Worker Removing Tree In Residential Area

Tree Removal Cost And Fee Factors: How Much Should You Expect To Pay?

Carey Chesney6-Minute Read
February 26, 2021

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When it comes to homeownership, tree removal costs may be one of those things that you don't spend a lot of time thinking about until the need becomes urgent. While some homeowners plan out their landscaping vision down to the very last blade of grass, others prefer a more of a “let it grow” approach. But even if you like a more natural approach to landscaping that focuses on leaving things as they are, the need to remove a tree can still arise. If that oak in the front yard is leaning toward the house in a menacing way or the half-dead pine in the backyard seems to be toying with the idea of taking down the neighbor’s fence, looking into tree removal services may become something you simply can't avoid.

Average Cost For Tree Removal Services

Knowing what you can expect to pay for tree removal services is critical as you budget in the context of your larger landscaping plans or your rainy-day fund. The total amount will vary based on each homeowner’s specific situation and other related factors, but understanding the general range and some of the key components is a good place to start.

The average cost to remove a tree from your property will range anywhere from $75 to $1,500. Tree removal companies tend to charge based on height, so small or large trees can fall outside of this range. However, with many variables outside of the height of the tree at play, the total amount you will end up paying also depends on other cost-determining factors, such as the risk involved and the health of the tree.

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Why Professional Tree Removers Are Worth The Investment

No matter how brave you are when it comes to heights and chainsaws, tree removal can be a dangerous procedure. For the safety of you, your property, and potential your neighbors, DIY tree removals really aren’t advised in most situations. In addition, if tree removals and other landscaping procedures are done the right way by professionals, they can be a real benefit when it comes to increasing your home value.

Tree Removal Pricing Factors

While you've been given a range of costs here already, understanding the specific factors that go into the pricing of a tree removal can help you narrow in on that budget even more. Homeowners can generally expect to pay for a tree removal service based on the following cost factors.

Size

Not surprisingly, height and diameter of the tree can impact the total tree removal cost. The bigger they are, the harder they are to make fall.

Distance

Your home’s proximity to the tree removal provider can impact the total tree removal cost a well. Traveling costs money, and many providers send this cost on to the customer.

Number Of Trunks

The number of trunks on the tree can impact the total tree removal cost, as the time and effort to cut them down is in many ways doubled from one trunk to two.

Time

Tight deadlines or emergency removal situations can impact the total tree removal cost with the presence of a “rush fee” that’s common to most home improvement or repair projects.

Health

The health of the tree can impact the total tree removal cost in most cases, too. Decay, cavities, and other issues can result in a tree that is either dying or totally dead. This will reduce removal costs since dead trees weigh less and require less pruning, so some of the work is essentially already done.

Job Site Accessibility

If it’s relatively easy for tree removal specialists to access the tree, costs can be reduced. Conversely, if getting to the tree in question requires extensive skill and planning, costs can go up. For example, the presence of a tree that needs to be removed from a small backyard can limit the accessibility of large machinery needed for removal.

Risk Of Danger

When it comes to tree removal, don't underestimate the dangers that can arise. Proximity to power lines or buildings are just a few of the things to consider. Inclement weather can play a factor as well. Dangerous conditions in your specific situation will also play a part in determining the total tree removal cost.

Tree Removal Pricing By Tree Species

It may come as a surprise, but the cost of tree removal can also depend on the species of tree. Here are a few of the most common species and how they affect removal costs.

Poplar

This refers to three main tree groups: aspens, cottonwood and balsams. These types of trees can grow up to 115 feet and their expansive root structure typically spreads out to two to three times their height, making them particularly challenging to remove. Given these challenges, it may cost $1,100 – $1,800 to remove one.

Pine

A pine tree that’s around 40 feet tall will cost about $400 to remove. If it’s more like 80 feet, you may be charged around $1,500 given the additional work and risk required. Also, if branches and pinecones need to be removed, your price will likely increase even more.

Maple

To remove a large maple tree (like one that’s 100 feet tall) you’re looking at around $1,100 – $1,800. The price will decrease substantially if your maple is on the smaller side.

Oak

You may have heard the term “strong as an oak,” and it’s true. Unfortunately, being made of such an incredibly strong wood makes them more difficult to take down than other tree types. An oak tree can reach up to 60 feet in height and cost you anywhere from $400 – $1,000 to remove. As with other species, the height, strength and girth will help determine the cost.

Palm

For a smaller palm tree that’s around 30 feet tall, removal will cost you anywhere from $150 – $500. If your palm tree is larger, it may run you between $1,100 – $1,500. Since palm trees feature teeth, they can’t be cut with chainsaws and will need to be roped down. The taller your palm tree is, the heavier it is, and the greater the risk of its roots breaking and it falling on your home.


Tree Stump Removals And Other Additional Services

Keep in mind that the quote you get for removing a tree may have some hidden costs that pop up later. Services such as removing the stump, clearing out debris and chipping the wood are usually going to be extra.

Places To Save During Your Tree Removal

You're probably realizing by now that it’s not exactly cheap to remove a tree. Fear not, here are a few cost-cutting measures that will help “trim” the cost. Scheduling the removal during the slow season, trimming the tree yourself, cutting down multiple trees at once for bulk discounts, and saving the wood for your fire pit are a few of the ways you can save.

Tree Removal Best Practices

If you are considering a tree removal, here are a few tips for getting the process started the right way to save you time and money and give you some peace of mind.

Consider Alternatives To Tree Removal

Before you start the process of removal, consider some other options like using tree braces or other tree care on an injured tree instead of fully removing it. This can help you save money, maintain the natural beauty of your property and preserve your favorite backyard birding spot.

Abide By Your Local Regulations

Different municipalities have different rules about what trees you can and can't remove. Be sure to research local regulations on tree removal before starting the process.

Hire Licensed And Insured Professionals

When you’re shopping for a tree removal service, make sure you’re considering only professional arborists who are certified, licensed and fully insured before hiring them.

Prepare The Area

Clear out the job site, stow away any breakables, and cover your pool as you might during the winter. You don't want any collateral damage when the tree comes down.

Last Thoughts On Tree Removals

When it comes to tree removal, a little research and due diligence can get you “out of the woods.” Use the knowledge gained here as well as your own findings before you start the process to make sure you make the best decision for your backyard and your budget. Looking for additional resources for improving your outdoor spaces? Check out our related resources.

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    Carey Chesney

    Carey Chesney brings a wealth of real estate sales and marketing experience to his buyers and sellers as they navigate highly competitive markets. Carey and his wife Ilze work together as Realtors® in Michigan.