PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you’ve ever lost a tree due to disease or some other issue, then you know what a big job it is to get that tree cut down and removed, but that’s only part of the job.

Removing a dead tree, including the stump, requires a lot of equipment, muscle and know-how.

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“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,” says Angie Hicks, of Angie’s List.

John Nowosielski is an arborist with a college degree.

He’s been removing trees and grinding stumps for nearly 20 years. It can be a dangerous job, and he cautions homeowners before trying it on their own.

“If there’s a stump that’s out on the back 40 in someone’s backyard, there’s no glass around, there are no parked vehicles around, there’s no kids around, you feel safe, you feel confident, absolutely,” Nowosielski says. “If you’ve got to think about it twice, then I’d say call us.”

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It’s usually cheaper to hire a pro than renting a stump grinder for the day. 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,” Nowosielski says.

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’s List says to simply cover the spot with a couple inches of topsoil and lay your seed.

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