How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?
You should expect tree removal to cost $500 to $750 depending on your specific project. Some larger trees can cost more than $2,000 while smaller ones may only cost $150 to $200. As you will see in this guide, size is not the only factor that determines tree removal prices.
Owning a home comes with a wide range of occasional expenses. Removing dead, dying, or hazardous trees from your property is an expense you may face once every few years, and because it happens so rarely, you may not know what to expect in terms of cost.
Dozens of factors can affect the cost of tree removal, ranging from the size of the tree to the current season to the location of the tree on your property. As you prepare to have your tree removed, be sure to consider all of the components that may impact your cost, then look for a company that offers reasonable prices based on your research.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the cost of tree removal.
Average Cost to Remove a Tree Professionally
Before we dive into the various factors that could affect your tree removal costs, let's start with a ballpark number.
The average homeowner in the U.S. pays $630 to remove a tree from their property professionally. Your cost may be higher or lower than this number, but we recommend setting aside at least $630 to start.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Tree Removal
A wide range of factors affect the cost you will pay a professional to remove a tree from your property. Tree removal companies consider the following parameters to determine quotes for their customers.
The type of tree you would like to remove plays a significant role in your overall cost. Each tree species comes with its challenges for removal, and the more difficult a tree is to remove, the higher the price tag.
Spruce trees tend to have multiple trunks and weigh several tons, requiring more effort to remove than a lighter tree type. Palm trees are acidic, meaning removal companies cannot chip them up and sell the mulch as garden cover. These factors drive up the cost of removing the tree.
An experienced tree removal company will pay special attention to your tree species during the quoting process.
The height of the tree also plays a big role in the removal cost. The taller the tree, the more work the tree removal service will have to put into cutting the lumber into easily removable sections. Typically, larger trees have broader trunks, increasing the workload as well.
The number of branches and the size of those branches also play a significant role in your overall tree removal costs. If your tree has primarily short, thin limbs, the tree removal pros will be able to cut them quickly. However, if the tree is full of long, thicker branches, the limbs will take more time and effort to remove.
The trunk diameter also affects your overall removal cost. Thicker trunks lead to more timber that the company needs to remove, racking up the price. Thicker trees are also usually denser and take more time to cut. If your tree is relatively young, its trunk will be smaller, making its removal more affordable.
The tree's condition-whether it is dead or alive-also affects your removal cost. A diseased tree with a dead tree limb is generally tougher than a healthy limb, making it harder for chainsaws to cut through. However, a dead tree tends to weigh less than a healthy tree, making them easier to remove from your property after the tree removal service cuts them down.
If you are looking to remove a fallen tree, you can expect to pay significantly less money than for a tree that is still upright. The tree service company will not have to use a tree crane or climb to dangerous heights to cut the tree, eliminating several hours of work.
The tree's location on your property also impacts the cost of removal. Tree removal companies use heavy machinery to reach the top of the tree, cut the trunk into smaller pieces, and haul the logs away from your property. These machines are large and heavy and do not always fit in hard-to-reach locations.
If your tree is near the road, the tree removal service will be able to access it easily. However, if your tree is in the back yard, away from driveway or road access, they will have to haul the lumber to the front manually, increasing your overall cost.
The current season and weather conditions play a role in your total tree removal cost. The best time to remove a tree is in the winter, as companies tend to have fewer customers in the winter than they do in the other three seasons. If a company lacks regular business during the colder months, it may lower its cost by anywhere from 15% to 30%, saving you money.
Potential Obstacles or Hazards
In general, the more difficult the tree is to remove, the higher your costs will be. If there are any obstacles or hazards in the way of your tree, the company will have to take special care to access and remove the tree safely.
A few common obstacles and hazards include:
- Other trees
- Power lines
- Telephone lines
- Gardens or potted plants
If you can remove any of these obstacles, such as a section of the fence or a playset, you will likely save some money on your tree removal cost.
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How Much Is Emergency Tree Removal?
An emergency tree removal tends to be much more expensive than the one you schedule in advance. You can expect to pay twice as much for an emergency service as you would for a traditional removal. However, despite its steep costs, emergency removal is sometimes necessary to ensure your safety and prevent damage to your property.
