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Emergency tree removal cost guide
Last updated: 13 April 2020
The need for emergency tree removal normally comes about when a tree has fallen on a fence, house, car or power lines. In most cases this is following a storm, but in all cases the tree poses an immediate threat or danger to persons or property.
The cost of emergency tree removal ranges from $1000 – $10,000. Typically you can expect to pay 2 x or 3 x the regular price of tree removal.
The cost of emergency tree removal can range depending on when the call is made and how dangerous and time consuming the job is.
A call on Sunday night at 10pm to remove a tree that has fallen in a storm on your home is going to be expensive. The exact cost will depend on who you call, how soon you need them out and how big the tree is.
There are some clever ways to save though when are explored below.
Emergency tree service near me
Hiring an emergency tree removal service should really be a last resort. Basically an “emergency” tree service near you is just a regular tree removal service that you have asked to drop everything and help you.
If the tree has fallen but is in a safe spot and you can bare looking at it for a week or two, then you are going to save hundreds.
If the tree has fallen over wires or on your home, I suggest you call state emergency service to make the tree safe, then contact a regular tree service to cut up and remove the fallen tree.
How to save on emergency tree removal
To save yourself 50% minimum off the cost of emergency tree removal is the make sure your first call is to emergency services and not a private company.
Each state will have an emergency service to deal with trees that have fallen over power lines, or on homes, so call 911 and explain to the operator the extent of the damage caused by the tree and what is required.
The reason this will save you thousands is the initial response is payed for by the state. They will get the tree off your home or off power lines safely on the ground ready to be cleaned up.
Once the initial “emergency” you can take your time getting a few different prices for the removal of your fallen tree.
Save an additional 50% of the price
This little trick will only really work if your tree has come down because of a cyclone or in a storm. Once a storm sweeps through a city, there are hundreds of downed trees and a glut of work for local tree removal services.
These are small business and do increase their prices when they are overrun with work. Directly after a storm, local tree cutting services are charging an average of 50 – 100% more for tree removal as they would under regular circumstances.
Do this: Get the initial emergency work done by state emergency services to secure the tree and get it off your home, car, power lines etc. They wait. If you try to lock down a tree service while they are running around making a killing you are going to be fleeced. Wait a minimum of 4 – 6 weeks before calling a local tree service in to remove your tree. By that time, the initial rush is over and their prices will start to resemble regular prices again.
Will my home insurance cover emergency tree removal?
Most of the time the answer is yes, but there are a few “if”s and but’s”.
Firstly it will depend on how comprehensive your insurance is, but in most cases a tree falling and damaging something will be covered by insurance. Your insurance company will come to the party for the damaged property and the cost to remove the tree.
If the tree has fallen due to negligence on your behalf, they might buck your claim. For example, if your tree died 3 years ago, you should have removed it long ago as dead trees all eventually fall. They might view this as poor maintenance of your property leading to the damage.
If the tree was healthy and came down after a storm you should be covered.
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Cost calculator for tree removal
24 hour emergency tree services
True 24 hour emergency service are hard to come by. 90% of tree services do not office this service. Again, if you can first call 911 and get a state sponsored service out to do the initial work to make the tree safe, you can then take you time calling a regular service.
Calling a 24 hour emergency tree service is going to lighten your wallet considerably, so only call if you absolutely must.
When is it considered an emergency?
An emergency is a serious, unexpected and often dangerous situation that requires immediate attention. To be honest I would not call a tree fallen over a driveway an emergency, nor one that has merely fallen in your backyard.
Before you call in a emergency tree removal service, please make sure it is a true emergency and constitutes the call. If there is an immediate hazard or threat, then by all means call, but if it can wait, call a tree service.
Will emergency tree removal cost the same as regular tree removal?
Emergency tree removal will cost you more. The reason for an increase in price might be because:
– The job is very dangerous and will take more time and skill
– You have called after hours on the weekend
– It’s after a storm and everyone is busy with other jobs
– You have asked the tree service to drop everything for your job
There are ways to avoid being charged more and to do so you will need to read the above section on how to save on emergency tree removal.
