Tree Stump Removal vs Stump Grinding: Which is Better?

Getting rid of a tree stump after the heavy lifting of removing a tree is very vital for so many reasons. Apart from improving your home’s curb appeal and freeing up some valuable space on your property, tree stumps can pose a great danger to your children and pets as they can grow fungi and other organisms that are harmful to them. Many homeowners understand the importance of getting rid of a tree stump, however, the challenge is deciding which technique is best for them. If this is the situation you’re in and you’re finding it difficult to choose whether to grind a stump or remove it, there is no need to worry as we are going to be discussing the two methods you can use to eliminate stumps from your property to help you make the right choice.

Is It Better To Grind a Stump or Remove It?

When it comes to deciding which method to adopt between stump grinding and stump removal, there are several factors you have to be aware of such as the pros and cons that come with each option, your particular circumstance, and the future plans for your landscape to help you decide which option is best for you.

Stump Grinding

Stump grinding is much less strenuous work, is a process of excavating the stump of the tree without removing the roots. The arborists use a stump grinder to shred the stump into wood chips or sawdust. The machine can grind the stump to ground level, or to your desired height. The grinding can be just 1 inch below the soil level or as low as 12 inches below ground level to create a hole you can fill with dirt.

Stump Grinding is one of the best ways to remove a tree stump and here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of removing a stump by grinding it:

Stump Grinding Pros

  • Not labor-intensive
  • Grinding a stump is quick and efficient
  • Environmentally friendly
  • No gaping hole is left afterward
  • The stump grindings can be used for mulching
  • Stump grinding is usually cheaper than removing it

Stump Grinding Cons

  • The roots may re-sprout
  • Root Decay; which eventually leads to the growth of associated fungi, bugs, and microorganisms in your yards
  • Leaves a mess that requires cleanup

Stump Removal

Stump removal is more time-intensive and more difficult to remove as you will completely take out the stump of your tree and the roots. This requires the heavy use of force to pull the stump from the ground.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of tree stump removal:

Stump Removal Pros

  • Total elimination of stump and roots
  • Replanting is easy as the roots aren’t there taking up space
  • Removes the risk of re-sprout or rot and any health hazards

Stump Removal Cons

  • It’s time-consuming
  • Leaves a gaping hole after removal
  • Can be more expensive than just grinding the stump
  • Not environmentally friendly

Like I said earlier, choosing which method to go for will largely depend on the future plans for your landscape and your particular circumstance.

What Happens To Root After Stump Grinding?

Just as we’ve explained, the core difference between stump removal and stump grinding is that the former removes the stump as well as the roots, whereas the latter ground the stump, and the root is left to decay. These roots are left to decay naturally, which can take a lengthy period of time like 10 plus years to do so.

How Much Does it Cost to Grind or Remove a Stump?

The cost for stump removal or grinding varies greatly depending on factors such as your location, the diameter of the stump, root system, age of the tree, soil type, proximity to nearby structures, species of the tree, and the number of stumps to be removed. These factors help the stump removal specialist to determine the actual cost for removing or grinding a tree stump. However, here is what to expect when it comes to the cost of removing or grinding a stump.

For stump removal, the average price for professional stump removal ranges from $175 to $675 per stump. However, homeowners can expect to pay closer to $1,033 for extensive tree stump removal projects, and as low as $75 for smaller projects. Also, note that there might be an additional charge for disposing of the stump and root. Learn more on the effective stump removal process here.

For stump grinding, the average price for professional stump grinding ranges from $100 to $400 per stump. The cost is typically at $2.5–$3 per inch but may be less expensive if the stump is rotting and easier to grind.


Both stump removal and stump grinding are for the stumps of your tree and depending on what you want to achieve, both are beneficial in their own way. Grinding a stump is much more efficient than removing it, provides a greater level of neatness and environmental friendliness, however, it does leave the tree’s roots behind.

On the other hand, stump removal leaves the environment in a messy state, leaves behind a large hole that can be an eyesore until it’s filled in, and involves the use of heavy-duty equipment and powerful tools to get the job done, however, it eliminates both the root and stump and ensures there’s no chance of regrowth or sprout.

If you’re not sure whether stump removal or grinding is best for you, a professional arborist can help. Contact Godhans Tree Service, we provide stump removal and stump grinding services and consultations to help you decide on the best option to go with depending on your specific circumstance.

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