You may need to schedule service if:
- The tree is diseased
- You notice decaying or damaged roots
- There is an impending storm that could weaken the tree's foundation
- The tree is leaning due to a storm or other damage
- The tree trunk is hollow
If you are unsure whether or not you need an emergency removal service, you can contact any emergency tree care company to perform an inspection of the tree for free.
If the tree has already fallen on your home or another structure on your property, your homeowner's insurance may cover some or all of your removal costs.
Average Tree Removal Pricing for Common Tree Species
As we mentioned previously, the tree type you would like to remove influences your overall removal cost. Here we will break down the average removal cost for several popular tree species.
Oak Tree Removal Cost
Oak trees are large, sturdy trees that can live for several hundred years. These trees tend to be extremely heavy, weighing over 3 tons, and their wide, long branches often extend over power lines or roofs. As a result, oak tree removal tends to be pricier than cutting down other species.
The average oak tree grows as tall as 80 feet, or the equivalent of over six stories, but the largest varieties can reach up to 150 feet. The biggest oak trees can measure more than nine feet in diameter, with roots spreading several yards away from the trunk.
If your oak tree is around 60 feet tall with a 30-inch-wide trunk, you can expect to pay anywhere from $950 to $2,300 to remove it.
Palm Tree Removal Cost
Palm trees grow in warm climates and are prevalent in states such as Florida, Arizona, and California. Some palm tree species can live for up to 100 years, but most live for closer to 70 years. These trees tend to grow between 32 and 60 feet tall.
Palm trees tend to have skinny trunks measuring about 12 inches in diameter, making them easier for tree care services to cut down. However, unlike most other trees, companies cannot chip palm trees in a mulcher, meaning they cannot make money by selling the tree waste as garden cover. Additionally, palm trees are full of water, leading them to weigh around two tons each.
Altogether, you can expect to pay anywhere from $650 to $800 for your palm tree removal.
Pine Tree Removal Cost
The average pine tree grows to be anywhere from 150 to 210 feet high with roots extending down three feet or lower. Their large stature and long limbs lead these trees to weigh close to 10 tons each, making them challenging and time-consuming to remove.
Pine trees tend to have some of the highest removal prices of any tree species on our list. You can expect your pine tree removal cost to be anywhere from $1,000 to $1,700 per tree.
Maple Tree Removal Cost
Maple trees are common throughout the United States and can grow to be anywhere from 30 feet to 100 feet tall. Their trunk diameters are often between one and two feet wide, making them skinnier than other trees on our list.
Maple trees can vary widely in their height and diameter, so the exact cost you will pay for a maple tree removal will depend heavily on its size. Smaller maples may cost about $500 to remove, while maples reaching upwards of 100 feet will cost closer to $1,100 per tree.
Spruce Tree Removal Cost
The average spruce tree grows to be between 60 and 200 feet tall, making this species one of the tallest trees in the U.S. Spruce trees often have a trunk diameter ranging from 30 inches to 45 inches.
You can expect to pay around $900 to $1,100 for your spruce tree removal.
Spruce trees are ideal for timber. As a result, you may be able to save some money by asking your tree company to split the trunk for you so you can sell the logs for firewood.
Sycamore Tree Removal Cost
Mature sycamore trees can reach between 70 and 100 feet in height. Some sycamore trees develop multiple trunks that are each at least 15 inches in diameter, contributing to the tree's overall large, heavy stature. These trees can weigh upwards of 4.2 tons each.
On average, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for a sycamore tree removal.
Average Removal Costs by Tree Size
As we have already mentioned, the height of the tree is one of the most significant factors contributing to its removal cost. All else being equal, a larger tree will almost always be more expensive to chop down compared to a similar smaller tree.
Small Tree Removal Cost
Small trees are trees that are a maximum of 30 feet tall. Small tree removal tends to be affordable, as removal services can cut down these trees relatively quickly with minimal equipment. In general, you can expect to pay around $200 to $500 to remove a small tree from your property professionally.
