While trees are an essential part of nature and add beauty to any home landscape, sometimes it is necessary to cut down your trees. Many trees are removed because of storm damage, or because the tree has died and poses a safety hazard.
Tree removal is often a necessary part of homeownership, especially if you live in an area prone to storms or a well-treed region.
Finally cutting down trees and clearing your property can be a great value to boost the curb appeal of your house and increase resale value. Most prospective homeowners like a groomed back and front yard, instead of something that resembles a wild forest.
Average Cost of Tree Removal
To estimate cost of your job, use our Tree Removal Cost Calculator.
On average, cutting down a tree costs between $200 all the way to $1,200. Most homeowners pay around $650 to have a single tree removed.
Easy projects may cost as low as $220-300 to remove a single tree, whereas more complex, difficult projects can cost as much as $2,000 per tree. Per square foot, cutting a tree costs between $8 and $15.
If you are removing multiple trees, your cost per tree becomes much lower. For five trees you may pay about $350-$450 for each tree. At 10 or more trees, costs go down even more.
These prices include removal. If you are just falling a tree, the contractor may charge as little as $100 per tree..
The more trees you need to cut down, the cheaper will be your cost per tree. For example removing 20 small to midsize trees that are location can cost $5,000-6,000, so you will be getting a discount on the average cost of cutting one tree.
Moreover, if you are doing a large tree removal project and you have a few very large trees located in high risk zones, your total cost for cutting these trees will also be cheaper. For example, instead of charging you $1,500-1,800 for such a complex tree, you may only need to pay $1,300-1,550 per tree.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate with a tree removal company and always get at least 3-4 estimates before settling on a contractor.
Factors That Influence Tree Removal Cost
There are many factors that determine how much it will cost to remove your tree. It is important to take them into consideration when trying to estimate your tree removal cost. Speaking to local contractors and receiving estimates is the best way to gauge the price of tree removal for you.
If you are removing trees as large scale remodeling project, you can use our Remodeling Costs Calculator to estimate prices for various interior and exterior updates.
The size of your tree will have a significant impact on the price of tree removal. Larger trees–both height-wise and width-wise–will cost more to remove. The price difference is because larger trees will require more time to remove, more manpower, and longer clean-up times.
The location of your tree in your yard will determine the price. Removing a tree that is far removed from any homes or other safety hazards will be much cheaper than removing a tree that has fallen on your house or is near a house and poses a risk to damaging your property. Also, limited vehicle access might ramp up the price, as well as if there are power lines nearby the tree or even tangled up in the branches.
Condition of the tree:
The condition of the tree will also make a difference in the cost. A dead or dying tree will be easier to remove than a live, healthy tree. On the other hand, if the tree is has diseased limbs that are not safe for climbing, the crew will likely require extra safety rigging. If the tree has already fallen down, it will be much easier to remove than a tree that is still standing.
The region of the US you live in will change the cost. Areas with higher costs of living will likely charge more for tree removal than areas with lower costs of living. Local taxes and regulatory requirements can also make a difference in the price.
Some tree species, such as oak, have harder, denser wood, making them more difficult to remove. Other, more light tree species, will cost less to remove.
Tree Cutting Cost Based On Tree Species
As discussed above, the species of your tree will impact its cost. The table below outlines the average tree removal cost for several common tree types. Part of the price difference is based on the size and weight of the trees, and another factor is how difficult to remove the tree is.
For instance, oak is particularly costly because it consists of a strong, tough wood that grows quite tall, making this species one of the most pricey to remove.
|Tree Species||Average Cost Range|
|Pine||$200 – $1,500|
|Palm||$200 – $1,500|
|Cedar||$250 – $1,500|
|Ash||$250 – $1,800|
|Oak||$200 – $2,000|
|Maple||$250 – $2,000|
Tree Removal Cost Per Tree Size
A taller tree will cost you more to have to pay to have your tree removed. Tree height is based on the species of tree as well its age, as some types of trees are prone to growing much taller than others.
Small trees, defined as reaching up to thirty feet, cost on average between $400 and $1,500 to remove. If a tree is slightly taller than thirty feet but has minimal branches and is otherwise easy to remove, it may still be counted in the small tree category. Small trees can frequently be removed in only a few hours.
Some examples of small tree species are cranberry trees, magnolias, dogwoods, Japanese maples, and California junipers.
Medium trees include trees between thirty and sixty feet, including red maple, copperwood, crabapple, and smaller varieties of red oak. Medium trees usually have thicker trunks than small trees, measuring between fifteen and nineteen inches in diameter.
Removing a medium tree can sometimes be accomplished in a single day, as it requires between four and eight hours of work. Removal of a medium tree will generally cost between $450 and $700.
