Not every tree stump needs to be removed but if you are cutting down a tree in your front yard, in a high traffic area where kids will play or where you will picnic then it makes sense to have the stump removed.
For small trees with trunks under 10 inches wide you can normally dig around the base of the tree and remove the stump with a chainsaw by cutting back the roots. Unfortunately even a tree as small as this will require a bit of effort. It might also be good to have a sharp ax by your side but if you hit a rock you will ruin its edge so a chainsaw should be used for most of the work.
Renting a stump grinder for small jobs is not a bad idea. If the stump is less then a foot in diameter a small grinder that is slightly larger then a lawn mower can be used. Later you will see we do not suggest you rent larger professional grinders because they require training but small stumps are no problem if your rental center has a grinder for lending. Expect to pay about $150 for the day and you will probably need a trailer to get it home $40 at Uhaul.
Some people may also recommend chemicals that will eat away the stump. This might be a solution but it requires a few seasons to work and results are not guaranteed.
For larger trees you really need to call in a professional.
Stump grinding may be a process provided by your tree cutting company or you may need to hire them separately if they do not have the equipment or if you cut down the tree yourself.
Stump grinders are basically large circular saws on a extension that eat and grind down the stump about 3 inches or so below the lawn surface.
The more stump that can be remove means less problems later when the stump finally deteriorates and causes a sink hole. If or when that happens you will need to remove the sod and backfill the area. You will probably need to do this more then once.
If the stump is located under a driveway your contractor may suggest using some type of heavy equipment like a backho to remove it completely so that it will not cause a problem later on.
Although your rental center may have a stump grinder that you can borrow I would not suggest it for the first time user they are difficult to control and somewhat dangerous. Also the size of grinder you can rent is probably going to be much smaller then a professionals.
What will it cost for a Professional to remove a Tree Stump?
This will depend on whether you are hiring the same company to remove the tree that removes the stump but normally you can expect to pay a flat fee of about $125 for them to come to your house and then they will charge you either by time or material removed. Meaning a wide stump that is ground down 3 inches vs one that is ground down 6 inches below the soil will cost by the width and depth.
After the first stump is removed many contractors will give you a deal to remove additional stumps at a much lower rate.
You can expect to pay about $3 to $5 per inch of diameter of the trunk for professional removal in addition to the initial flat fee.