Stump Grinding Services: How To Find the Right One for You

Certified Arborists are Equipped Properly for the Task

Tree stumps can be unsightly and inconvenient. While there are a variety of ways to remove a tree stump from your property, grinding is generally preferred. If you want tree stumps removed from your property, you will either have to go through the effort of doing it yourself or hire a stump grinding service to do it right. The best course of action for you will depend on your specific situation. For example, you will need to consider how many stumps you need to grind, and how large they are. Read on to learn more about how to choose the best stump grinding service for your situation - or how to do it yourself.

Option 1: Be Your Own Stump Grinding Service

Tree Stump Grinders: Should You Rent or Buy?

If you decide to do your own stump grinding, then you’re going to have to get your hands on a tree stump grinder. You can choose to either rent or buy one. If this is just a one-time job, then renting probably makes the most sense for your situation. In fact, the majority of homeowners who do the work themselves choose to rent their grinder. Rental prices typically fall between $150 to $200 per day. If you’re someone who does extensive yard work frequently, and you plan on removing a lot of tree stumps, then consider buying your own stump grinder. Understand though, that the equipment can be costly and you will need to store it properly when not in use.

What Kind of Stump Grinder Should You Get?

As with most powerful equipment, stump grinders are designed for specific purposes. This means you can find lightweight grinder models for small jobs. And you can also get powerful grinders for large, and more complicated jobs. The types of stump grinders include:

“Handlebar” Grinders

These are also known as hand-guided, or walk-behind grinders. These grinders are small and lightweight. In fact, they are probably the most portable type of stump grinder on the market. These grinders can easily fit in the back of a truck.

Rear-Hitch, Wheeled Stump Grinders

If you have a truck or trailer, then you can attach this type of grinder for easier travel. Once you get to the job site, you simply uncouple the grinder, and steer it into place.

Riding Grinders

Riding Grinders are agile grinders that the operator controls from a seat.

Skid Stump Grinders

Skid Stump Grinders have continuous track treads, similar to those that you’d find on a tank. This helps the grinder grip onto large surface areas. This type of grinder is best used when the ground is too soft to use traditional wheels. Depending on the model, Skid Stump Grinders are driven by either an operator riding on top of the grinder, or from behind.

Stump Grinder Attachments

Stump Grinder Attachments can be added to a skid steer. From there, it can be operated using the same arms that guide the trenching and bucket attachments.

Buying a Stump Grinder: Things To Consider

Buying your own stump grinder is a commitment. As such, you’re going to want to make sure that the machine you choose is the right one for you. You’re going to have to carefully consider the grinder’s available features. Unlike renting a stump grinder, you can’t just choose the first thing that comes around that will get the job done. Consider the following:

How Is the Cutter Disk?

The cutter disk is also known as the cutter wheel. Ideally, you are going to want one that is made out of carbide, as this is the highest quality option. Inspect the cutter disk’s teeth. They should be extremely sharp, and there should be no signs of wear.

How Big Is the Machine?

If maneuverability is important to you, then you should get a stump grinder with a slim profile. This will make servicing tight spaces a lot easier. Plus, you won’t get tired as quickly.

How Much Horsepower Does It Have?

Generally speaking, the more horsepower, the better. Grinders with higher horsepower are not only faster, they are also more efficient. As such, try to get the highest horsepower that you can afford.

How Heavy Is It?

You’re not going to want to use a stump grinder that’s too heavy. It’s more practical to get a stump grinder that has a lightweight design. If you have to get a heavy stump grinder, make sure to plan transport.

What’s the Grind Depth?

At a minimum, your stump grinder should have a grind depth of 20 inches below grade. Otherwise, your yard will have a lot of bumps.

Option 2: Hire a Professional Stump Grinding Service

stump grinding services

If you have a lot of stumps to grind, or if any of the stumps are particularly large, then hiring a professional will likely be the best course of action for your situation. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the right type of equipment for the job, hauling it back and forth, and storing it away when you’re done.

Steps You Should Take Before Hiring a Stump Removal Service

  1. Make a list of local companies that offer stump grinding services

  2. Research each company: what do their reviews say?

  3. Give each company a call. Ask them about their licenses and insurance

  4. No matter what your tree job is, a certified arborist will have the right tools for the job. Not only do they have the tools to do the job the right way, but they also have the tools and equipment to get the job done safely, which is the most important aspect

  5. Ask for an estimate, and make make sure cleanup is included

  6. Set a timeline with the company that works best for you

How Much Does a Stump Grinding Service Cost?

Most professionals will charge you per project. How much a stump grinding project costs will depend on a few factors, including:

  • The size of the tree stump
  • The number of tree stumps
  • How easily accessible the tree stump is
  • How far the stump grinding service provider will have to travel to do the job

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay $2-$5 per diameter inch of the tree stump. For more comprehensive stump removal, expect to pay anywhere between $160 and $700 for the whole stump. If the stump grinding service you hire doesn't include cleanup in their project price, then expect to pay an additional $2 per diameter inch of the tree stump. Still, every company will charge different fees. By doing a little research, you may be able to save even more money. Consider the following:

Are They Offering Any Discounts?

If you need more than one stump removed, chances are you will be able to get a discount from your stump grinding service. Ask about this ahead of time.

Ask About Extra Fees

Make sure to ask if the stump grinding service charges an extra fee for cleanup. Some companies will do this service for free. Also, keep in mind that you may have to pay extra if the servicer has to travel a long distance to service your tree stump.

How Large Is Your Project?

Do you have a large number of stumps to clear? If so, most companies will charge you a flat hourly rate for large jobs. You will want to check with a few different stump grinding services to see which one offers the best price.


Whether you decide to hire a professional stump grinding service or do all the work yourself, research can go a long way to make the experience easier and more affordable. If you live in the Portland area, consider Evergreen Tree Services. Not only can we take care of any tree stumps you want out of your yard quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively, but we can also provide a free estimate for your project so you know what to expect.