Although trees are an important part of the natural world, there are several reasons why you could want to start considering tree removal costs. Although trees are beautiful and they can serve to enhance the landscape, they could become a problem in certain situations like the tree roots coming in and pushing through your septic tank setup or well. Dead trees and storm damage are also common problems, and you want to address the problem as quickly as possible to ensure that the tree does the least damage possible to your area. Also, a dead or dying tree can attract insects that can wreak havoc on other trees or plants in the vicinity.
Your tree removal cost can start at $400 and go upwards of $2,000, and most people pay around $750 to remove a problem tree. As you can see, there is a larger price range with this project, and this is due to the fact that there are so many factors that come into play. Extreme projects can go up to $2,000 while simple ones may only touch around $200 for your tree removal cost. The job complexity and the site accessibility will factor in, and most professional-grade companies will charge different amounts for different heights.
This price works out to $8.00 to $15.00 a foot. Most professional companies also use three broad height ranges, including small for trees that are under 30 feet, medium for trees between 30 and 60 feet, and tall for trees over 60 feet. When you add stump removal, cleanup, and landscaping, you could easily end up doubling your tree removal costs. The tree species will also come into play, as will the local tax and licensing requirements. Overhead, complexity of the project, and accessibility are important too. Finally, the tree’s location, diameter, and condition will influence your tree removal costs.
However, it can be relatively easy to get an accurate estimate for your tree removal costs if you look at each factor and apply it to your situation. In this guide, we’ll highlight all of the largest contributing factors that go into figuring out your tree removal cost, and you can use it to contact local companies in your area to get comprehensive quotes.
Professionals have a better chance of getting the tree to fall exactly where it needs to without damaging any surrounding structures. This is why it’s a good idea to call them in before you start trying to remove trees on your own. One more cut, ready? By giveawayboy / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Tree Removal Costs for Different Tree Types
The type of tree you want gone from your yard will directly impact your tree removal cost. Some trees naturally grow large enough to put them in different size classifications, and this impacts how companies perform cost estimates. Assuming that you have an average height and the removal process isn’t horribly difficult due to the tree’s location, the following will help give you a solid base to build your tree removal cost on.
Conifers survive in a host of planting zones, and they’re typically one of the easier trees to get rid of. They have a lower tree removal cost even if they can grow impressively tall. To have the tree cut down and hauled away, including a stump removal or grounding down, you’ll pay between $800 and $1,100.
This isn’t a common tree everywhere in the United States, but they can get very large when you compare them to other tree species. On the low end, you can expect your tree removal cost to hover around $1,200 due to the large size. If the tree is over 100 feet tall or if it has an impressive truck diameter, your costs could go up as much as $3,000 for a single tree.
Magnolia trees are typically smaller, and this means that most companies can remove them in an hour or two with professional-grade equipment. Depending on the job details and the size, your tree removal cost will vary from $375 to $500. If you don’t mind the project stretching out a few more hours, you could potentially save money by hiring a few less workers to complete it since the tree is on the smaller side.
If you have a maple tree in your yard that you want gone, it’s usually one of the more expensive options because of the project scope and the average size of the tree. Left alone, these trees can easily exceed 100 feet high, and you’ll spend between $1,000 and $1,700 to remove them. The job complexity and the tree’s actual height will dictate your tree removal cost.
On average, your oak trees get around 60 feet high. This puts your tree removal cost at $600 to $900, depending on the job’s complexity. The effort the company has to put in to remove the tree and the tree’s exact size will impact your final costs. If you want stump grinding, it can bring the cost up more.
The tree type and the tree’s height will dictate your tree removal cost for a palm tree. Again, these trees don’t grow all over the United States, but you tend to see them a lot in warmer climates. Small trees typically range from $250 to $600 to remove, and larger ones can go up to $1,200 or more from start to finish.
Your tree removal cost is generally lower with pine trees unless it’s quite large and it’s been around for decades. If you have a small tree, your costs typically sit around $200. However, the bigger your tree is, the higher the cost goes. It can get up to $1,500 for a large pine tree to safely get rid of it.
