The Cost to Remove a Tree | 6 Factors to Consider

January 26, 2022

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Your cost to remove a tree varies according to a number of factors! Obviously the tree size affects it's cutting cost, as a larger tree requires more time and labor to remove. There are a few other important considerations that make tree removal costs lower or higher overall.

Factors that affect the cost to remove a tree include:

  • Size of tree
  • Tree species
  • The tree’s health or overall condition
  • If you need emergency services
  • If the tree is intertwined with other trees
  • A property’s location and overall condition

Only a tree services contractor near you can offer an exact quote for tree removal on your property. However, knowing a bit more about these various factors can help you know what to expect from their quote.

Factors affecting tree removal costs can also help you decide on the best services for your property. While a dead or decaying tree always needs removal, pruning or trimming might be recommended for other trees. Keep reading to find out more about tree cutting costs and then call a contractor near you as needed!

What Affects Your Cost to Remove a Tree

Check out some added details about what usually affects a tree removal quote. Again, remember that these are just averages! Your price for tree removal will vary according to local contractor rates and charges.

Tree size

When you call a tree services contractor for a removal quote, they will probably first measure the tree. Typically, trees under 30 feet tall are considered small. This includes fruit trees, landscaping trees, and the like. Their removal might average between $150 and $500.

Trees 30-60 feet tall are considered medium height. By way of comparison, note that a two-story house is probably about 20 feet tall! Most contractors charge between $400 and $800 to cut and remove medium-height trees.

large tree removal

Large trees, such as mature oak or palm trees, are 60-80 feet tall. A contractor might charge around $1000 to remove a large tree. Contractors will also typically charge $1000 and up to remove trees taller than 80 feet.

Additionally, contractors might measure a tree’s trunk when preparing their quote. An overly thick trunk usually requires more labor to cut through. In turn, your contractor might increase their price accordingly.

Tree species

Contractors adjust their price according to tree species as some might require more work to remove! Some tree species have extensive roots or “rubbery” wood difficult to cut. For example, poplar trees have massive root systems. These are often the most expensive trees to cut and remove.

Tree health and condition

Some diseased or decaying trees are easier to cut down! Dead, dried wood might cut quickly, requiring less time to remove than a healthy tree. Decayed trees might have also lost branches over the years, so they also require less labor to cut.

On the other hand, some decaying trees pose an immediate danger to anyone in the vicinity. These might need added cabling and bracing, to keep branches in place if they should snap. This extra labor might mean increased tree removal cost.

Emergency services

Emergency tree removal cost is often higher than standard cutting and trimming, depending on why it’s an emergency! For example, a tree that’s fallen near a car or downed power lines might need careful handling. Your contractor will usually charge more for the added time involved for ensuring safe cutting and removal.

Some tree trimmers near you might also charge more for services after storms have moved through the area. Tree cutters are in high demand during these times, and often hire added workers to keep up with that demand. They might also work weekends and holidays! In turn, they might charge a premium or added fees for emergency tree removal services.

tree limb removal services

Is the tree intertwined with another tree, fence, etc.?

It’s not unusual for a tree to grow around a fence or other obstacle on your property. Trees can also become intertwined when growing overly close together. Cutting trees in these cases means added labor, as a contractor often cannot simply cut through the trunk. In turn, expect to pay more for these removal services.

Your property’s location and condition

Tree trimming contractors might charge added fees for remote properties, to compensate for their added fuel costs. Additionally, any factors that make tree removal more difficult will likely mean added costs! For instance, close neighboring properties, muddy soil, and narrow lots often make it harder to access and cut trees.

Contractors also need to use added caution when cutting trees around power lines or that hang over buildings and fences. That added caution often means added time, specialty tools, and extra crew members. As expected, they would then charge more to compensate for their added costs.

Added tree removal costs

Property owners might request special services that add to tree removal costs. For instance, you might ask the contractor to use a chipper, to create mulch you can keep for landscaping projects. This might add another $100 per hour to your project.

Some contractors might split tree branches into logs for your fireplace! This might also cost $75 to $100 per hour on average. A contractor might also charge extra for hauling away fallen debris around the tree or your property.

Why Is Tree Cutting So Expensive?

Property owners might wonder why tree cutting seems so expensive. The short answer is that removing a tree is often far more complicated than you might realize!

First, keep in mind that a contractor needs to inspect your entire property, to determine the best cutting direction. Second, note that branches and the tree trunk usually need cabling before cutting. Third, contractors don’t simply cut directly through a tree’s trunk or branches!

Check out a bit more information about these steps so you know why they’re so cumbersome and time consuming. A contractor needs to decide where he or she wants the tree to fall before cutting! In turn, they’ll inspect the tree to determine its weight and if it’s leaning in any direction. They’ll also inspect surrounding property.

