How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?
The cost of removing a tree varies depending on tree size, and how difficult or time-consuming it is to take down.
The average tree removal cost is $1,125 with the real range being $325 for a small tree, right up to $7,900 for a very large tree.
Tree removal is not charged per hour but by the job, so be sure to get at least 3 estimates from local qualified arborists to secure a better deal on tree removal services near you. Hourly rate tree services should be avoided as the average cost will be higher.
What’s the difference? The cost of removing a tree is a little different from tree removal prices. The difference is the price would not include the removal of the tree and debris removal from the property, which is the most expensive and time-consuming part. How much does it cost to cut down a tree depends on many factors but starts at $345 and ranges right up to $1,500.
Cutting down of trees is not always as easy as just cutting it from the base, it would also include climbing a more difficult tree or using heavy equipment like a crane.
|Real Average Range||$325 - $7,900|
Tree Removal Cost by Size
How much does it cost? – Small tree removal
The average cost to remove a small tree ranges from $200 – $500 including stump removal and debris removal. I would classify a small tree as being 5 – 15 feet tall. Get quotes before proceeding as small trees sometimes require more work than larger ones, due to location or complexity. You may need to consider removing obstacles to reduce costs before you remove a tree.
Examples of small trees include:
- Crepe Myrtle
- Flowering Dogwood
- Franklin Tree
- Lemon tree
- Japanese Maple
Medium tree work
A medium trees will cost you between $500 and $900 including tree stump removal. When you plan to remove a medium size tree, Some factors that affect price are the location in your yard and access may vary price slightly. A medium tree can be defined as a tree 15 – 25 feet tall.
Examples of medium tree removal:
- American Holly
- Date Palm
Large tree removal cost
Larger trees obviously cost more for removal due to the large amounts of foliage and timber that need to be removed. Larger trees cost on average $2,750 but can range from $900 and $3500. A large tree is any tree that is 25 – 60 feet tall. The cost to remove can be greatly reduced if good access is granted especially for complex jobs like an oak tree, fallen tree or dead tree removal.
Examples of large trees include:
- Eucalyptus sp.
- Radiata Pine
- Oak Tree
- Bald Cypress
- American elm
X-Large tree cost
Extra-large trees are a little less common in suburbia and can be defined as any tree that is taller than 60 feet tall. Some of them range right up to 100 feet tall. Although a tree that is 100 feet tall is not common in all states, in California it is the norm with palms and redwoods. You can expect to pay $2500 – $4500 for complete including tree stump removal. Large trees can come with a hefty cost based on the sheer amount of timber needed to remove by contractors.
Examples of extra-large trees include:
- Giant Sequoia
- Mountain Ash
- Noble Fir tree
- Sugar gum
- White Pine
Note: After getting a tree removed, stump grinding is recommended as it’s always cheaper on the day depending on the size. In some cases, you can get free stump grinding worked into the price if you drive a hard bargain. It may cost more to cut down your tree first, then have them make a separate trip later. Dead trees and pine trees also seem to cost a little more for stump grinding.
Removing Trees – Cost Per Tree
Tree removal costs on average $871 which works out to be $29 per foot. This is based on the average height of the tree is 30 feet tall. We have broken this down further for you by the size of the tree. Trees can range from 30 feet to 60 feet and removal prices will vary with height and spread.
|Small||Up to 15 ft.||$225 – $500|
|Medium||15 – 25 ft.||$500 – $900|
|Large||25 – 60 ft.||$900 – $2500|
|Extra Large||60 – 120 ft||$2500 – $4500|
Average Tree Removal Costs by Species
Other than the height of the tree and the location/ access, the species of trees play a major role. Each tree has its own characteristics which lend themselves to price changes. Think of Oak tree removal with its huge long branches vs. a Palm tree which is essentially a tree trunk with a few leaves at the top.
Please see the table below for the average price of trees by type.
|Tree Type||Characteristics||Average cost|
|Sycamore||85’ tall with multiple trunks each 15” and weighing 4.2 tons in total||$1,800|
|Eucalyptus||80’ tall with a single leader trunk with multiple large branches weighing 3.8 tons||$2,050|
|Oak||60’ tall with 30” trunk and long thick branches weighing on average 4.6 tons||$2,300|
|Pine||70’ tall with 20” single trunk and very small branches weighing 2 tons||$1,800|
|Palm||80’ tall with single 12” trunk and fronds at the top of the tree weighing 2 tons||$720|
|Date palm||60’ tall with single 50” trunk and large fronds at the tip weighing 4 tons||$1,490|
|Maple||45’ tall with single main leader trunk and small bushy branches weighing 1.5 tons||$520|
|Spruce||65’ tall single 11” trunk with small branches weighing 2.5 tons||$950|
|Conifer||50’ tall with single 6” trunk and small bushy branches weighing 1 ton||$550|
|Cottonwood||40’ tall with short base trunk 50” diameter and several leaders weighing 3.2 tons||$1,150|
The average cost to remove a Sycamore tree is $1,800. This price is based on the average mature size of a Sycamore tree is 85 feet tall with multiple trunks each 15” and weighing 4.2 tons in total. You can save on sycamore tree removal by granting better access for the tree removal company to the tree. Tree services don’t charge per hour so make sure you get 3 free quotes before proceeding to endure the best price.
