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7 Best Tree Services in San Francisco

The Master Arborist Awards and below list is about promoting the Top Rated Tree Service in San Francisco, CA and taking the guesswork out of hiring.

We want you the customer to easily find the 10 local tree services most likely to give a great service at reasonable prices.

There are a few ways we could have compiled this list.

Instead of taking the traditional route of getting residents to vote (which is usually just friends of the business owner voting), we decided to use all online customer reviews and use those along with other metrics to calculate the 2020 winner.

We took into consideration:

Years of experience, number of reviews and average score.

Taking a mathematical approach (see the formula used below results) we gave each local tree service a score.

Other minimum criteria to qualify include:

20 reviews
5 years in business
2 sources of customer reviews.

(E.g. Google review and Yelp, but most have 3 – 4 sources.)

winner badge description and arrow2
winner badge top rated

Below we go into more detail about the selection process, the formula used and the reasoning behind it to find this year’s winners.

And the winners are…

CompanyDetailsAvg. RatingGTQ scorePlace

calander small grey Est. 2000

Clock small grey 20 years in business

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

4.57

595

WINNer dark fate2

calander small grey Est. 2005

Clock small grey 15 years in business

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

4.88

149

runner up 2nd badge little2

calander small grey Est. 1980

Clock small grey 40 years in business

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Visit Website

Reviews: 57

4.15

95

runner up dark fate2

calander small grey Est. 1981

Clock small grey 39 years in business

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Visit Website

Reviews: 46

4.65

83

finalist dark fate2

calander small grey Est. 2007

Clock small grey 13 years in business

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Visit Website

Reviews: 98

4.80

61

finalist dark fate2

calander small grey Est. 2008

Clock small grey 12 years in business

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

4.75

61

finalist dark fate2

calander small grey Est. 2000

Clock small grey 20 years in business

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Visit Website

Reviews: 26

4.57

24

finalist dark fate2

calander small grey Est. 2012

Clock small grey 8 years in business

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Visit Website

Reviews: 28

4.833

11

finalist dark fate2

Who qualified to make the list?

To qualify to make the list, you needed to have a minimum of 20 reviews total across a minimum of 2 different platforms. This can be Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, Home advisor or any other 3rd party review platform. Curated reviews taken on personal websites were not counted.

The company needed to be in business for a minimum of 5 years.

We feel that years in operation is a big factor as it speaks volumes about the competence of the business as a whole. A lot of the business on the list have been in business for 10 years or more.

GTQ rating formula

The GoTreeQuotes rating is a mathematical formula which takes into account the number for year in business, the number of reviews, as well as the average score.

We believe the provenance of a company and the number of reviews, is just as important as the average score. Just as long as that average score does not dip too much below the 4.0 mark.

The formula used:

Years in business X number of reviews / 1000  X  Average score = GTQ rating

Example:

17 x 247/ 1000 x 4.95 = 208

Taking into account all three performance indicators of a business gives us a pretty accurate look at the overall satisfaction of customers while the tree service has been operating.

We found this to be the fairest and most precise way to do things.

Below are some more details on the companies in order as they appear on the list above.

Do I need a permit for tree removal in San Francisco?

Tree protection legislation has some specific laws regarding the removal of trees on private property in San Francisco. They state that trees are classed into 2 x categories:

  1. Significant
  2. Landmark
  3. Protected tree
  4. Street trees

A tree on private property is classified as significant if any portion of its trunk is within 10 feet of the public right of way and if one of the following three conditions are true:

  • The tree has a DBH of over 1 foot
  • Is over 20 feet tall; or
  • Has a canopy in excess of 15 feet in width.

The “public right of way” means the street area where cars travel.

If a tree is a significant tree, then it cannot be removed without obtaining a tree removal permit first.

You will need to lodge an application with the Director of the Department of Public Works.

Online form application: Tree removal permit application San Francisco

How much does an application cost?

Tree removal applications in San Francisco don’t come cheap. Below is a breakdown of prices:

1 – 3 Trees(non-construction related)$348
1 – 3 Trees(Construction or development)$701
4 – 9 Trees$933
10 + Trees$1,402

The above payments are non-refundable and do not guarantee approval.

Tree Removal Guidelines and Permitting Process

Once you submit the tree removal application, a San Francisco Public Works arborist will come out to visit the site and evaluate the trees in question.

If approval for removal is granted, it will be posted for a period of 30 days. If there is an objection to the tree’s removal a public hearing will be held.

The same is true if the council denies approval. You can opt for a public hearing to have your case heard.

The decision will ultimately come down to the Director of San Francisco Public Works.

Recommendations

If you want to improve your chances of approval, get a Certified arborist to provide you with a report on the current condition of the tree. The recommendations of an independent arborist weigh heavily on the outcome of the approval process.

You can find a certified arborist in San Francisco by using free service.

Download: Tree removal application form

Download: Tree protection legislation

Can I trim a street tree in San Fransciso?

No, as of July 1, 2016, residents voted to pass a new law (Proposition E) which transfers the responsibility of street tree maintenance back to the city.

Due to a budget crisis in 2006, responsibility was passed onto homeowners which meant the rules of tree maintenance such as minimum clearance for the road and footpaths remained the same, but it has to be paid for by the property owner.

This has now been amended and switched back to the city.

You can request the trimming or removal of a street tree if you feel the tree is a hazard or even if it is growing over your property. The city will then send out a tree crew to take care of the trimming free of charge.

How much is tree removal in San Francisco?

The cost of tree removal in San Francisco is higher than in other cities simply due to the cost of living for tree services. It’s all relative.

