When a tree is situated in a challenging location, or if its size or shape makes removal complex, requiring more than conventional methods, crane-assisted tree removal becomes necessary.

Not all tree services use cranes for tree removal, so you will need to find the right tree service near you.

crane assisted tree removal large

Using a crane1 to remove a tree will normally increase the cost of removal. I say most cases as some tree removal companies own a crane and use it to make the job quicker and complete it at a lower cost.

The average cost for crane-assisted tree removal is $4,550. This is for a large tree removal greater than 80 ft. Prices can go much higher, but last year the range was $3,950 to $7,890.

Traditional tree removal methods normally cost a little less, but it depends on the tree service you hire and the size of the tree. The location and size of the tree will impact tree removal costs.

What size crane is needed for tree removal?

The size of a crane is measured in tonnes. Another consideration is the reach of the boom arm. You might have a medium-sized tree, but a large reach is needed to remove it, so a large crane is needed.

The best size crane is 100 tonnes. That should cover most jobs. If you want to take the next step up you can go with a 150 or 180-tonne crane.

There are also smaller alternatives that start at 50 tonnes for smaller trees in easy-to-reach locations.

Crane assisted tree removal near me

As mentioned above, not all tree-cutting services near you have their own crane or use them in the tree removal process. This is something that GoTreeQuotes can help you with. Get a free estimate on crane removal by filling in the form at the top of the page.

  1. Scroll to the top of the page and enter your zip code
  2. Answer a few questions about your tree job
  3. Tree services with cranes near you compete for your business by accurately estimating your tree job.
  4. You choose the best one

This is an obligation-free service. We just match you with top-voted local tree services.

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How a crane is used to assist tree removal

The process for site assessment, crane setup, and tree removal is identical for each job even though every job is different. The 6 steps are outlined below.

Step 1 Site assessment

The first and most important step is to assess the work zone for potential hazards and find the best location for the crane. This pre-work meeting will look at things like clearance height of overhead obstacles, homes, fences, and surrounding trees as well as staying well clear of power lines.

This is when the best location for the crane is decided. A designated point for the best landing zone for lowered sections is also decided as well as the location of the truck and chipper to mulch the tree as it comes down.

The loading or drop zone is probably the most dangerous area on the job site so the ground crew and crane operators both need to be careful.

site assessment overhead obstacles

Step 2 Crane set up and leveling

Once the location of the crane is decided, the crane is driven in and set up with the book arm normally facing the tree. The 4 stabilizing legs of the crane are extended and planted on the ground with wood blocks placed between the ground and the stabilizing legs to help distribute the load. The crane needs to be perfectly level before it can begin to take on load. The body of the crane is then lifted off the ground and given a wide stance for better stability.

crane setup and leveling with stabilizing legs

Step 3 Tree climber & crane operator meeting

Next, the crane operator and tree climber will run through how exactly they intend to remove the tree. Once the job is underway the climber will use hand signals to communicate with the crane operator. Most trees can be removed in 5 – 10 sections using the assistance of a crane. Using cranes is very efficient to have a tree completely removed. The whole process easily is done in about thirty minutes, but normally takes about an hour.

tree climber and crane opperator meet

Step 4 Tree removal process begins

During this process, the tree climber will be hooking and cutting, and signaling to the crane operator to lift. All jobs are handled differently and require different rigging, but most of the time the climber secures the steel cable to the limb that needs removal, and the crane operator will then be signaled to lift.

This process will require complex rigging to ensure the tree is securely attached to the tree is securely attached. Normally large limbs are removed first, followed by the crown of the tree then sections of the trunk. To determine the right limbs to remove first, the tree climber will pay special attention to the vertical growth pattern of the tree and remove the outer limbs first.

While the hooking and cutting process is underway, knowing the limits of the crane is critical during this process as overloading the crane can lead to disaster.

tree removal process begins

Step 5 Lowering and chipping of limbs

The ground operations specialist is waiting to assist in the disposal of the tree along with his supporting crew in the designated landing zone. Sections of the tree are lowered to an open area when the chains are disconnected from the tree. The tree climber will normally attach a support line or rope to the section being lowered so the ground crew can assist in the stabilization of the section being lowered.

While the tree climber and crane operator set up for the next section of the tree to be lowered, the ground crew cuts the limber of the sections lowered and feeds them through the chipper. Wood chips are produced which can be later sold to landscaping wholesalers or directly to the public.

This process is labor intensive and many hands make for light work.

work zone ground crew cuts

Step 6 Logs loaded whole

Most tree services will opt to keep the logs intact as they can be dried and split into firewood. This is then sold for a profit. More desirable timber such as redwood or cedar can be milled into timber slabs that can fetch a high resale value.

Tree removal assisted by a crane is the most efficient way to remove a tree. It doesn’t always mean that the cost of removing trees is going to be more expensive as it does significantly speed up the tree removal process.

logs loaded whole onto truck