How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?
The price of tree removal is typically based on height, but check with a professional to get an exact quote. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Audra C. of Oak Hill, Va.)
Trees that prevent your house from getting adequate sunlight can cause mold growth on your siding and even inside your home. Limbs growing too close to the house or hanging over your roof may fall during a severe storm and cause extensive damage. These are the types of situations that require a professional tree removal specialist.
Even if you decide to hire a company to remove trees for purely aesthetic purposes, it's still important to do your homework and compare prices. Consider these factors when determining the cost of removing a tree and whether it fits your budget:
Most companies charge based on the height of the tree, usually with a set fee per foot. The fee may vary based on the height of the tree. For instance, smaller trees that are only about 20 feet will be less per foot than, say, a 90-foot tree.
If you have an 80-foot tree and the price per foot is $15, you'll pay $1,200. But a 20-foot tree may only be $9 per foot and cost you $180.
If your tree is close to power lines or other dangers, the price is usually higher. Dead trees are more hazardous than live ones. As such, many companies will charge you an additional fee for hazardous tree removal.
Because you can't control the size or location of your tree, you may want to have it pruned or trimmed. In that case, the tree's height and the amount of effort needed to complete the job will determine the price.
If your tree has been struck by lightning and is ready to fall, you should expect to pay more because the company will need to complete the job quickly. If the company is working during the remnants of a storm, there's more risk of injury to its workers.
You should consider having hazardous trees and ones near your home removed before they turn into an emergency situation.
What to do with the wood
Once the tree is down, you need to decide how to dispose of it. You will likely pay at least an additional $50 to have the leftovers removed. Here are some options:
- Branch chipping and hauling, which can run $70 to $150 per hour.
- Haul it away, which can cost up to $350 more.
- Stump removal. If you want the stump taken out, let the tree service know when you ask for an estimate. Stump grinding is the process used to remove the stump. You can expect to pay an additional $300 for a larger stump and $80 for a smaller one.
- Wood splitting, which can be priced from $100 to $200 more but leaves you with firewood. Check to make sure the sizes a service cuts the wood into will work for your fireplace.
Angie's List members who had a tree cut down in 2013 reported paying an average of $1,264, with a general range of $1,050 to $1,450, not counting discounts many service providers offer to members.
Trimming trees ran an average of $453 for members, and grinding out a stump cost members an average of $309.
Licenses and insurance
Companies pay a high price to maintain licenses, plus insurance that covers workers' compensation and liability. If the price quoted is unusually low, the company may not have adequate insurance or possess a license.
A tree service company representative needs to look at a tree to create a good estimate. But if you want, you can estimate the general cost beforehand.