The average cost for tree removal is $340 for an average size tree. Hiring a tree removal service, you will likely spend between $200 - $600 per tree. The price of tree removal can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local tree removal services or get free estimates from pros near you.
It’s time to remove the tree because—among other things—it’s dead, or it’s too close to the house and is destroying the foundation, or it’s already fallen. Given the number of accidents that could occur during the removal process, it’s highly recommended that you not attempt to do this yourself. The cost to remove it will depend on a number of factors, including the tree’s height, condition, age, and location. Certain types of trees cost more to remove as well.
This is often done is stages. The contractor has to climb the tree and remove all limbs and branches before cutting it in sections from the top down with a chainsaw. Flying wood chips can cause damage and injury, so all people and pets must be out of the vicinity.
JDale Roley is a certified arborist and owns Roley’s Tree Care in Norco, CA, and he says unsafe, diseased, and dying trees are a huge hazard for many of the following reasons:
Joe’s Tree Care in Austin, TX, will do his best to save a tree before removing it, and says “Tree removal often requires our arborists to carefully “dismantle” the tree using specialized equipment and rigging. The type of equipment depends on where the tree is located, the soundness of the tree (hollow, big splits, or cracks) and the position of the branches.
ABC-1-2-Tree in St. Petersburg, FL, says to be sure to have tree service companies come out to your property to review the trees in question before giving a proper estimate. He also says that many tree services can only bid low because they don’t have the proper workers compensation or liability insurance in place.
Tree removal is based on a price per foot, with average costs being $12–$13/foot. Expect the following:
|Up to 25 feet
The root system is small and the trunk is thin.
|$150 – $500|
|25 - 75 feet
The difference in price can vary dramatically depending on the root depth and trunk diameter.
|$200 – $1,000|
|Over 75 feet
A crane is needed to remove very large trees, with care taken to remove root systems without damaging utility or plumbing lines nearby.
|$1,500 and up|
Many service providers offer discounts, so always be sure to ask.
Rotting or dead trees are the easiest to cut down and remove, while healthy trees will cost the most. If trees need to be removed because they have caused damage to buildings, contractors need to be careful to not cause further damage in their removal. Workers are also more likely to be injured if trees were felled during poor weather conditions, as their susceptibility to future damage is unknown.
The width of the trunk will determine the final price and could raise the cost more than the height of the tree. To measure the diameter of the tree in question, measure it 4.5 feet from the base and round up to the nearest half inch.
More precautions must be set in place if the trees being chopped down and removed are close to other homes or power lines. Quotes will be based on what percentage of the tree is overhanging a structure.
Dead trees can be more dangerous to remove. Costs will go up based on possible liabilities. Emergency tree removal will cost more because it needs to be done immediately and other scheduled jobs need to be put on hold.
Trees also may need to be removed as a storm is dying out, which furthers the hazardous conditions. Some companies try to make the tree removal process as smooth as possible during emergencies, like Tree Services Marietta in Marietta, GA. They say, “We ease you through the insurance process, the procedures, the contraindications, and all the questions you would have asked anyways.”
|Tree Type||Average Cost|
This will cost less than removing a standing tree.
|$75 – $150|
$1,000–$1,500 if the tree is over 80 feet.
|$1,000 - $1,500|
Because of the density and average height of oak trees, expect to pay more.
|$200 - $1,000|
You usually pay more because of the height pine trees grow to.
|$200 - $1,500|
If your branches are close to or touching power lines, your local utility company will cut and remove them for free. They may also plant an alternative tree that won’t grow as high as the previous one, thus not affecting the power lines in future.
Expect to pay contractors extra if you live in a remote location. The distance of the tree from the driveway (with a drivable surface) will also affect the cost.
Also be aware that local government has restrictions placed on tree removal, with permits required to remove trees with a circumference any larger than about 60 inches or taller than ten feet. Permit approval is based on whether or not the tree in question is a threat to the area or your home.
Consider hiring an arborist to confirm the need for tree removal. Many times trees can be saved with the right care. Some companies, like Finley’s Tree and Landcare in Torrance, CA, only hire certified arborists with this in mind. Roley's Tree Service in Corona, CA, is a certified arborist with 30 years’ experience who says “We do our best to take care of your trees in a professional manner. We do not top, spike, or butcher trees.”
This is recommended because mowing becomes difficult with stumps in the way and some stumps begin new growth if left. The old roots can damage underground pipes and walkways, and dead stumps can attract unwanted pests.
This removal cost will not usually be in the tree removal quote because a different piece of equipment is needed. Price is determined by the diameter of the stump, about $2–$3, and whether it’s rotting or solid, with a minimum starting price of $100. If the soil is rocky and likely to damage equipment, the cost may be higher. Higher density tree stumps, like oak, and trees with wide-ranging root systems will cost more too. Expect the removal to take about two hours unless the service provider has better equipment. Some can do it in minutes. Factor in the future landscaping work required once the stump and entire root system is removed.
If the stumps are small, rent a stump grinder for $150–$200/day. You will need a trailer to bring it home or pay more to have it delivered. Expect the process to take about three hours.
Hire a tree removal service to do it. Not all contractors will haul the chips away. If you need a lot of trees cut and removed, followed by having the stumps ground, ask about flat hourly rates. An average rate is $150/hour. Some companies will add in the cost of stump grinding in order to win a bid, like Dillon’s Tree Service in Pinellas Park, FL. He also offers senior and military discounts, and 20% off all tree removals.
The limbs of your downed trees can be chipped rather than hauled away. The tree removal contractor may have a chipper and include this service in his price. Alternatively, some local governments offer free chipping and use the chips in local parks.
Many contractors have a log splitting machine and are willing to split your felled trees into logs for the winter months. Make sure the size of the split logs will work with your fireplace.
Experienced contractors will know the best times to uproot trees, the best trees to replace them with for your state, insects to be aware of, and local regulations. Friendly Tree Service in East Hanover, NJ, says “In this age of environmental awareness and attention on conservation, we must not only be vigilant about safely removing and pruning trees, but also about designing serene habitats for us all to live in harmony with our living, breathing tree and plant life, with which we share the planet.” His approach works both ways—protecting citizens from dangerous trees and protecting trees from pollution.
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