You’ll get a more affordable price tag with Sycamore tree removals because these are only mid-sized trees that generally don’t get extremely large. The trunk size, height, and the amount of work needed to remove it will dictate your tree removal cost, but it usually ranges from $600 to $900.
The type of tree you have in your yard will factor into how much it costs to remove it because some are harder and more complicated than others. The height and diameter also play a role, and it’s more expensive to remove bigger trees than smaller ones. Tree Removal by Edsel Little / CC BY-SA 2.0
Tree Size and Removal Prices
One of the biggest factors in your tree removal costs is the size of the tree itself. The size will determine how much work the company puts in. There are several things that play into getting accurate prices for tree removal, but it’s essential that you understand how the tree’s height impacts your total cost. Most companies will give you tree removal cost estimates based on size, but the trunk diameter and how complex the branch removal is also play in.
These factors are also why there are price variations within each classification. If you have a tree that is 30-feet high and it’s in an inaccessible location or has a challenging trunk, this could cost more to remove than you’d pay for a 35-foot oak with a simple structure. Bigger trees also need more people, and they could have to bring in speciality equipment. Knowing all of these factors will help you get an accurate cost estimate.
Small Tree Removal Cost Points
Generally, most companies classify small trees as long as they’re at or under 30-feet tall. They’ll need minimal work to remove them, and it can cost between $150 and $400. Small trees may also include ones with smaller trunks that are around 30-feet high with less complicated branch structures. Japanese maples, dogwoods, California junipers, and Magnolias are all excellent examples.
Medium Tree Removal Cost Points
Most companies classify a tree as a medium-size if it is between 30 and 60 feet high. They typically have trunks that are 15 to 19 inches in diameter, so slightly larger. Your tree removal costs for this category fall between $450 and $700. Since they’re slightly bigger, there is more labor involved in safely removing them, but most companies can remove them in one day in four to eight hours. Copperwood, red maple, smaller species of red oak, and crabapple trees all fall into this category.
Large Tree Removal Cost Points
Your large trees will be between 60 and 100 feet tall, and they have a higher tree removal cost of $900 to $1,200 per tree. If the tree is over 20 inches in diameter, they get put into the large size classification because there is more work involved in removing them. This can easily be a full day project, but some require more than one day of work. The complexity of the removal and how many crew members are needed will determine the project length. Common trees in this classification are larger red oak varieties, conifer, sycamore, and maple.
Very Large Tree Removal Cost Points
Finally, we have the very large tree removal costs that range from $1,300 to $1,800 for one tree. The tree is usually over 100 feet high, and they typically have a diameter that is over 24-inches. Since they’re so large, it can take multiple days to get them safely out. Examples of this type of tree include redwood, sequoia, eucalyptus, and big palm trees.
Price to Cut Down a Tree
To cut down a small tree, the average price is around $150. For trees that are over 100 feet tall or that have a complex removal, it goes up to $2,000 or more. How much your spend to cut down the tree involves several factors. The diameter, tree height, condition, and the tree’s complexity can impact your final tree removal cost. For example, a live tree can be more difficult to remove than a dead tree, so the dead tree can cost less.
The tree’s size is the driving factor in the price. We outlined the sizing for you above to give you an idea of what criteria goes into each category. However, the exact tree removal cost for getting rid of a 30-foot crabapple tree is different than for a 35-foot live oak even though they’re both medium trees.
Tree Removal Cost Average
To remove an apple tree or any type of tree in your yard, the company has to cut and trim the branches and trunk to bring the tree down to the stump. Some landscapers or arborists will include stump grinding, splitting or chipping wood, and hauling the remnants away in the original quote. Other companies will charge for each service separately because some people prefer to keep the stump. You’ll save a little money if you want the tree down but the company leaves the stump behind.
