Removing a dead tree, including the stump, requires a lot of equipment, muscle and know-how.
"What many people don't realize is that it's usually an extra charge in order to have the stump removed, so be sure to ask your professional about that service as well," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.
Arborist John Nowosielski has been removing trees and grinding stumps for nearly 20 years and says it can be a dangerous job. He cautions homeowners before trying it on their own.
"If there's a stump that's out on the back 40 in someone's back yard, there's no glass around, there are no parked vehicles around, there's no kids around, you feel safe, you feel confident, absolutely," he said.
But he warns, if you have to think twice, you'll want to hire a professional.
Angie's List says it's usually costs about $150 a day to rent a stump grinder so it may be cheaper to hire a pro.. With a professional, you can expect to pay $150 to $200 for an 18-inch diameter stump. Larger stumps will cost you more.
Any reputable tree service can handle the job, but ask to see their liability insurance to make sure they're covered should something go wrong.
"When you ask me for my liability policy, I call my insurance carrier and they ship that to you with an out-of-state postmark with their letterhead on one of their envelopes. So that's about as valid as you can get," said Nowosielski.
Once the stump is gone, you can plant another tree nearby, but not on that exact spot. If you want to grow grass over the area, Angie says to simply cover the spot with a couple inches of topsoil and lay your seed. In six-to-eight weeks, no one will ever know the tree was there.
Why remove the stump at all?
You may not need to, depending on its location, but stumps are a popular breeding ground for many pests, such as termites, ants and beetles. These insects can spread to landscaping, other trees and possibly your home. Stumps can also become receptacles for fungus, which carries an unpleasant smell and attracts flies and gnats. Fungus can also spread diseases to plants, flowers, crops and trees growing on your property.
Tree stump removal options:
Different tools will be required depending on how deep the root system has settled and how difficult the job will be.