How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?

Typical Price Range:

$150 - $2000

Find out how much your tree removal project costs today.

Whether you have a tree in your yard that fell during a storm or a tree that has overstayed its welcome, you may find yourself in need of a tree removal service.

Unless you’re dealing with a small tree, cutting your trees down yourself is not recommended – plus, unless you have use for the wood, you’ll still be left with a tree you need to get rid of. Before you call up your local contractor, you need to be prepared for the potential costs that come with tree removals.

“Tree removal cost calculators” and other internet cost estimators can only give you a rough idea of the price of cutting down a tree. Without seeing or knowing anything about the tree question, it is difficult to estimate the exact cost of removing your tree.

There are a surprising number of factors that go into determining the price of cutting down a tree, and to get the closest estimate, at the very least, you will need to know the kind of tree and the condition of the tree that you’re working with.

To learn more about tree removal costs and other tree services that can contribute to the overall cost of removing your trees, continue reading.

Tree trimming professional trimming a tree
Photo Credit: Jim Goudie - Flickr - CC BY 2.0

Average Tree Removal Costs

There is no one-size-fits-all price tag on tree removal. The best way to get a pricing estimate on your tree removal costs would be to request an appraisal from a contractor in your area that offers tree removal services.

A quick search engine search of “tree removal companies near me” is the fastest way to get a list of all the contractors in your area. From there, you can ask for quotes or estimates for their tree removal services.

To give you an estimate on the cost of their services, the contractors will need you to answer questions about the tree. Where is the tree located? How big is the tree? Is the tree healthy or rotting? Do you want the stump to be removed as well?

These are just some of the many factors contributing to the final price for cutting down a tree. An estimate is not a guarantee of the final amount that you are charged – the contractors may realize that their estimate was too high or low after seeing the tree close up.

You might be wondering, what is the cost to remove a tree? The average cost of tree removal ranges from $150-$2000, depending on the tree in question and the services required. Before hiring a contractor, you should get multiple quotes from other companies to get a better idea of the average pricing in your area.

It’s always a good idea to have various options to choose between before making your final hiring decision.

Factors That Contribute To Tree Removal Costs

There are a surprising number of factors that contribute to the final cost of cutting down and removing a tree. It’s not as simple as paying a company for their labor and equipment; there are layers to consider before anyone touches the tree.

To get the most accurate estimate possible from your contractor, you will need to give them a solid idea of the situation they are dealing with. If you want to equip your contractors with enough information to get a more accurate estimate, you will need to answer any possible questions they could have about your tree. Here are some of the essential details you should familiarize yourself with before you call your local contractor.

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The Size of Your Tree

Anyone who has ever cut down a tree will tell you that cutting a small tree is a very different experience compared to cutting down a large tree. The amount of effort and equipment needed to remove a large tree is enough to justify a higher price point – not to mention the added precautions necessary to ensure that the workers are kept safe throughout the process.

If anything of value in the surrounding area is damaged, the costs can add up quickly.

The height of your tree is vital in determining the price point of your tree removal, but the diameter plays a significant role as well. The tree is cut down from the trunk, so your contractor needs to know how to thick the trunk of your tree is to determine how hard the tree will be to cut down: a smaller, thin tree could potentially be cut down with a hand ax, while an enormous tree with a thicker trunk would require the use of a chainsaw.

A large tree with a thick trunk could cost you upwards of $1000 to remove, while a smaller tree with a thin trunk would be priced in the $150-$500 range. That being said, you could end up paying more for a smaller tree if it has a thicker trunk to cut through.

The Condition of The Tree

The condition that your tree is in may very well have been the reason you hired a contractor to get rid of it. If the tree you are looking to remove shows signs of rotting or disease, it will be easier for a contractor to remove, resulting in a lower price point. Healthier trees are harder to cut through, and the pricing will reflect that.

If you feel your contractor’s estimate is too high for a tree that already shows signs that it is dying, make sure you emphasize that the tree is weaker and, therefore, easier to eliminate.

If any of the trees in your yard show signs of disease or poor health, you should look into removing them as soon as possible, as the infection can spread to other nearby trees. Not sure what a diseased tree looks like? There are tons of resources available on the internet, including this article in The Boston Globe!

Is The Tree Still Standing

In most cases, it will be less expensive to remove a tree that has already fallen. If one of your trees was the victim of a bad storm, you could have it removed for as little as $75-150.

A majority of the danger and hazards associated with tree removal are part of the process of cutting down the tree, which is why it is less expensive to have a tree removed after it has fallen under natural circumstances.

That being said, there are some instances where removing a fallen tree can be more expensive than anticipated. Contractors will often price their tree removal services based on the likelihood that removing the tree could cause damage to the surrounding area.

For example, if a tree in your yard fell treacherously close to your house, there is a chance that removing the tree could damage the house. Contractors would charge more in these cases to offset the liability costs if something were to happen.

Fallen-tree-removal-with-roots-above-ground
Photo Credit: slgckgc - Flickr - CC BY 2.0

Type of Tree You're Removing

Another factor to keep in mind when looking for pricing estimates on tree removal services is the type of tree you are looking to remove. Different species of trees grow to different sizes, and some have tougher than average wood, making them harder to eliminate.