Based on the average Eucalyptus tree being 80 feet tall with a single leader tree trunk and multiple large branches, the average cost to cut it down is $2,050. Eucalyptus trees are some of the densest timber on the planet weighing up to 1 ton per cubic meter of timber.
The average cost to cut down an oak tree 60’ tall with a 30” trunk is $2,300 (medium sized). Oak trees are known for their long thick branches that can grow out over your home and power line. Because of this, it is particularly cumbersome to remove an oak tree and will take more time if you want to remove. They also yield a large amount of timber and have an average weight in excess of 3 tons. Some companies do log splitting to sell timber in the winter so they may give you a small discount, but not much. After they have removed the tree, log splitting also takes time and cost them money, so it is a secondary business for them.
A Pine tree will cost you $1,600 on average to remove. There are many types of time trees, but on average they grow to 70 feet tall with a 20” single trunk and very small branches. They are quite easy to work on in confined spaces as their branches have a small spread.
A Palm tree will grow to 70 feet tall with a single 12” trunk as seen with the iconic palms lining the streets in Beverly Hills. $720 is the average to remove a palm tree if there is good access for an Elevated work platform. The weight per tree can top 2 tons due to a large amount of water stored by palm in their trunk.
Maple tree removal cost ranges between $520 and $890. They are quite light timber and don’t grow all that tall topping out at 45 feet tall. With a single main leader trunk and very small light branches, these trees are a breeze to remove and the price of removing a tree reflects that.
Spruce grows to 65 feet tall. with a single 11” trunk with small branches. To cut a Spruce tree down customers are paying $950 on average. They are very similar to your average pine tree in that they are quite easy to deal with in confined spaces.
The average 40 feet tall. tall Cottonwood tree will cost $1,150 to remove. Traditionally with a short base trunk 50 inches diameter, then several second-order trunks growing off that, these trees can be time-consuming to remove trees. If you can give the tree service good access to the tree for heavy machinery then you can save money.
The cost of hiring a professional tree service for poplar tree removal will cost on average $1,890. How much you can expect to pay will depend on the size of the tree and its location. Any Poplar tree between 30 and 60 feet with a range between $1,200 and $3,200 to cut on and have it hauled away. You can ask for them to leave the wood chips to save on hauling costs.
Tree Removal Case Studies
Cost of cutting down a Magnolia
Estimated height: 12ft. tall
Botanical name: Magnolia grandiflora
This is quite a small job and would not take a tree company more than 1 hour to complete from arrival to pulling away in their truck. It is in the front yard with easy access and not many obstacles. This tree will cost $340 – $550 to remove.
Video of example
Estimated heights: 10 – 15ft. tall
Trees: Sycamore, Magnolia, Date Palm
In this video, I talk you through the first three examples listed above. There is a bit more information on why the prices are as they are so you can get an idea of what it might cost to remove your small tree.
Price to remove a Conifer
Estimated height: 25ft. tall
Botanical name: Pinophyta
This conifer has duel-leading trunks, so it’s essentially two trees in one. Even though this tree is behind a ball, it is going to be easy for an arborist to climb it and block it down. You paying more than $850 – $1,200 for complete removal. The price may vary depending on the city you live in and the time you year you opt to get it removed.
Video of example
Estimated heights: 20 – 30ft. tall
Trees: Conifer, White pine, Poplar
In this cost example for medium to large-sized trees, we look at three vastly different trees in three vastly different situations. We address the not so obvious factors that add to the cost of tree removal and what you might be able to d to mitigate those factors.
Cost to cut down a Radiata Pine
Estimated height: 40ft. tall
Botanical name: Pinus radiata
This photo did not do the tree justice as it is bigger than it looks when you are standing next to it. The removal of pine trees is a little awkward given it’s close proximity to the home and the lack of room to work. This job is perfectly suited for a crane to lift it onto the street and feed it through the waiting chipper.
Due to the location and size, you can expect to pay $2,400 – $3,000 for the removal of this tree.