The average price is $871, but the real range is anywhere from $325 to $6,950.

Some of the things that dictate the cost of tree removal are:

  • Time of year
  • Size of tree
  • Number of branches
  • Trunk diameter
  • Tree species
  • The company doing the job
  • Access
  • Obstacles around tree

How can I save?

To save money on tree removal in San Francisco, I suggest you focus on the things you can control.

Time of year – Few people know this but tree services price jobs depending on how much work they have on. If you are booked out for a month in advance, you have no worries about paying the bills. In winter there are far fewer requests for tree removal and the same number of companies doing the work.

Look at this graph of searches for the keyword: “tree removal” in San Francisco” on Google trends.

By requesting quotes for tree removal in winter you will find yourself in a stronger bargaining position and on the right side of the supply and demand forces.

You can save an average of 25% off the price of tree removal in winter as companies bid lower prices to win work and see them through the winter.

timeofyear

Give good access – A tree in the backyard of a property can cost up to 100% more (double) than a tree of the same size in a front yard.

 The ability of tree service in San Francisco to get their heavy machinery such as mulching machine and cherry picker right up the tree will have a large bearing on the price.

Trees in backyards with poor access require more workers to drag the tree piece by piece to the street for chipping.

It takes twice as long and will cost you twice as much.

Do everything you can to give the tree contractor better access such as removing panels of the fence or even a neighbours fence to give them better access.

good access

Use this free service – Go Tree Quotes matches you with the best local tree services as voted by 1000’s previous users. With our mathematical formula, you are guaranteed to get the best the local industry has to offer as far as price and quality of service are concerned.

To get started, just scroll to the top of the page and fill in your Zipcode. Answer a few simple questions about your tree job to get bids from local tree services.

useof freeservice

Cost of fallen tree removal

Fallen trees always cost a lot less to remove than standing ones.

The most time-consuming part of tree removal is getting it on the ground without creaking anything. If the tree has already fallen (and broken things) the clean-up process is relatively straightforward and cheap.

You can expect the pay 50% of the price of a tree of the same size that is still standing.

Greener Bay Landscaping Inc.

4.57

(651)
Greener Bay Landscaping is a company that was founded several years ago. The company has been working on four major sectors which include tree services, lawn care, landscaping and masonry. As a result, they have positioned themselves as the best company to do more than tree services at a go.... Read more >They serve both commercial and residential properties around San Francisco. The company has a good reputation and has received many positive reviews from their previous customers.

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Clock small grey 20 years in business

The Urban Arborist

4.88

(204)
The Urban Arborist is a company that specializes in urban tree services around the San Francisco Bay Area. The company is licensed and makes use of certified arborists to provide the best services to their customers. ... Read more >In addition, they offer a variety of services for commercial, municipality and residential properties. Other services you can get from the company include tree planting, bracing and cabling, landscaping, and diagnosis. They have already worked on over 600 projects in San Francisco.

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Clock small grey 15 years in business

M & M Tree Service

4.15

(57)
It is a company that has been in the tree service industry for more than two decades. As a result, they are products of quality services and they have gathered themselves approval from many customers. The company is licensed and its workers are certified and insured. ... Read more >One of the things that make them stand out is their affordable rates. They offer tree pruning, trimming, lot clearing, stump grinding, removal view restoration and emergency response work. Through their website, you can get free estimates.

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Clock small grey 40 years in business

Friends of the Urban Forest

4.65

(46)
Friends of the urban forest is a company that focuses on urban forest and trees. As a result, they take care of sidewalk gardens and street trees within San Francisco. One of their main mission is to bring the community together with the goal of improving urban forest through planting trees. ... Read more >They have been able to plant 60,000 trees plus. Their services include greening, education, advocacy and community engagement.

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Clock small grey 39 years in business

Arborist Now

4.80

(98)
What makes Arborist now stand out is the fact that they deal with so much more other than the standard tree services. The company provides its services across San Francisco for both residential and commercial properties. ... Read more >The best part is that you get tree care services that entail aesthetics, safety and health. The company can also provide landscaping services, planting, consulting and design, furniture and wood design as well as wood milling.

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Clock small grey 13 years in business

Evergreen Tree & Gardening Service

4.75

(107)
Evergreen tree and gardening is a company that has been in operation in San Francisco for more than 10 years and they have created a name for themselves through quality service provision. The company is reputable for using the best equipment to ensure maneuvers in all areas when carrying out their work, They serve both commercial and residential areas.... Read more >The company offers all kinds of tree services as well as gardening and landscaping. For someone looking for a company to do a combination of landscaping and tree work, this is the company to go for.

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Clock small grey 12 years in business

Christopher Campbell Tree Design

4.57

(26)
As a tree service company, Christopher Campbell is a company whose main goal is to take care and manage urban trees. As a result, they have become very popular in urban areas all around San Francisco. ... Read more >The company has a good team of arborists that offer consultation services and reports. You can also get information on how to protect your trees from the company. Their other services include tree removal, risk assessment, estimates, diagnosis and treatment, estimates, and community work.

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Clock small grey 20 years in business

Bay View Tree Service

4.83

(28)
If you are in San Francisco and you are looking for a company with experienced arborists and workers then Bay View tree services is a good choice for you. The company believes in improving a tree’s health as well as aesthetics.... Read more >As a result, their services include aesthetic pruning, milling, planting, tree removal, shrub work and emergency services. The company is reputable and that is seen from the reviews left by their previous customers.

location small grey Serve Tampa, FL

Clock small grey 8 years in business

Ben McInerney
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.