All the labor and tools required for this project get included in your tree removal cost estimate. Some landscapers or tree trimmers will charge you by the task or tree, and other companies have a flat rate service fee. Flat-rate estimates average between $350 and $400, depending on the work involved, location, and tree size. Other companies will charge by the tree height or diameter or by the hour. If they charge by the hour, you’ll pay an average of $50.00 per hour. If they charge by diameter or height, you’ll pay between $2.00 and $5.00 per foot.
Hauling away the excess branches or chipping the tree down to a more manageable size can add to your total costs to remove the tree. Some companies offer this service in their packages, but some will charge extra for it. Tree removal 16 Oct. 2018 by GP Witteveen / CC BY-NC 2.0
Cost to Remove the Tree Stump
If you want the company to remove the tree stump and they don’t include it in the original estimates, you’ll have to add it into your tree removal costs. You can choose to have the stump ground down, have it removed entirely, or have the company remove the tree with the entire stump intact. Some companies will charge per diameter inch, and other companies can charge a flat rate for every stump they take out. You’ll usually pay around $50.00 per hour for a tree removal service or handyman to come in, or the company can charge a flat rate per stump of $50.00 to $300.
Cost to Remove a Fallen Tree
You’ll need a different type of labor to get a fallen tree out of your yard. However, you want to get it out because a fallen tree is a dying tree, and this makes the perfect vehicle for insects to invade, spread to your other trees or bushes, and kill them. Since nature already did most of the work, your tree removal cost for a fallen one is low. You’ll pay between $75.00 and $150 to remove it. Stump removal and pruning can increase the price a little more.
Cost to Remove Tree Branches
If your tree branches are growing out over the street or getting dangerously close to power lines, you may have to pay to remove specific branches from the tree. This is a very common practice that typically gets included if you want to remove the entire tree. Hauling away the branches and chipping them isn’t included, so you have to budget between $50.00 and $75.00 to haul them away and $75.00 to $125 per hour to chip them.
Cost to Remove a Dead Tree
If the tree is dead, you really want to remove it as quickly as possible. This is generally less expensive since dead trees aren’t as heavy as live ones. Additionally, some of the work may be done already by nature. The company usually won’t have to prune anything since the tree is dead and it most likely lost branches already, and this drives your tree removal costs down. Depending on the tree’s state and how hard the wood is, you’ll generally pay between $75.00 and $400 per tree.
Cost to Transplant a Tree
If you’re not ready to get rid of your redbud tree, you might consider transplanting it instead of flat out removing it. Transplanting trees happens frequently, and it can be very effective. It’s also easy to find a professional company to do this for you. Transplanting or relocating your tree typically adds $125 to your total tree removal cost.
Price Factors for Tree Removal
Trees that have neglect or rot in them might need additional support systems put in place before the company attempts to remove them. If the tree is in a dangerous condition, you’ll typically need an arborist to come out and inspect it before the company comes in to remove it. An arborist is a person who has training in the care and health of trees, woody plants, and shrubs. This inspection will help the company decide which direction is best to cut it down from, and factors that impact your tree condition include:
- Cavities and Decay – Decay and cavities will compromise your tree’s structural integrity. In turn, you could end up with weak spots that affect how the company removes the tree.
- History – Recent construction near the roots like drilling a well, care, and other landscaping activities can impact how stable the tree is.
- Lean – Trees don’t always grow up completely straight. It’s expected to have a very slight lean in the trunk. However, a significant lean combined with cracked ground on one side of exposed roots can indicate a huge stability problem, and this can drive you tree removal costs up.
- Multiple Trunks – Some trees will split into several trunks as they grow. If they have weak attachment points, the trunks could crack and fall as the tree gets removed. This makes it more complicated.
- Weak Branches – A branch on the tree that has a tight v-shaped connection is more liable to break and crack. This makes it more hazardous to work around it, and it can increase your tree removal cost.