Eucalyptus tree removal cost
Estimated height: 70ft. tall
This is a very large specimen and everything appears a lot closer when you are right up next to the tree. This photo was taken from about 60 meters away. This is a very large specimen and would cost you $2,990 – $3,750 for complete removal.
Tree Removal Price Factors
Below, we’re going to go into a little bit more detail discussing some more factors that will contribute to how much it costs to remove a tree.
This is where a small bit of variance does come in which can either work in your favor or against you.
Here they are in no particular order:
Time of year
Time of year is a very important factor when it comes to removing a tree and the best time of year is winter.
Hiring a professional tree removal company to cut down your tree is best done in winter. Much like trying to book a hotel by the beach during the summer holidays. There is a lot more demand during this period and you’ll simply pay more.
During the winter months, your local tree removal company goes into hibernation (pun intended) as they do not have enough work to sustain them. This is great news as you are on the right side of the supply and demand chain for professional tree removal services near you who will be falling over each other trying to win your business. Even if it’s a small tree, a fallen tree or an 80 feet tall tree the average cost will be less.
The height of the tree is an obvious one, so I won’t go into too much detail, but the bigger the tree the more you will pay. Canopy density and the number of branches and the trunk diameter also play a factor.
Number of branches
Some trees have a single straight trunk with lots of small branches which are really easy to work on. Others will have like an oak tree will have large branches it extends out a long way. These are a lot more time-consuming to work on and will cost you a lot more money to remove.
Location on property
Imagine you had two identical trees, one in your front yard, and the other in your backyard with very poor rear access.
The tree in the front yard will most likely cost you half the price of a tree in your backyard. The reason being there is a lot more manual labor involved in transporting the tree from the backyard to the front.
This is a very big factor depending on the obstacle the tree services face. If a tree is overhanging your house, surrounded by pot plants, fences, and even a power line running through a tree canopy will add time and money to the removal process.
Pro tip: Remove any obstacles around the tree before the tree comes down. It is important that you do this or indicate your intention to do this during the quoting process. The tree service needs to know exactly what they are working with when pricing your job to remove trees. Things like your roof and home power line can not be removed, but other things like a telephone line, pot plants, cars, outdoor furniture etc. can be
Condition of tree
The cost of remove a dead tree or a tree after storm damage can cost more as they are more dangerous to work on. The price will vary depending on the state of the tree. If it’s medium sized to large tree 30 and 60 feet high the average price per tree ranges from $1,890 to $3,450. Dead trees as well as hazardous or unstable ones need to be removed and hiring a professional certified arborist is key. It is going to cost a little more than getting a gardener in, but you may need someone with liability insurance and the right qualifications.
IMPORTANT: Getting a tree removed or just cutting down a tree near power lines is extremely dangerous and you should call a professional before attempting to get cheap or even free tree removal from a local handyman. The average cost for cutting down trees near powerlines is double that of a regular tree. Anything over 10 feet in height close to power lines carries a danger of electrocution. It may cost more depending on the types of trees you want to remove, but it’s not worth your life.
Price Factors by Importance
Dispose of waste yourself
Depending on the size location, and type of tree being removed it is debatable whether this can save you money.
In the case of palm trees, on the other hand, disposing of the waste yourself is going to save you 30 – 50% off the price of removal.
If you were to dispose of the green waste yourself either in your garbage bin over time, or if your local council has clean-ups for free, you can place the palm logs on the sidewalk for free removal.
Fire sale on firewood
Why not sell your tree’s timber as firewood? This is only really worth it if you have a large tree, and doubly worth it if the tree is in your back yard and hard to get to. Not only will you save money for removal as the tree removal companies will not have to spend time manually loading and removing all the timber, but you can have an auction on eBay for the firewood. No need for log splitting, people will pay you for the timber, come pick it up for free and split it themselves.
Tree Trimming and Cutting Cost
Tree trimming is calculated in a similar way to removing a tree. All the above factors come into play when calculating pruning costs, but obviously, in general, the cost of tree trimming is a lot cheaper than full tree removal service.
The national average cost of trimming a tree is $438. The real range is between $120 and $1200.
Small trees less than 20 ft. high cost $250 to $525 when trimming up to 30% of the tree’s foliage.
Medium trees start at $390 and go right up to $720 depending on the tree species, number of branches, and the obstacles around trees such as your home roof or power line.
Large tree removal will cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,200 to trim no more than 30% of the branches.
Different tree trimming techniques cost different amounts also. A crown lift is removing all bottom branches of the tree effectively lifting the canopy off the ground is the cheapest trim by far.
