The cost of tree removal is just one of the many expenses a homeowner might have in regards to landscaping. But the exact cost of the service? That varies greatly.
If you’re considering having a tree professionally removed at your home, make sure you’re aware of the financial obligations you’ll need to prepare for.
The Average Cost of Tree Removal
Ranging anywhere from $200 to upwards of $2,000, the average cost of tree removal varies greatly and depends largely on the tree in question, as well as its location, condition, and more. Generally, the more complex the job—and the more specialized skills it requires to remove—the more expensive it will be.
All in all, a contractor will typically take the following factors into account when setting the cost of tree removal:
- Location: Trees that are located precariously next to buildings, fences, or other structures will come with a higher fee than those out in the open. The more risks and obstacles there are in removing a tree, the more expensive it will likely be.
- Height: Taller trees require the contractor to approach the removal in pieces. They’ll use specialized equipment (like cherry pickers, for instance) or ropes to climb the tree and cut it into smaller, more easily transported segments. This not only requires more work, but it also means a longer job on the whole. Therefore, taller trees will come with a higher removal fee. Usually, trees up to 25 feet tall will cost around $300 or less for basic removal.
- Condition: Healthy, strong trees are harder to cut down than dead or rotting ones. Trees that are not in healthy condition usually come with lower fees to remove.
- Diameter: Overall width of the tree, just like height, also plays a large role in removal price. Thicker trees will need to be broken down into smaller pieces and take longer to remove. They come with higher removal fees than smaller, thinner trees.
- Type of tree: Certain types of trees are more difficult to remove than others. Oak trees, for example, are particularly strong and hardy. These take considerably more effort to remove and typically come with a higher fee. Pine and palm trees are also usually more expensive.
The cost of tree removal also depends on what services are all included with the removal. Some contractors will also remove and grind the stump, haul away limbs and debris, clean up the job site, or even split logs from the tree (if you have a fireplace, for example). These can all add extra fees to the removal charge.
When Should You Consider Tree Removal?
There are many reasons tree removal may be necessary. Generally, if a tree is dead, leaning over a structure or walkway, or has broken or weakened limbs that could break or blow away, removing the tree is your best option. These trees not only pose a danger to your property but can also threaten loved ones, neighbors, and nearby animals as well.
Tree removal is usually necessary if:
- The trunk is cracked or deeply decayed
- The tree is hollow
- There are large, dead branches
- There are sprouts coming from the base of the tree or the trunk
- There is known root damage
- The tree is under a power line
- There is fungus or rot near the base of the tree
- The tree could fall on your car or a person walking by
Insect infestations also generally require removal, as they eventually lead to the death of the tree and can spread to other nearby plants and foliage.
Alternatives to Tree Removal
Because tree removal can be rather expensive, you should consider alternative solutions if removing the tree isn’t completely necessary. If the tree is not threatening your home, your loved ones or your neighbors, you could take one of these routes instead:
- Cabling and bracing: Carefully placed cables and brace rods can offer structural support to trees that need it. This can be helpful for healthy trees that lean in the wrong direction or have been damaged in a storm.
- Mulching and fertilizing: A good mulching and fertilizing strategy may help rejuvenate roots and restore a tree’s health.
- Trimming and pruning: This can help if a tree is blocking your views, is hanging over a street or sidewalk, or has become a nuisance in some other minor way.
- Moving the tree: In some cases, you may be able to move a tree and relocate it to another spot on your property.
Make sure to consult a tree care specialist for professional guidance before attempting any of these alternatives. Leaving a dead, dying, or leaning tree could pose a safety hazard to those in the area.