Next, note that branches don’t simply fall straight down when cut. A branch can snap unexpectedly and swing in any direction! Contractors then add cabling to a tree’s parts before cutting. These cables allow workers to control a branch’s movements when cut, ensuring everyone’s safety.

price of tree cutting

Also, tree cutting is expensive because it requires some training and skill. Contractors need to cut a tree slowly, in small pieces, to ensure safe felling. A tree cutter will also cut the trunk in a wedge, not straight through. This ensures the trunk actually falls, and in the right direction.

Note, too, that cutting a rotted or decaying tree is even more risky! Dry wood can snap without warning, or the tree might topple unexpectedly. Professional tree service contractors always inspect a tree’s condition before beginning work.

If you’re still not convinced that tree removal contractors are worth their cost, check out online videos of amateur cutting! You can find dozens of examples of property owners cutting their own trees, to disastrous results. Professional tree cutters ensure safe, reliable results for your property.

How Much Does Stump Removal Cost?

Property owners often fail to realize that contractors might remove a tree but not the stump! Sometimes a property owner wants to regrow the tree or otherwise keep the stump in place. In turn, stump removal and tree cutting are typically two different services.

Stump removal costs typically range from $100 to $500 or more. Stump grinding uses a specialty machine to grind the stump wood into sawdust or mulch. As the wood is left behind, this removal method is often cheaper than actual cutting and digging.

How Do I Get Rid of Trees for Free?

Some websites might suggest that you post ads offering free wood for anyone willing to cut a tree themselves. However, this is a very risky process! Amateur cutting can mean thousands of dollars in property damages.

Some local utility companies might trim or outright remove a tree threatening power lines or cables. You might also note if the tree is on or near public property, such as a sidewalk or road. In some cases, the city or county might then remove the tree.

If this doesn’t work, it’s usually best to schedule professional tree removal. A tree services contractor ensures safe removal, avoiding injury and property damage. Your tree removal costs are usually lower than property repair costs and expenses from an injury.

How Do You Negotiate Tree Removal?

As with any contractor service, tree cutters might offer discounts during certain months considered “off-season.” Prices might also go up when they’re in high demand! For example, homeowners often want to spruce up their yard in spring or early summer. Scheduling tree cutting in late fall might then save you a few dollars.

You might also be prepared to collect and gather logs and fallen wood yourself. Some tree removal contractors charge extra to remove cut wood! While you probably can’t put logs and branches in your everyday trash, consider cutting them as much as possible. You might then use them for fireplace wood, campfire wood, and other such uses.

There’s also nothing wrong with asking outright for a discount! Discuss your budget with your contractor. He or she might not be able to meet your budget but might offer various discounts. You can also shop for online coupons and other such offers.

Some tree removal companies also offer a discount per tree for removing several trees at once, or for land clearing. If you might want other trees removed at a later date, consider having them all removed at once instead. This can mean a lower price overall.

When Is it Safe to Remove a Tree Myself?

While DIY tree removal is quite risky, you might tackle a small tree yourself. Before you begin, check if you need a permit from your city or county. In some cases, they might even prohibit tree removal!

For example, some Florida cities or counties don’t allow mangrove removal. These trees help block floodwaters and control potential erosion. An HOA might also prohibit certain tree removal or even excessive trimming.

Once you’re sure you can cut a tree and have secured a permit, invest in the right safety equipment. This includes goggles, work boots, thick gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and a hard hat. Use a telescoping cutter or handsaw and start by cutting away small branches. Cut about one-third through the top of a branch and then switch to its bottom, cutting all the way through.

Stop often and clear your worksite so branches don’t pile up. Work slowly, thinning the tree as much as possible. Once you’ve cut away as many branches as you can, you might then tackle the trunk! Start at a high point and make a 70-degree angle, cutting downward about one-third of the way into the trunk.

Next, make a 20-degree angle from underneath that cut, working up to its point and creating a right-angle triangle. Remove this wedge. Move to the other side of the tree and cut through the trunk, to the corner of this triangle. Repeat this process until the tree is cut fully!

When Do I Need to Remove a Tree?

While some property owners are eager to schedule tree removal, others might not realize a tree is ready for cutting! Call an arborist or tree services contractor if you notice any of these issues on your property:

  • Unfortunately, you cannot “restore” a dead tree. Dead trees also risk toppling at any time, often without warning. Schedule tree removal in these cases.
  • Severely damaged trees, such as those hit by lightning or a vehicle, might splinter and crack along the trunk. When this happens, they risk property damage or injury to anything or anyone nearby! An arborist might brace up the tree so it heals. If not, it’s time for tree removal.
  • Branches hanging over a structure might scrape roof shingles. Roots can also wrap around buried fixtures and foundation concrete. In these cases, consider full tree removal.

A tree removal contractor can also note if a tree risks damage to your property or is beyond saving. He or she can suggest the best way of protecting that tree or if it needs removal!

Clearwater Tree Removal Services is happy to offer this information about the cost to remove a tree. Hopefully you found it helpful! If you need tree services on your property, call our expert Clearwater tree removal contractors. We offer FREE inspections and price quotes. So, what are you waiting for? Call us right now to get started!


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