For example, oak trees produce some of the most substantial wood available, making them extremely hard to cut down. So many tree removal companies will charge a premium to remove oak trees. Pine trees are a less challenging species to cut down, but they can grow up to 80 feet, which will lead to a more complicated and dangerous process to remove the tree,

If you’re not sure what species of tree you are working with, there are plenty of resources available to help you identify your trees. Here is a research paper from Cornell University that you can use to help you identify your trees based on their foliage.

Your Location

Location is another critical factor that can contribute to the final price of cutting down a tree. Tree removal pricing varies across different states and even different cities. It is more expensive to bring a tree down in a busy metropolitan area than it would be to cut a tree down in a quieter suburb. Plus, if you live in a rural area, you may be charged a transportation fee from the company to send their employees to you.

It would be best if you also considered where your tree is concerning other objects around it. As we mentioned above, if there is a risk of damaging anything around the tree when it falls, that will cause the price of cutting the tree to skyrocket. If your tree is closer to a house or fence, the company will give you a quote that reflects the threat of damage to the surrounding area.

Bulk Removal Pricing

If you are looking to remove a large number of trees, there is the possibility that the company will offer to remove the trees at a bulk rate. While eliminating many trees is more work, some companies offer discounted or lump sum rates rather than a price per tree system for a larger project.

Contractors will provide bulk pricing deals to encourage customers to hire them for larger projects, mutually beneficial.

Tree Removal Services: What to Expect

Many contractors will offer different service packages for tree removal, so you will need to do a bit of independent research to gain a complete understanding of what each company’s tree removal services will give you.

For the most part, a tree removal service will include the cost of chopping down the tree and taking the tree away. Hauling the tree away may be considered an extra cost, depending on the company’s policy.

For taller trees, the contractor may need to perform branch trimmings or cut the tree into smaller sections so that it is easier for them to work with and transport, whereas a smaller tree will likely be cut down in one section. Removal of a fallen tree may require the roots of the tree de dug up and removed, depending on how the tree fell and whether or not it was uprooted or broken at the trunk.

As we mentioned above, many factors contribute to removing a tree, which all factor into the final cost of tree removal.

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Other Tree Services That May Cost Extra

Now that you know what to expect from a base service, contractors may offer some other benefits on top of their basic service, depending on what their customer wants. Here are some of the more popular services that tree removal companies offer alongside their basic packages.

Stump Removal

Stump removal, or stump grinding, is rarely included in the base package for tree removal services. The process and tools involved in removing tree stumps are entirely different from those needed for cutting down trees, so contractors will charge an extra fee due to the need to transport the additional tools for the stump removal service.

Stump removal can cost you anywhere between $60-$400 depending on the size and health of the stump. As with cutting down trees, smaller stumps or stumps in the decay stages are easier and less expensive to remove than more giant stumps or stumps in total health.

Depending on the size of the stumps and the number of stumps that will need to be removed, this can be a significant add-on. Considered that stumps are seen as an eyesore in many yards, this is a popular service. Some companies will offer discounted pricing to have the stumps removed at the same time as they are pulling your tree, while others will charge extra.

Tree-strump
Photo Credit: Penn State - Flickr - CC BY 2.0

Trunk Removal

Just as they do with stump removal, some companies will charge extra to take the tree’s trunk with them. Many companies may chop the trunk into smaller, more workable pieces for you to move elsewhere, while others will take them away along with the tree at no extra charge. The pricing on trunk removal is up to each contractor to determine whether or not it will be included as part of their main package or considered an extra service.

If the company chooses to list trunk removal as an add-on, the cost for the service, on average, is between $50-$100.

Log Splitting

If you have a home fireplace, some contractors will offer a log splitting service in place of hauling the tree away or throwing it into a wood chipper. If the company provides a log splitting service, the cost will depend on the size of the tree in question, whether or not you want the entire tree split into logs—splitting logs from an 80-foot tree might be a bit overkill for a home fireplace—and the toughness of the wood.

Like cutting a tree down, the larger the tree and the more rigid the wood, the higher the price will be to split the tree into logs for the fireplace. On average, companies that offer log-splitting services charge upwards of $75 for the service. If you have use for the extra wood and a contractor in your area provides this service as an add-on to their tree removal package, this is convenient.

Chipping Services

Some companies will offer you the choice to use a wood chipper to dispose of your tree or have the tree hauled away with the contractors as they leave.

Depending on the company and if they have a wood chipper readily available, this may be an extra cost to you. In the same way that bringing additional equipment to remove the tree stump will cost you extra, some companies will charge extra to get a wood chipper on site.

Whether or not you choose to use this service is ultimately up to personal opinion and is entirely optional.

Wrapping Up: Tree Removal Costs

A basic web search of “tree removal cost near me” or “cost to cut down a tree” will bring you dozens of web pages devoted to given estimates on tree removal costs. While they may seem convenient, tree removal cost calculators can only give you a rough estimate of the cost of removing your tree based on minimal information.

The only surefire way to get an accurate quote for the cost of tree removal is to contact the contractors in your area and ask about the services they provide.

Not all tree removal services cover the cost of stump removal or the cost of disposing of the tree, so asking your contractors about their tree removal services upfront before hiring them will save you the surprise costs after the work has already been done.

Not all contractors or tree-removing services are created equal. Now that you know what to look for and what information is most important when it comes to removing those pesky trees, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision before you hire your contractor.

And remember: if you’re unsure if the pricing you’re being offered is fair, you can always shop around for second opinions by checking a list of the company’s complete services and add-ons.

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