Ballpark Estimate: $300 to $2,000 per tree
You take good care of your yard and your trees but sometimes, the unavoidable happens. One or more of your trees can become damaged or be killed as the result of disease, storms, winds or other acts of nature. You may find them leaning and posing danger to your home or other property. Or, you could be making some changes to your yard and find that a tree needs to be taken out of the way. Regardless of the reason, when you need to have a tree removed, it’s a good idea to know what to expect in advance for the tree removal costs so the price doesn’t leave you feeling stumped.
Having a tree removed is a big job and requires the expertise of a professional tree removal service. Some people may think they can handle the project themselves, but removing a tree can be quite dangerous and requires the expertise of an arborist, who is trained in the care and maintenance of trees and knows how to take them down in the safest way.
What to Expect
The cost to remove a tree will usually depend on a number of variables, such as how big the tree is, what condition it’s in, where it’s located, how close it is to your home and to your electrical wires, and what form of removal will be best. Most tree removal services will give you a quote up front so you will know exactly what to expect.
Keep in mind that tree removal service actually encompasses several steps. In addition to cutting down the tree, you’ll need to have the stump removed (this is usually done by grinding the stump), the wood cut up and taken away, and then the spot needs to be repaired, often with new grass and even a new tree. Usually removing the tree roots themselves may be treated as a separate job, so ask this up front.
There are several different tree removal methods a professional can use for your job. These include:
This is the simplest way to remove a tree and involves cutting the trunk at the base and letting it fall to the ground. While this is safe when it’s done properly, there’s also much room for danger if the tree is close to your house, car or other property. It can also be quite messy, scattering branches and leaves when the tree falls.
Cut and Chunk
To perform this method of tree removal, a trained professional will climb the tree and cut or fell the upper part of the trunk, moving downward and repeating the process until the tree is completely down.
This requires tree removal experts to climb up in the tree and cut down the high branches and then use rope to lower them down in a very controlled manner. If climbing isn’t safe, then a crane (or in some cases, several cranes) with a crew of tree removers can be used instead to guide the branches down.
Tree Stump Removal
Once any of these tree removal methods are completed, the tree stump will also need to be removed. Most homeowners will opt to have the stump ground down by a special stump grinder machine that turns the wood into a fiber material. (It’s also possible to have the stump dug out of the ground, but this will be much more time-intensive project so it’s not commonly done.)
How to Find
To find a tree removal company, you can look in the yellow pages, ask neighbors for referrals or check with local landscaping companies. You can also do a search online or visit the websites of the International Society of Arboriculture or the American Society of Consulting Arborists to access a listing of certified professionals in your area who meet their criteria. You can also try the Tree Care Industry Association and Trees are Good. With any tree removal service you’re considering, you’ll also want to make sure they are licensed and insured in case any damage occurs. The experts recommend asking for a certificate of insurance from the company’s insurance agent as well.
Time of Year
If you have a damaged or diseased tree that is posing a danger to your house or to your yard, you’ll need to have it addressed immediately. But for more routine tree removal jobs, the best time to do the project is usually in the winter, since there is less demand for tree removal services at that time of year. As a result, you may be able to negotiate a better deal. In addition, when the ground is frozen, the tree removal process can be less likely to have a negative impact on your lawn.
Cost for Tree Removal
Tree removal costs can span a very wide range because there are so many factors involved. The type of tree, the placement, what’s nearby, the condition and the time of year can all affect the bottom line. The size of the tree can also make a big difference in what you will spend to have it removed. In addition, the level of experience, type of equipment and number of workers a company has can also impact tree removal prices. Smaller tree removal companies usually have lower operating costs and less expensive equipment, while larger companies have more overhead that needs to be factored into their costs. However, larger companies can also be more efficient, so if the rate is based on the hours worked, the cost of the tree removal job could be less.
Keeping all of these variables in mind, there are some general ranges that can give you an idea of what to expect.
- On the low end, small trees (under 30 feet) that have no complicating factors can be removed for about $300 or less.
- The tree removal cost for an average size tree (in the 30 to 90 foot range) can cost between $400 and $1,000.
- Very tall trees, which can span up to 100 feet high, as well as very thick trees and those near electrical wires or other obstacles can cost between $1,000 and $2,000 and up for their removal.
So the basic cost for tree removal can range from $300 to $2,000, depending on the logistics.
In addition to the price to remove your tree, some companies will also charge you for extra work that’s commonly involved in the process. Therefore, you should always get a quote in writing before you commit to hire anyway, so you’ll know exactly what to expect. The two big extras include:
- Stump grinding: $100 to $300
- Hauling away the wood: $250 to $500, depending on the size and amount of work entailed in the job
While sometimes tree removal costs simply can’t be avoided, the best way to protect yourself and your property is to prune your trees and invest in their maintenance on a regular basis. This will help to minimize disease and pest infestations and can help keep the trunks strong to help prevent damage caused by inclement weather. In fact, studies have shown that by investing the necessary funds to care for your trees, you can often circumvent needing to pay for more expensive tree removals. Better yet, having a well-kept yard will also have a positive impact on your property value, too.