Some homeowners decide to remove small trees themselves, especially if the tree is short enough that they do not need a ladder to cut it down. If you have the right tools and equipment and feel comfortable using them, you may want to remove a small tree yourself to reduce your cost.
Medium-sized Tree Removal Cost
A medium tree measures between 30 and 60 feet in height. A few common medium-sized trees are cypresses, date palms, and American hollies.
You can expect to pay somewhere between $500 and $1,000 for medium-sized tree removal depending on the location of the tree, the species, and the cost factors above. We recommend that you hire a professional to remove a medium tree, as attempting to cut these trees yourself could be dangerous or even illegal in your area.
Large Tree Removal Cost
A large tree is between 60 feet and 80 feet tall. Large tree removal costs more than smaller trees as they are often much heavier, and their trunks are often several feet wide, making the project take much longer to complete. A few common large trees are the cottonwood, American elm, and oak tree.
The average cost to remove a large tree from your property is between $1,000 and $2,500.
Extra-Large Tree Removal Cost
Extra-large trees are those taller than 80 feet. While these trees are not as common in residential neighborhoods, tree removal services still occasionally remove them from back yards. Because these trees are so large and heavy, they could cause significant damage to homes or surrounding structures if their base is not healthy and structurally sound.
If you need to remove an extra-large tree from your property, you may need to pay upwards of $3,000 to $4,000.
Average Cost of Tree Removal by Condition
A tree's condition is one of the many factors affecting your removal cost. As you begin preparing for your tree removal, you should be sure to examine your tree's condition and factor this information into your estimated tree removal price. While it may be too late to save your specific tree, you should invest in proper tree maintenance so that your other trees do not have to be removed in the future.
Average Cost to Remove a Fallen Tree
You may find yourself needing to remove a fallen tree after a storm or heavy winds. Thankfully, a fallen tree generally costs much less to remove than a tall, firmly rooted one. The average cost of removing a fallen tree professionally is around $150 to $300.
Because the tree is already on the ground, a tree company will not have to spend time climbing to the top or using a tree crane to reach the upper branches, saving you money on your tree removal cost. It's much easier to chop up a tree trunk and each branch once the tree is on the ground. Lowering each limb piece by piece with ropes can take a lot of time. However, fallen trees sometimes damage your property, especially if they fall on your roof or another structure, which will rack up your overall cost.
If you have a chainsaw or other appropriate tools, you may decide to remove the fallen tree yourself. However, you should never attempt to cut or remove a fallen tree that has landed on or near power lines.
Average Cost to Remove a Dead Tree
The average cost to remove dead trees is slightly lower than the cost to remove live ones. You can expect to pay around $500 to remove a dead tree, but the cost factors above will influence your final price.
Dead trees are more hazardous than live, healthy trees. When a tree dies, it loses some of its structural integrity, which can allow heavy winds or storms to blow it over more easily. If your dead tree is in a dangerous location or you think it poses a risk of falling on your property, you may want to schedule an on-site estimate.
Average Cost to Cut Down a Healthy Tree
Healthy, living trees are the most expensive trees to remove. These trees are structurally sound and firmly rooted in the ground with thick, heavy trunks. The average cost to remove a living tree is $630, but the exact price will vary depending on our cost factors above.
Unless your tree is in a hazardous location, you may not have a sound reason to remove your living tree. If the branches extend to power lines or over your roof, you may want to hire a tree trimming service to cut them back rather than removing the entire tree.
Each state has its own regulations about removing live trees on your property. If the living tree you would like to remove is protected or endangered, your state's department of natural resources may prevent you from removing it.
Average Tree Removal Cost per Foot
Because a tree's height and width play an essential role in its overall removal costs, you can estimate the average cost to remove a tree by multiplying its size by the cost per foot. If you are only looking at the size and ignoring other factors, such as the tree's location or condition, you should budget around $20 per foot for your tree removal.
Average Cost of Tree Trimming Services
If you only need to remove a few branches rather than cutting down the entire tree, you may want to consider hiring a tree trimming company. Tree trimming tends to be more affordable than professional tree removal, costing an average of between $250 and $500 per tree.
Larger trees, such as those measuring between 60 feet and 80 feet tall, are more challenging for tree trimmers to reach and may incur costs up to $900.
