How Much Does it Cost to Cut Down a Tree?
$285 – $650 Per Tree
Average Tree Removal Costs
The average cost to have a tree cut down and removed from your property is around $400. For do-it-yourselfers’, you’ll need to buy a good quality chainsaw that costs between $200-$600, but allows you to cut as many trees down as you wish. Disposal for DIY’er can be handled through dumpster rental, which runs around $265 for a week. Professional tree removal usually includes the cost of cutting the tree, all supplies like ropes and a block and tackle if needed, as well as removal and disposal of the old tree. If stump grinding or removal is desired, expect to pay between $50 – $125 per stump.
Overview of Tree Removal
Homeowners research the average cost of tree removal 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 and many tree removal companies 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 so you know what to expect to pay. Cost factors are discussed to give you a clear idea of what your specific 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 Factors
How much is the average 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 expense. Large tree removal is going to cost more than a smaller tree. We’ve talked to several professionals and what companies charge is based on the height of the tree, multiplied by a per-foot cost. So basically, depending on the size of the tree, your costs are going to vary.
- Who does the work – Since you’re not doing this yourself, 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 – The 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 prices. 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 service companies factor in distance to the job when estimating the overall cost of cutting down your tree or trees. You’ll save money if they are already doing other work in your area.
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
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.
Labor 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 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
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 head over to Youtube and watch this video!