and compare the daily hire cost with the cost of a professional service. You'll probably decide that it's better to be safe than sorry.

How Much Does Stump Grinding Cost?

If the tree has to be felled (cut down) first, stump grinding will be an additional cost and will be cheaper for you if you have it done as part of a complete job. If you only need to have a stump removed, the cost is going to depend on the location and size of the tree stump. Some services offer free quotes while others will charge up to $100 to inspect the stump and give you a quote. The fee for the quote may be deducted from the cost of the job should you decide to use the service.

Stump grinding services may charge using different methods. You might be given the choice between:

A fixed price, A contract rate or An hourly rate

A fixed rate might be more than you want to pay for a small job. Contracts should include an itemised list of all the jobs the service will carry out. If you are having a tree or trees removed, getting itemised quotes will give you the assurance that everything you need to have done will be done. For a small job, paying the hourly rate may be the most cost-effective option for you. Hourly rates start at around $35, but paying more may pay off for you if the service that charges a higher rate has new equipment that can get the job done faster.

Aside from the speed of stump grinding versus old-fashioned ways of removing tree stumps, grinding gives you piles of mulch you can use on your garden when the job is done. Most services will offer to take the mulch away for you, but it will cost more. If you can use the mulch, keep it. Another way to save money is to prepare the area in advance by removing garden furniture, debris and anything else you can. If the stump grinding can start without delay, you won't have to pay for the jobs you can safely do yourself.

Stump grinding services do not have to be licensed in every state. To be sure you're using a reputable service, check their credentials first. They should have a long history of service in your area and be fully insured. Never hire an uninsured service. If an accident occurs while they are working on your behalf, you could be held liable.

Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces. This article was updated 14 July 2015 to reflect current market pricing.

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