How much does tree removal cost?
One of the first questions most people ask when considering getting rid of an unwanted tree is “How much does tree removal cost?”
Tree removal is a complex process often involving a lot of risk. To perform tree removal safely it is necessary to have the proper equipment along with a crew that has specialized training. Cost to remove a tree can vary greatly depending on several factors.
In this article you will find helpful information to answer your questions about the process of determining tree removal cost. It is important to keep in mind that professional tree services typically provide free estimates because it is virtually impossible to estimate tree removal cost without seeing the tree in person. This article will help you understand the main factors that an estimator will use to determine the cost of your tree removal but once you are ready to take the next step we recommend you contact a professional tree service for a firm bid in writing.
Example tree removal cost:
- Small trees that do not require technical rigging: Tree removal cost: $150.00-$450.00
- Medium trees requiring rigging to safely bring down branches: Tree removal cost: $450.00-$950.00
- Large trees that need heavy rigging and deeper stump grinding can have the most variance in cost. Tree removal cost: $950.00-$1750.00
Top 5 Factors to determine tree removal costs:
1.Safety and professionalism:
When trying to find out how much it costs to remove a tree many people overlook the most important factor SAFETY! No matter what service you have done at your property if the company is not safe and professional the costs could be tremendous. All of the other factors in determining tree removal cost rely on the tree service company to operate in a safe manner. Though safety training is not the largest cost of tree removal it is one of the most important parts. Companies that provide safety training to their employees may have slightly higher prices but the small price increase is much cheaper than an accident and generally the best investment you can make. When it comes to safety the true cost to remove a tree could end up being someones hospital bills or even their life! Don’t forget about safety training and certifications when considering the cost of tree removal. You can read more about safety training for tree services in my article: “The ultimate guide for hiring a tree service in Houston.”
2. Tree removal cost based on size of tree:
Size of a tree will play a major part in the overall price. Regardless of other factors size of the tree will be used to determine how much debris will need to be hauled away and provide a general idea of how long the job should take.
Small Tree Removal Cost:
Small trees are those that are about 8 inches in trunk diameter or less. and up to 15 feet tall. They generally can be removed with little to no climbing and no complex rigging. Because of their smaller size these trees can generally be removed by someone with less skill with the majority of the work going to haul off and cleanup rather than the removal itself.
Small tree removal cost: $150.00-$450.00
Medium Tree Removal Cost:
Medium trees cover a wide array of trees in the urban setting. They are the ones that have been growing in neighborhoods for 10-20 years and may be just starting to outgrow their space or become a nuisance. Medium trees are generally about 10-15 inches trunk diameter and can be up to 25-30 feet tall. Medium trees require more labor and disposal cost than small trees and in some cases require light rigging to safely remove. Cost to remove a medium tree can vary quite a bit depending on size and complexity of the tree removal.
Medium tree removal cost: $450.00-$950.00
Large Tree Removal Cost:
Large tree removal costs the most for obvious reasons. Large trees often tower high in the skyline and have large branches that extend out over houses and other objects making their removal much more difficult. The cost of large tree removal can be more expensive simply because they require lots of technical rigging to safely bring down branches and the shear volume of debris created. If you have a large tree on your property that needs to be removed it is best to contact a professional tree service as large tree removal is a hazardous task not suited for the average person. Large trees also pose the greatest threat to your home and should be evaluated for safety. If you are considering the cost of large tree removal this would be a good time to have a certified arborist out to your property to evaluate all of your trees.
Large tree removal cost: $950.00-$1750.00
3. Location of tree being removed on your property.
Location of a tree can influence the cost of tree removal almost as much as the tree’s size. If a tree is located far to the rear of a property or where access is limited it can greatly increase the time and complexity of the job. The cost to remove a tree that is a bit larger but located near the street can be removed more quickly than a medium tree located at the rear of the property. Location affects the cost to remove a tree in ways that may not be redily apparent such as increased cleanup time due to the tree being located near a pool or over property lines etc. These are all factors that you should consider before talking to tree services in your area. When getting estimates it is important that your tree removal cost includes time for not only safe removal of the tree but for proper cleanup of all the areas that are involved in getting the tree out to the street as well.