Large trees cost between $900 and $1,200 to remove, and reach between sixty and one hundred feet tall. Additionally, if a tree has a diameter of twenty inches are classified as large, even if they are shorter than sixty feet. Removing a large tree will be a full day’s work or require multiple days, depending on the complexity of the project.
Common examples of large tree species include maple, large red oak varieties, conifer, and sycamore trees.
The final category of tree size is very large trees, which includes trees over one hundred feet tall or over twenty four inches in diameter.
Removing a very large tree will cost between $1,300 and $1,800 and will likely take several days to complete the project. Palm trees, eucalyptus, sequoia, and redwood are examples of very large tree species.
|Tree Size||Height Range||Average Cost of Removal|
|Small Tree||0 – 30 feet||$150 – $400|
|Medium Tree||30 – 60 feet||$450 – $700|
|Large Tree||60 – 100 feet||$900 – $1,200|
|Very Large tree||100+ feet||$1,300 – $1,800|
Dead Tree Removal Cost
Removing dead trees will generally cost less than removing live trees, as they are lighter and therefore easier to work with. Also, the workers will usually not have to remove as many branches, simplifying the process. Depending on the size of the tree and how hard the wood is, expect to pay between $75 to $150 to remove a dead tree.
Cost to Remove a Fallen Tree
Fallen trees are less difficult or risky to remove because the tree is already horizontal, reducing the costs down to between $75 and $150. However, if the fallen tree has landed on a structure such as the home, removing it will be more costly than normal, because it is hazardous and requires careful maneuvering to prevent damage or harm.
Emergency Tree Removal Cost
Removing a tree in an emergency, such as if a tree falls on your home, will cost about three times as much as a standard tree removal. For emergency removal, most homeowners will pay between $500 and $860, many factors including the size of the tree and where it has landed.
The good news, though, is that many insurance companies will cover some or all of the cost of emergency tree removal. Before paying out of pocket, be sure to call your insurance company and learn about their emergency tree removal policy.
Cost to Remove an Uprooted Tree
Like a fallen tree, an uprooted tree will be easier and cheaper to remove because much of the work is already completed. While costing less than removing a standing tree, removing an uprooted tree will cost more than removing a fallen tree, averaging between $300 and $500 to remove.
Land Clearing Tree Cutting Cost
While individual tree removal is priced based on the features of the tree itself, land clearing is priced per acre of trees.
On average, clearing an acre of land will cost about $3,700 for a plot of land with standard tree density and tree types. Depending on a variety of factors, the price can go as low as $1,000 per acre up to $6,700.
For land clearing, you can either hire a tree removal company or a construction company. If you are only intending to clear the trees, you should hire a tree removal company.
However, if you plan to also want to level the ground so it can be built on, you will likely want to hire a construction company, because they can both remove the trees as well as level the ground. Hiring only one company will reduce costs and streamline the process.
Cost of Tree Branch Removal
Simply removing tree branches will be a much smaller project than removing an entire tree. If the branches are interfering with power lines, then a local utility company will likely remove the branches at no cost to you.
Otherwise, a tree removal company will be required to cut the branches. For tree branch removal, companies will charge an hourly rate, usually between $200 and $350 per hour.
While cutting a few branches will not take so much time, if there are many branches, especially if they are difficult to access, the hourly charge may add up.
Cost to Remove a Tree Stump
Removing a stump costs on average between $150 and $500 depending on the size of the stump. Some contractors will include tree stump removal costs in their package, but often you will have to buy this service separately. Many companies will charge based on stump diameter, about $2 to $3 per inch.
Clearing large amounts of stumps will likely have a discount. Some factors that impact stump removal cost include the age of the stump, the root system, the wood hardness, and the soil condition.
Crane-Assisted Tree Removal Cost
If a tree is above eighty feet or is unsafe to climb because it is rotting or dead, a crane may be required to remove it. Removing a tree with a crane costs in the upper range of the spectrum, between $1,500 to $2,500.
DIY Tree Cutting Cost
Removing a tree DIY is only recommended if the tree is under fifteen feet tall. Cutting down a tree any taller would be dangerous to do without the proper professional training and equipment.
Do not use a stepladder to try to cut down your own tree, as it is incredibly dangerous. If a stepladder feels necessary, you must hire a tree removal company to avoid injury.
To remove a tree on your own, you will need a chainsaw, which you can rent at a local hardware store. A chainsaw suitable for tree removal will likely cost you about $50 for a half a day, and around $90 for a full day rental. Make sure to learn from the hardware store about basic chainsaw use safety.
If you have many trees that you want/need to cut, and want to do all of it yourself – consider buying a chainsaw!
