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Oak Tree Removal Cost & How to Save!
Updated: 10 December 2020
The cost of oak tree removal will depend on a few factors such as the size of trees, location on property and obstacles around the tree.
The average cost of oak tree removal is $1,600. The range of prices starts at $350 and goes right up to $4,500 for very large and difficult specimens.
I have laid out some cost data below for small, medium and large oak trees as well as their typical cost for removal.
There are also 5 oak tree examples below including what you might pay for removal.
NOTE: DBH stands for Diameter at Beast Height
Oak tree removal price by tree size
Small oak tree removal cost
A small oak tree ranging from 12 – 15 ft. tall (Trunk DBH 6”) will cost $275 – $450 for removal depending on the city you live and some other variables with the trees location and access.
Cost to cut down medium Oak tree
A medium-sized oak tree ranging in size from 20 – 35 ft. tall (trunk DBH of 8” – 12“) will cost $700 – $1900. As you can appreciate, oak trees do not grow that tall, but rather have a very large canopy spread.
So even though the height is not a lot taller as compared to the small oak tree, the volume of the tree is greatly increased.
Price to cut large oak tree
A large Oak tree would be 45 feet tall and wide, with a trunk DBH of 25” – 40”.
This is a serious tree and will cost you anywhere from $2,200 – $4,500 depending on the location of the tree on your property, access for heavy machinery ad obstacles such as power lines, fences, or garden sheds.
Oak tree removal examples
For these examples, we will talk about the height of the tree, its DBH and things that add to the cost of removal. Below we talk about how to reduce costs greatly in a few simple steps
Example 1: DBH 6”
Cost: from $350
This is a fairly small tree by Oaktree standards with a height of less than 20 feet and a DBH of 6” – 8”. This is a very easy job with no obstacles and good access.
Example 1: DBH 10”
Cost: from $650
This is the next step up from the previous example, sporting a larger trunk diameter and a lot more branches. As far as volume goes it is a larger tree so it will cost more to remove.
As with the first example it has a lot of space to work and good access. You could prices from around $650 and maybe a little cheaper depending on your city and time of year you get it removed.
Example 3: DBH 24”
Cost: from $1,200
This would be considered a medium sized Oak tree and we are starting to venture into high prices for removal. The access is great, so the tree will not take more than a day for even a very small company to remove.
Example 4: DBH ?”
Cost: from $3,200
This removal is a bit of a nightmare. Not only do you have a very large Oak tree with a huge spread overhanding a home, but it is also in the backyard with no rear access.
The only feasible way to remove this tree is to find a company with a crane to lift the tree piece by piece over the house to the front yard. The good news is there is plenty of room to work in the front yard so this is possible. Cranes are expensive hence the expensive price tag.
Example 5: DBH 20” +20” + 20”
Cost: from $3,200
This is a triple trunked large Oak in a backyard. Let’s assume the access is great, you still have an amazing landscape job below the tree which is going to slow down the removal dramatically.
Each branch will need to be roped up and lowed very slowly or a crane would need to be used. Either way it is going to cost a pretty penny to remove.
Will I need a permit?
Whether you need a permit to remove your Oak tree will depend on the local laws relating to tree removal in your city. Every city has a Tree Ordinance that outlines which trees can be removed and which trees will need a permit from the council.
If you have a large Oak tree, chances are it is protected and you will need a permit before you proceed, but check your local laws for tree removal here first to be sure.
It is illegal to cut down oak trees that are protected without first obtaining a permit. You will face heavy fines if you illegally remove an Oak tree so please get your facts straight before you proceed.
Save on Oak tree cutting costs
As you can see from the above examples, the 2 biggest things that add to cost are access and obstacles around the tree. If these were not a problem, you would save hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars.
For more general data on the cost of tree removal, check out our price guide here.
Let’s see if we can save you some money!
Give better access
If you have an Oak tree in your backyard with poor rear access, you need to think about creative ways to grant better access. Sometimes it just isn’t impossible, but a good trick is to speak to a neighbor and see if they will let you access through their place.
If a neighbor has a rear access driveway, you can remove a panel of fencing which gets the tree service close to the tree which saves them time and money.
Make sure you arrange this with your neighbor BEFORE you get tree services out to quote the job. That way they know how the quote the job so you save.
If you have a beautiful lawn or garden below the Oaktree you want to remove a tree, you need to weigh up and calculate the cost of tree services charging you double because it’s going to take twice as long, or them making some divots on your lawn and breaking a few plants.
A good trick is to dig out any plant worth saving under the tree before the removal takes place. The same goes for garden furniture, panels of fencing, and anything else that might slow down the removal process.
You need to make it clear to the tree service what you expect when they quote, so they know how to quote. In my view, the lawn will grow back to let them do what they must and throw some topsoil on afterward.
Do it in winter
Tree services are usually pretty quiet in the winter months so waiting for the later part of winter to ask for a quote is going to catch them when they have little work.
Supply and demand dictate they will be falling over each other trying to win your business and you can expect their prices to fall also.
Get quotes through Go Tree Quotes
GoTreeQuotes is a FREE service which matches customers with the best priced local tree services. Hundreds of previous users have voted on who gave them the best price.
Once you fill in the form with a few details about your tree job and contact details, those same top voted companies will contact you and provide you with an obligation free quote.
No hard sales, just good advice, and great prices.
The countrywide average for tree removal is $871. The range of price however starts at $225 and goes right up to $4,650. The price you pay for tree removal will depend on:
- Tree size
- Canopy spread
- Trunk diameter
- Location on property
- Time of year
Every tree is different and you will need to get a price from local tree services before proceeding.
If the tree is on your property is is your problem and you will need to pay for it’s removal. If the tree is partly on city property (on the border with some of the trunk on the cities property) they will pay for some or all of the removal costs.
Before removing any tree, you need to make sure you are clear on the local laws for tree removal. Removing a tree illegally does cay heavy fines.
Winter is always the best time to remove a tree. Not only is it great for the trees overall health, but it is generally cheaper for you too. This is because tree services do not have a lot of work going on in winter. So when you do call then, they are more likely to submit a lower bid for your job to win the work.
Because every Oak tree is different and every property is different, a local tree cutting service will most likely need to come out and assess the job before giving a firm price. You could try to send photos to the tree service before phoning them, but tree sizes can be deceiving in photos, which is why they are hard to give an accurate estimate over the phone.
In most cases no. Most people think a tree service can make so much money on the timber they get from the tree, it’s worth their while to remove the tree for free. Unfortunately this is no the case. It’s like a demolition company knocking a house down for the copper pipes inside. You just can’t turn a profit. Timber for firewood needs to be dried for 2 years, then more labor goes into it to split and deliver to customers.
There are some cases of palm trees such as Date Palms and Phoenix Palms that are desirable and you might get a Landscaper willing to come and take it away for free as he can resell it to another customer.
This would depend on the size of the tree and the local laws. All Cities and Counties have what is called a Tree Ordinance. These are a set of rules that govern which trees you can remove and which are protected and will need the OK from the city to remove.
An example might be “All trees with a trunk circumference of 30 inches or smaller when measured 4 feet from the ground may be remove without a permit. All dead trees or trees within 6 feet of a home may also be removed”…
Please refer to your local Tree Ordinance to see if a permit is required for your tree.
Oak trees can grow quite large and to support themselves, they need a root system that is just as widespread. If an Oak tree is planted too close to a house, the root system can begin to crack foundations. It is advisable to consult a level 5 arborist if you fee your tree is too close to your home and needs to be removed.
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 dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.
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