The following factors may affect the cost of tree trimming services:
- The size of the tree
- The number of branches you need to remove
- The height of the branches
- The tree's location (e.g., if it is near a power line)
- The type of tree
As with tree removal services, you will need to get a quote from the trimming company to determine your exact costs.
Ways to Save Money on Tree Removal
If you have read the above information about factors that affect your tree removal cost, you may feel like the cost to cut down your tree is out of your control. While some factors, such as the tree location and size, will inevitably affect your costs, you can take a few measures to reduce your overall tree removal prices.
Remove Small Trees Yourself
If your tree is under 15 feet tall, you may be able to remove it yourself for a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. Generally, you should only attempt to cut down a tree yourself if it is short enough that you would not need a ladder to reach the top. If you do not already own a chainsaw, you will either need to purchase one outright or rent one for around $100 per day.
Removing a tree can be dangerous, so you should not attempt it unless you feel confident.
Wait Until the Winter
Tree removal services often lower their prices during the winter months to make up for their lack of customers. Additionally, you will not have to worry about removing bird nests or other animal habitats from the tree in the wintertime. Neither will the tree be actively growing, making it easier to remove.
If your tree is alive and healthy, you may want to wait until the winter to hire a tree service. However, if your tree is already dead or has fallen, you should schedule your tree work as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.
Remove Obstacles That Could Drive Up the Price
Tree pros factor in the obstacles they will have to work around into your overall removal cost. Before you schedule a tree removal quote, we recommend walking around your property and looking for any obstacles that could make it challenging for the removal service to access the tree. These obstacles may include:
- Garden stones surrounding the tree
- Potted plants
- A basketball hoop
- A trampoline or playset
- An above-ground pool
- A shed
If you can remove any of these obstacles yourself before your quote, you may be able to save a few hundred dollars.
Similarly, if your tree is in a hard-to-access location, such as the edge of your backyard, you may want to ask your neighbors if you can borrow their driveway for the day. The closer the tree crew can get to your tree, the lower your cost will be.
Sell the Timber for Firewood
After the removal service finishes cutting down the tree, it will either split the timber into logs, haul it away, or feed it through a wood chipper. If your company offers log splitting, you can request to keep the wood, then sell it to people in your community as firewood.
If the company does not offer log splitting, you may want to chop up the trunk yourself and sell the timber. Your overall cost to cut down a tree will decrease if your tree service does not have to haul away the wood.
Hire a Gardener or Landscaping Company
Depending on the size of the tree, you may be able to contact a gardener rather than hiring a certified arborist to cut down a tree. Gardeners often charge half the price of certified arborists, and as long as your tree is less than fifteen feet tall, they will not need any special certifications to remove it.
Remove the Green Waste Yourself
When you hire a full-service tree removal business, part of your total expenses will go toward tree debris removal after the company finishes the job. If you want to save some money, you may choose to take on the job of debris removal yourself.
We always recommend getting as much use out of your felled tree as possible, whether that means mulching it, using the lumber for firewood, or turning it into ground cover. If you are not sure how to properly dispose of your green waste, you may want to leave the job to the professionals.
Leave the Tree Stump
Some tree services incorporate stump grinding or stump removal into their overhead cost, while others add this service by request. In general, tree stump removal will cost you anywhere from $50 to $350 depending on the size of the stump and the reach of the roots. Asking your tree service to leave the stump in the ground could save you a decent amount of money.
Shop Around for Quotes
Finally, one of the best ways to save money on tree removal is to get quotes from several local tree companies and compare their rates. Tree Cutting Pros makes it easy to see quotes from a few of the best local tree services in your area at once, streamlining your quoting process.
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Should I Hire a Professional to Remove a Tree?
Removing a tree is a dangerous task, and the best way to avoid putting yourself or your property in danger is to hire a certified arborist to remove trees taller than 15 feet. Arborists are highly skilled, have all of the proper equipment, and know the best ways to remove trees in precarious or hazardous positions.
What Is the Tree Removal Process?