Removing a tree near structures or objects power lines.
In urban areas trees have limited room to grow and are often sandwiched into small yards or easement areas. As they grow larger trees can span over structures and crowd into high voltage power lines. Where structures are concerned tree removal cost generally goes up due to the additional rigging lines and skill sets needed. Also, the tree service is assuming more risk when removing trees near structures in addition to increased cost. If you are considering tree removal near a structure you want to find a company that is fully insured and knowledgeable enough to get the job done safely. The right company for the job will not always be the cheapest company. You should take extra care when evaluating the cost of tree removal near structures.
Trees near power lines present a completely different hazard. ANSI guidelines for tree care safety call for trees to be 10 feet or more from high voltage power lines in order for a tree climber to work in the tree. If a tree is closer than 10 feet away from high voltage lines the guidelines call for a line clearance arborist to first come and prune the tree back away from the lines before anyone is allowed to work in the tree. In residential areas powerlines often run through the back of the property. Large trees frequently come in contact with power lines and can cause electrical shock. Electricity providers make a constant effort to keep trees pruned back to a safe distance but they are not always able to keep trees 100% safe. If your trees are near power lines you should ask about this when getting an estimate. A professional company should tell you that you need to contact the electricity provider to trim back any trees near lines before they can send a crew out to your property.
Tree removal near underground utilities, sprinklers or plumbing.
The cost of tree removal involves more than avoiding objects above ground. In determining the cost to remove a tree your estimator must also take below ground items into account as well. Underground utilities can be especially tricky because they often cannot be readily seen. Tree removal often involves dropping large logs and or felling of tree stems. In an open area this can be done safely and an estimator may not be fully aware of what risks lurk underground.
Look out and discuss the following types of underground lines when getting a price for tree removal:
- Underground electrical cable.
- Underground natual gas lines including those to outdoor stoves and lanterns.
- Water lines to your house.
- Sewer lines away from hour house.
- Sprinkler system lines
- Other control wires, outdoor lighting etc that may be in the yard or flowerbeds
- Plumbing and wiring associated with pools.
Tree removal near your foundation could cost you!
If you are considering the cost of tree removal for a tree that is located very close to your foundation you should be aware that removing the tree could cause your foundation to shift.
If you have a peer and beam foundation the tree could be pushing on one of the supports but is less likely to cause damage from tree removal.
If you have a concrete slab foundation removing the tree could cause soil moisture to increase and raise your foundation. If large roots are growing under your foundation they may decay in the years following tree removal causing your slab to sink.
Any movement in your foundation is not good so it is important to keep this in mind. The cost of tree removal might include foundation repair!
4.Condition of tree being removed.
How much tree removal costs can also vary with the overall condition of your tree. If your tree is perfectly healthy the limbs have more strength and can be safely used for rigging large sections of wood.On the other hand if your tree’s condition not good there may be decay present causing limbs to be weak. An arborist or estimator will take the condition of your tree into account when determining the overall costs to remove your tree.
If you are interviewing tree services to find the cost of tree removal then you should ask each one about the condition of your tree. A reputable company will be able to explain to you how your tree looks and if the structure is sound. They should be able to point out areas of concern and explain why they can or cannot use certain areas for rigging large loads. Better condition allows the estimator to trust the strength of your tree’s wood for normal rigging. If your tree’s condition is poor the estimator may need to include additional costs for more advanced techniques, making smaller cuts or utilizing equipment such as a crane. Not including the proper costs and equipment could lead to an accident so make sure to discuss tree condition when getting estimates.
5.Complexity of cleanup can effect tree removal cost.
Proper clean up takes time! If you want your property to look good following a tree removal it is best to make sure that cleanup is included in the tree removal cost. One of the ways you can negotiate for a lower price is to specify a lower level of cleanup allowing you to do some of the work yourself. The important thing is to discuss this when getting estimates for tree removal.
If your tree is located near a pool or property line there may be significant costs for the tree service to clean your property and your neighbors property. Sometimes large tree removals near corners of the yard will end up with debris over three or more properties. You need to make sure that your neighbors property is clean after the tree removal is complete. The cost of your tree removal should not include angry neighbors so make sure to get cleanup details in writing!