Several price factors can make your project costs fluctuate very quickly, so it’s always a good idea to talk with whatever company you choose to work with when they get to your location to get a more accurate final cost. Grandview Tree Crew-1 by Jim Goudie / CC BY-SA 2.0
Additional Costs to Consider
It’s not a black and white price guide when you try and pinpoint your exact tree removal costs, and you have to think about any additional costs that could make your final price go up. A few of the most prominent additional cost considerations include:
Alternatives to Tree Removal
If you’re not ready to get rid of the tree completely, maybe you want to consider a few alternatives. Relocation, pruning, and trimming are all examples of things you could pick, and each one has different costs associated with it. When you’re considering removing the tree entirely, talk to the company you contract with to find out the best option. While you do, ask about alternatives and how they would factor into your tree removal cost budget.
Chipping involves using trimmers to get rid of smaller debris and branches. If you want to add this to your project, your tree removal cost will go up between $50.00 and $100 to have it performed and hauled away. Some companies will include this in their price estimates while others don’t, so be sure to ask when you contact companies.
Clearing the Land
If you have to clear the land around the tree before the company can come in and remove it and you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself, you’ll have to pay for this service. You could end up paying by an hourly rate or by a per-project rate, and it can easily add $100 or more to your costs. Clearing the land yourself could save you a little money.
Emergency Tree Removal
In addition to the traditional costs that come with removing a tree, you could add a further 10% onto your total tree removal costs due to emergency charges and the inconvenience to the company. Some emergency removal costs can have insurance coverage, so make sure you touch base with your home insurance company before you pay on your own.
Permits or License Requirements
In most areas, you’ll have to get a permit to remove any tree over 10 feet high. Some areas can have different height requirements, but you’ll have to budget for a permit. The cost will vary depending on your location, but the average price range starts at $60.00 and goes up to $150. Contact your local city or town hall and see if they require a permit and the costs. You’ll have to do this at least 7 to 10 days before you start the removal process.
Depending on your location, some tree removal companies might have to travel further to get to you to complete the project. They could charge travel expenses that you have to factor into your tree removal costs. It could be as much as $100, as it’s a good idea to use a local service if you can.
If you split the wood, you can use it for firewood that you can sell, burn, or give away. The company may include wood splitting in their tree removal cost estimate, or they could offer it as an additional service. On average, you’ll pay around $100 for this service, depending on the amount of work involved and the tree size. If you have a log splitter, you could do it yourself.
Where to Find Tree Removal Experts Near You
Ideally, any company you choose to remove your tree will be local to help save you on travel costs. It’s a good idea to get a few price estimates before you settle on one company to ensure you’re getting the most from your tree removal cost budget. You can start here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Which questions should you ask when you start looking at different tree removal companies? Asking the right questions will help you get a more accurate tree removal cost quote, and this can reduce the chances of getting a nasty surprise later.
1. How do you prepare for a company to remove a tree?
You should make sure that the tree is easily accessible for the workers and that there is as much room around it as possible. If the tree is by a neighbor’s property line, tell them about the upcoming removal project so they can plan. Ask your trimming company or contractor if they have any special needs before they arrive.
2. Is it possible to remove a tree by yourself?
You are able to remove some branches or even a small tree by yourself as long as you have the correct equipment on-hand. However, this can be a dangerous project to undertake with bigger trees, and you may need some speciality equipment like a crane. This is why it’s a good idea to leave it to a professional company.
3. Will your city remove your tree for free?
Many federal, state, or local programs will offer tree maintenance or removal. You should check your local area to see if there are any grants or beautification projects available to get your tree removed at a discounted rate or for free.
4. Should you remove a tree if it’s close to your home?
Any tree very close to your home should be removed to ensure it doesn’t cause damage to the home’s structure. Trees that are way too close to your home’s foundation can grow roots under the house and cause structural problems. Any overhanging branches can come down causing damage to your roof or house in bad weather too.
5. When is a good time to remove trees?
It’s a good time to remove trees when they become bothersome, die, and start creating problems. You should talk to a local arborist to get an idea on how healthy the trees are on your property. They can tell you whether or not you should budget for a tree removal cost.
Your tree removal cost has several factors that will come into play, so it can be challenging to get exact numbers. We’ve outlined the biggest ones for you to consider here, and you can see which ones apply to your situation as you create a working budget. This way, you get the trees removed you want using professional-grade services.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.