If you have never hired a company to remove a tree, you may be unsure what to expect during the tree and stump removal process. While the exact process you can expect depends on a wide range of factors, here is the basic procedure an arborist will follow when removing a tree:
- Determine if there is room to fell the entire tree: If you have enough cleared space available on your property, and if the tree is not too tall, the arborist may be able to fell the entire tree. He or she will tie a rope to the top, cut a notch near the bottom, and safely lower the tree to the ground.
- Cut and lower the limbs: If the pro cannot fell the entire tree, he or she will climb to the top and cut all of the necessary limbs, dropping them to the ground.
- Cut and lower the trunk: After safely removing the limbs, the arborist will cut the trunk into sections. He or she will either drop each section or lower it to the ground using ropes.
- Dismantle the tree sections: While the arborist lowers the branch and trunk sections, other workers will begin running the wood through a wood chipper or cutting it into logs.
- Remove the stump: After the arborist finishes cutting the bulk of the tree, he or she will begin removing the stump. Many arborists use a stump grinder to shred the remaining stump into small pieces.
- Remove debris: Once the crew removes all of the large pieces of the tree, they will rake and blow the yard to remove debris.
The process to remove a tree will take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the tree size and location.
Is Stump Grinding Included in the Tree Removal Costs?
Some tree companies include stump grinding and removal in your overall cost while others add this task on for an additional fee. We recommend removing the stump one way or another, whether you hire the removal company to grind it or attempt to remove it yourself. Stumps can create a safety hazard, spread disease or infestation, and reduce your property's curb appeal.
Not all companies will remove or grind a stump, so if this is something you want, you need to make sure that you ask them if they provide that type of service.
Should I Look for a Tree Removal Company That Has Insurance?
You should only work with a pro that has general liability insurance. Removing a tree is dangerous work, and while professional tree services have the training and experience necessary to avoid accidents, the nature of this work means mistakes happen occasionally.
If the tree falls on your roof or causes any damage to your property during removal, you want to feel confident that the company you hired will cover your repair costs. If a company does not have liability insurance, you may have to sue to receive compensation, which can be costly and time-consuming.
What Qualities Should I Look for in a Local Tree Removal Company?
Finding the right company to remove trees from your property may feel challenging. As you sort through your possible options, we recommend looking for the following qualities in a tree service:
- Positive reviews and ratings: Customer reviews offer valuable insight into a company's procedures, attention to detail, and customer service. We recommend looking for a company that has mainly positive reviews and high ratings.
- Years of experience: Because tree removal is a highly skilled profession, you should look for a company with extensive experience in the industry. Hiring an arborist with 10+ years of experience will give you peace of mind about your tree removal and ensure that you receive top-quality services.
- Fair pricing: We've covered the average price to remove a small tree, large tree, oak tree, and every tree in between. You should compare our average price estimates to the quotes you receive from arborists to determine companies that charge fair prices. If a price seems too good to be true or is way above your budget, you may want to look for another company.
Tree Cutting Pros partners with reliable, affordable tree removal services to help you find the perfect company for your needs.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost to Remove a Tree?
Homeowner's insurance does not cover tree removal unless the tree has caused damage to your property. A few cases in which you may be able to submit a claim for tree removal include:
- The tree fell on the house during a storm.
- The tree fell on the house as a result of weight from ice, sleet, or snow.
- The tree fell on the house due to rot or age.
- A neighbor's tree fell on your house.
You will typically have to pay an agreed-upon deductible amount in these cases, and your insurance will cover the remaining cost to cut down or remove the tree from your property.
In most other cases, insurance will not cover the cost to remove or cut down a tree. If a small tree falls on your lawn but does not damage any property, you will not be able to submit a claim to remove it. Even if a tree is dead, dying, or poses a potential risk to your property, your insurance will not cover the cost to cut it down.
Compare Prices on Tree Removal Service
The price you will pay to remove a tree from your property depends on a wide range of variables. While you can take some steps to reduce your overall cost, such as removing obstacles from your property or schedule in the winter, the best way to find the most affordable service is to shop around for a quote with several companies.
Our price comparison tool makes it easy to view quotes from several reliable companies in your area. Fill out our quote form today to begin the process of finding the right tree removal pro for your needs and your budget.