Man cuts down the tree with chainsaw

Compare Tree Removal and Disposal Costs for Cutting Down a Tree

Updated: Monday, September 18, 2017
The average cost to have a tree cut down in your yard is around $400 for a 30-40 foot tall tree, without obstructions. Obstructions or having to remove overhanging branches first, can easily double the cost.

Estimated Cost Comparison Table

Low Estimate

$0 – $300

Average Cost Estimate

$285 – $650

High Estimate

$350 – $1,500
Cost Per Foot $0 $9 – $11 / Foot $11 – $15 / Foot
Time of Year Anytime Winter Spring – Fall
Tree Height 20 – 40 Feet 20 – 60 Feet 20 – 75 Feet
Cut Down By DIY Tree Service Tree Service
Local Demand None Low – Average Average – Busy
Hazards None Some Some
Tree Access Easy Moderate Difficult
Debris Cleanup Self Tree Service Tree Service
Stump Removal None Grind or Dig Grind or Dig
Cost of Tools & Supplies $0 – $300 None / Included None / Included
Permits, If Required $0 – $150 $0 – $150 $0 – $150

Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro | Web Compare | Shared Pricing

Overview of Tree Removal

Homeowners research tree removal cost for many reasons. Often, an aging or diseased tree is a risk for heavy branches falling onto their home without warning, electrical lines or the deck where they relax. Arborists recommend that dead trees be removed promptly. Sometimes woods are selectively thinned to improve a view of beautiful landscape. The cost of tree removal is significant, but there are times it must be done.

On this page of Costimates, complete tree removal service cost is broken down. Cost factors are discussed to give you a clear idea of what your specific tree removal cost might be when you gather estimates from local tree removal services. The cost of removing the stump is listed in the prices below, but there is more complete information in our stump grinding and tree stump removal pages (listed below) that will assist you in calculating your costs more closely.

Related Cost Estimates

Tree Removal Cost Details

Tree Service Cost Factors

How much does it cost to remove a tree? Our answer always starts with, “it depends.” Here are the factors that determine the cost of tree removal.

  • The Height of the Tree – All things being equal, the bigger the tree, the higher the tree removal cost. We’ve talked to several companies that estimate based on the height of the tree, multiplied by a per-foot cost.
  • Who does the work – Since you’re researching tree removal costs, the tree or trees in question are likely large and heavy, and there might be obstacles in the way. You can save labor costs by cutting down the tree yourself, but this job is on the short list of projects even skilled DIY enthusiasts avoid. Tree removal professionals are injured and killed at a rate three times higher than for all professions, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The injury and fatality risks are even greater for untrained, DIY tree trimmers. The potential for costly destruction of property is high too.
  • The Type of Tree – Tree removal cost is higher for hardwoods because their heavy branches often require removal before the trunk is cut, and their wood is harder than pine and other softwoods.
  • Tree Location and Surroundings – Trees close to homes, fences, pools and other structures or near hazards like power lines require more planning, more cutting as they’re taken down in pieces, and much more time, so that means higher tree removal cost. If the tree is in a location that is hard to access with a bucket lift or truck, and the tree must be climbed to remove large branches, the cost will be higher.
  • Number of Trees – Costs go down on a per-tree basis when there are multiple trees to remove since the crew and its equipment are already onsite.
  • Debris Removal – The more of the wood and debris the service hauls away, as opposed to the homeowner cleaning up the area and keeping the wood for firewood, the higher the cost of tree removal will be.
  • Stump Grinding or Removal – These services are additional costs.
  • Time of Year – Tree cutting is easiest and removal costs are lower when its leaves are down.
  • Your Home’s Location – Tree services factor in distance to the job when estimating tree removal costs.

Cost of Supplies

The high cost of tree removal shocks some homeowners until they understand the costs to the tree service that include expensive equipment as well as liability insurance and workers compensation insurance rates that are among the highest of any profession.

  • $500 – $950 | Professional-grade gas chainsaw
  • $135 – $385 | Fiberglass extension ladder
  • $175 – $450 | Tree-climbing boots
  • $50 – $135 | Tree-climbing harnesses
  • $35 – $185 per item | Protective earmuffs, gloves and eyewear
  • $175 – $400 | Wireless systems for workers in trees communicating with those on the ground

There are significant equipment maintenance and repair costs too. For every day cutting trees, a crew will spend an hour or more cleaning and maintaining its equipment. These costs are recouped in tree removal costs.

We were once asked why it’s so expensive to have trees cut down in a yard and the reason is fairly simple. Tree service companies have to spend a lot of money on equipment for tree removal. A bucket truck or lift can cost as much as $100,000, but most professional tree service companies must have one in order to do larger jobs. It’s also a very dangerous job that requires a lot of insurance to cover employees and your home, in case they drop the tree on top of it.

Permits, Inspection, and Related Costs

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $50 – $200 | Tree removal permit, required in most counties
  • $75 – $150 | Property line survey – When ownership of a tree is in doubt, a property line survey will show which property owner has the right of or responsibility for tree removal

Important notes on cost: Only work with licensed, bonded and insured tree removal services to protect yourself in case of property damage or the injury or death of a worker. It’s not going too far to request a copy of the company’s insurance coverage and calling the insurer to verify coverage. The majority of companies are properly insured, but if the one you hire is not, the financial risk to you if something goes wrong is enormous. Also, if you are part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), check its bylaws regarding tree removal, if it has any, to make sure your project complies. You might have to submit a request for approval. Removing trees without approval when it is required has led to costly legal action.

Removal Cost and Time

We’ve listed costs below by the height of the tree. Services charge $9-$16 per foot. The taller the tree, the thicker the trunk and the greater the need for first removing large branches before felling the tree, so cost is higher. The other factors listed above will determine the final tree removal cost estimate.

  • $150 – $275 | Trees up to 25 feet
  • $315 – $700 | Trees 26 to 50 feet
  • $715 – $1,200 | Trees 51 to 75 feet
  • $1,200 – $2,000 | Most trees taller than 75 feet
  • $75 – $600 | Stump grinding cost based on width of the stump and surface root zone

Tree Removal Time Schedule

It takes about one workday to remove one large tree or several small trees and grind the stumps

DIY or Hire a Pro to Remove Your Trees

steve-hansen

I won’t hesitate to take down smaller trees on my property and I’ve helped friends cut down their own trees many times. That said, if it requires the least bit of technical expertise due to power lines, anything in the range of the fall zone, or a tree with branches hanging over a house, I’d call a tree removal service. Every. Single. Time.

  • Dangerous (aka life-threatening) if you don’t know what you’re doing and the tree drops the wrong way.
  • High risk of collateral damage to a home, power lines, or anything you don’t want a tree to fall on.
  • High cost of specialized tools you won’t likely use too often. Chainsaws, ropes, pulleys for large trees you need to control the fall, etc.
  • Heights and ladders. Need I say more?

Need more proof that this is a job for a Pro? Just watch the video below.

Is Tree Removal a DIY Project? What do You Think?

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Tree Removal Costs from Around the Web

Average
Cost Range
Costimates $365 $50 – $1,500
Precision Tree $450 $150 – $1,500 and up.
AngiesList $1,264 $180 – $1,600
HomeAdvisor $651 $75 – $1,500
CostHelper $380 $125 – $1,400
ImproveNet $638 $55 – $1,700
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Costs Submitted by Homeowners and Pro’s

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