Palm Tree Removal Cost
The average cost of palm tree removal is $429. At the low end, you might only pay $150, but at the high end of the spectrum you can pay up to $3000.
This is a topic we will have to cover in more detail and is beyond the scope of this article.
Tree Removal Costs by State
What it’s going to cost you to remove a tree will vary from state to state due to a few factors. Population density, supply, and demand as well as the cost of living will all come into play.
In general, it would come down to the running costs of a tree removal service in your state or city. Obviously, the average cost to remove a tree in San Francisco would be more than in Fresno even though they are both in California.
|State||Tree removal cost||% difference|
|United States Avg.||$871|
|District of Columbia||$1,176||35%|
Emergency Tree Removal Costs
As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay double for emergency tree removal. It will all depend on the circumstances though.
An emergency tree removal service will costs $2,190 on average. Weekends are always more expensive also if the tree is still in a very dangerous position.
Home to save on emergency tree removal
Firstly, if the tree has come down or is dangerous, you should call emergency tree removal services near you first to render the tree safe. This is a free service and will not cost you a thing.
Once the tree is safe, you are best to take your time to get free quotes and wait for the right price. If it’s regarding storm-damaged trees, you might have to wait for a few weeks before getting a tree service pro out. Once all the emergency work has died down, they will begin quoting normal prices again.
Cost of fallen tree removal
The average cost to remove a fallen tree is about half of what a regular standing tree will cost to remove. This is because a fallen tree makes it easy for tree removal companies to just walk in and start cutting it up. No need to climb or use cranes etc. Stump grinding could cost a little more as normally the entire root ball gets exposed which is more work to clean up. If it’s not an emergency you will save about 50% to remove a fallen tree.
Land Clearing Cost
Land clearing is a different service to just regular tree removal because it is priced by the acre and not per tree.
The average cost of tree removal per acre is $3,680. This includes a mix of different-sized trees with average density. The price can vary from $950 right up to $6,700.
Tree Stump removal
Stump grinding will cost $225 per stump on average. The cost for stumps of pine trees and palms are very different, so the size and the type of tree are the two biggest factors. A tree care company will charge on trunk diameter per foot or per inch. A large tree that once stood 80 feet tall could have a stump 3 – 4 feet wide and might cost up to $1000 to remove. If your tree is already removed you do not need a permit to remove a stump. If the stump is more than half a foot in height, the tree removal company will cut it down to almost ground level before grinding the rest. This will not include the removal of the root system, but just the stump and part of the root ball.
Can I remove a tree for free?
In a word no. If you have a tree that needs removal, you will need to pay. Some tree companies will give you a discount for trees of fine timber stock, but they won’t remove your tree for free. Certain tree types such as western red Cedar, Rosewoods and Black cherry trees, especially those with a tree height larger than 30 feet tall.
The cost of your tree as far as timber value goes will not be worth the tree contractor removing your trees for free. The average costs for tree removal are normally greater than the timber value so the tree needs to be made of some pretty special timber for it to make sense.
In general, it is cheaper to cut down trees in winter. The main reason is not that the tree has fewer leaves and it’s easier to work on, it’s because the economy of supply and demand is in your favor.
Tree services are in low demand in winter. If you have the same supply of companies in winter, but half the work to go around, companies become more competitive on price.
Insurance companies will cover the cost of tree removal if the tree came down in a storm or any other act of nature. They will not cover the removal of a healthy just because you want to cut it down. They will also not cover the removal of a dead tree (died years ago) that finally fell after years of neglect. When you get free quotes for coverage, ask about their standing on trees.
Free tree removal is possible, but in most cases, it will only be for palm trees. If your tree came down in a storm, you may get your insurance company to foot the bill. If you are a tenant of a property you can ask your landlord if they would mind paying, but I’m sure it would depend on the circumstances.
There are programs available such as small government grants for pensioners who need to remove a tree but do not have the funds. You will need to speak to your local council or state government pension office about the details.
If your tree is protected due to its size (trees over 30 feet tall) will need to apply for a permit to remove the tree. To know whether your tree is protected, please refer to your local Tree Removal Ordinance for more information.
Most of the time, when it comes to removing a tree you will only need to give the tree company access to your yard to do the job. You will not need to be present while the tree is being removed. Arrangements can be made for payment after you have returned home and inspected the finished job.
Stump removal is normally priced separately. If you have a quote for a tree to be removed, make sure they have specified whether that price includes the removal of the stump. If it does not, they may try to get away with charging you an extra fee for removal. This is a dirty trick but can be easily avoided if you have it written on the quote exactly what is included in the price. Remember this price does not include the root system, just the stump and root ball 1 foot below surface level.