For my own use, I bought a Ryobi 18″ 40V electric chainsaw for $300, and it came with 5AH battery. I also have Ryobi electric lawn mower, and 1800W Power Station (“solar generator”). So 40v batteries are very convenient, can be used with other tools, and I also bought three 6AH Chinese knock-off batteries for $60 each (during black friday sales) on Amazon.
Another factor you will have to include in your pricing is the cost of removing the waste. If you have a fireplace or can sell firewood, then you can chop the tree and use it that way.
Otherwise, you may have to dump at a local green waste deposit, which can be quite pricey. For a small tree, waste removal will likely cost between $60 – $250 per ton.
The good thing – you don’t need to remove the tree – you can cut it up and use for firewood!
What Is Included In the Cost of Removing a Tree?
Here are the items that you can expect to be included in the total cost of removing trees from your property. Make sure to discuss these items with your contractor ahead of time, so that there are no surprises when the job is not completed to your satisfaction.
Many contractors include the cost of cleaning up after the tree removal in their price quote. You may be surprised at how much of a mess removing a tree creates, so companies that include the price of tree removal in the calculation will charge more than companies who are not including cleanup in their services.
Chipping or Wood Splitting:
For environmentally friendly tree removal, many opt for chipping of their tree, to use as mulch in other parts of their landscape.
Not every tree removal company will have a chipper available, so if this is a service you are interested in be sure to find a contractor who can include chipping in the services they provide.
Similarly, if you want the wood split for firewood to use or sell, some companies will offer this for an additional cost.
Some tree removal companies will include the price of stump grinding, while others may offer it as an extra add-on. Without stump grinding, you will be left with a stump that will take about two decades to rot away.
If you live in a remote, difficult to access location, you will probably end up paying for the cost of traveling for the tree felling company. Be sure to confirm with the company who will be paying for the cost of travelling.
When Is Tree Removal A Good Idea?
In my opinion and experience being a contractor and hiring contractors for various projects – best time to get things done is after Halloween / Thanksgiving, and until mid-to-late February. Just keep in mind, that often if you want to get things done “before holidays”, you will likely be out of luck, as contractors may get busy OR won’t have materials/parts they need.
There are actually many reasons why cutting down one or multiple trees on your properties is a very smart and worthwhile remodeling project. Some of these reasons are a matter of safety, while others have more to do with comfort and curb appeal.
Here are the top reasons why homeowners decide to remove trees:
– Tree roots are growing too close to the foundation of your home or your sewer and are posing a safety hazard.
– You are installing solar panels and need to cut trees to make space for sunlight to hit your roof.
– One or more trees are leaning in the direction of the house and its a safety hazard, especially if you live in an area with strong winds or storms.
– The tree has already fallen and is sitting on your property or on the power lines.
– A tree is either dead or unhealthy and greatly diminishes the curb appeal to your property
– Trees are cut down as part of a larger landscaping project of building a back yard, pool, paved driveway, etc.
– Trees have grown too close and are crowding each other.
– The tree drops too many leaves, sap, needles, thereby greatly increasing time and maintenance costs for your back or front yard.
Can I Get Rid Of My Trees For Free?
There are some ways that you can remove your trees without needing to spend a penny. First, reach out to people in your neighborhood and post ads, offering free wood for anyone willing to cut the tree down.
This is a good option if the tree is small and not in a difficult or potentially hazardous location.
Alternatively, reach out to local logging companies and see if they would be willing to cut down the tree in exchange for the wood at a reduced price or even for free. If your tree is by power lines, call your local power company and see if they would remove the tree for free.
Many power companies will have agreements with tree removal companies in order to remove trees that may be hazardous for the power lines. If you qualify, they may remove your tree for you at no cost.
One other option is to look into whether the tree you want to cut down is part of a local, state, or federal program. Many regions have grants for the maintenance of local trees to maintain the natural environment.
Contact your local cooperative extension office, city hall, or forest service to learn about whether your tree is eligible under these programs. Also, if your tree is near the street or sidewalk, it may be owned by the city and if it poses a hazard they may remove it for you at no cost.
How Can I Save On the Cost of Tree Removal?
While removing numerous trees from your property can end up costing thousands of dollars, there are many ways to reduce the cost of this project. First, if the appearance does not bother you, forgo removing the stump, as it can be costly.
Alternatively, if you do not want to leave stumps behind, consider stump removal DIY; rental tools will cost about $100 per day.
Another way to cut costs can be the debris removal. If you remove debris that has resulted from the tree removal on your own, that will make the whole process much cheaper.
Be sure to have a disposal method figured out, because some methods can be pricey and won’t reduce costs at all. Ideally, you can use the debris for firewood or find someone else who could make use of it.