Emergency branch removals
In some cases your whole tree might not be the emergency and only one or two branches need to be removed. Maybe they have snapped on in a storm and are hanging precariously or are resting on some power lines.
This still constitutes an emergency and you will most likely be charged more. For an idea on the cost to branch removal in an emergency check out our tree trimming cost guide and just double any price you see there.
Fallen trees are not always an emergency
If you have had a tree fall in a storm or just due to old age, then I suggest you hold out on calling in emergency service unless it is a true emergency.
If your tree has just fallen in your yard, then no need to panic. It might look unsightly and come as a shock, but it is no longer a danger, so take your time in calling some local tree removal services out to take a look and give you a firm price.
Calling in emergency tree services for a fallen tree that is not hazardous or a danger is just going to cost you lots more money to remove.
Considering there is no real danger to persons or property, that extra cost could have been avoided if you have taken your time finding the right local service to do the job on the cheap.
Do dangerous trees need emergency removal?
Dangerous tree do constitute an emergency and will require you to a least get a qualified arborist out to inspect the tree ASAP. Sometime a tree will not fall all the way over in a storm but the tree will may develop an unhealthy lean over night.
This is a fairly regular occurrence after wind follows rain. The rain will soften the ground and the wind will blow the tree to one side. Even the best rooted trees can fall victim to this after a storm so stay vigilant and keep an eye out for any tree that develops a lean overnight.
The average cost to remove a tree is $871, but that price can double or triple in emergency situations. The average price for tree removal is a bit like the average length of a piece of string. It will all come down to the size of the tree, it’s location on your property and how soon you need it removed. For more detailed information on tree removal cost by tree size, please go here.
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It will depend on how close the tree is to your homes foundations. Tree roots can undermine the slab your home is build on and cause cracking. Most cities allow trees to be removed without a permit no matter the size or protection status if they are within a certain distance to your home. A good rule of thumb is to take the diameter of the tree trunk and multiply it by 5. If the tree is closer to the house than that distance, then you should remove it. e.g. Trunk diameter = 1 foot, this means the tree should be at least 5 feet from your home or it could cause foundation damage.
The best way in my view to do this is to check previous reviews by customers. I recommend companies that have been in business for more than 5 years, have over 20 reviews on more than 2 platforms (e.g. Yelp and Homeadvisor) and have an average score greater than 4.5 stars. The longer they have been in business, the greater the number of positive reviews the better chance of getting a great job done.
This will greatly depend on the size of the tree and it’s location on your property. The best way to get a fair price is to get 3 or 4 estimates. You will begin to get an idea of the ball park figure and will find one in those bids that is more reasonable than others.
The definition of “emergency tree removal” would lend itself to being covered by your home owners insurance, but as we all know insurance companies can be pretty slippery when it comes to paying, so I would not assume anything. If the tree came down in a storm then it should be covered (not including stump removal) as well as fixing any damage you might have. I would check with you insurer first before going ahead though as they like to use their own companies for the job.
You can phone a tree service and ask them to give you a ball park figure over the phone (you might want to send an image in advance including access to the tree), but in most cases they will not commit to a firm bid until inspecting the tree on site first. This is because the price is largely dependent on how good the access is, the obstacles around the tree and the ease at which the tree climber can scale the tree and lower it down branch by branch. Tree services really do need to be standing under the tree to make that call.
You might need to apply for a permit depending on your cities Tree Ordinance. You can go directly to your state/ city rules for tree removal here. How it works is each city has a different definition of what they call a “protected tree”. An example might be any tree with a trunk circumference greater than 30 inches is protected. Anything smaller can be removed. Go to the above link to see the tree protection laws for your city or county.
Emergency tree removal is normally done by insurance companies and they do not include stump removal in the price. This is something you will need to discuss with the tree removal service when they are there doing the job.
Author: Ben McInerney – Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicating to providing users with the most accurate up to date information on everything trees.
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