What Is The Average Tree Removal Cost? – Forbes Advisor

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Adding shade and beauty while controlling erosion, trees are great assets to properties. But when a tree is no longer beneficial, it should be removed.

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Size is the main determiner of the cost of removing a tree. The condition of the tree and the difficulty of removal will further influence the cost. The average cost to remove a tree is $1,200. Smaller trees cost $400 or less to remove. Trees up to 100 feet high cost $2,000 or more to remove.

Average Tree Removal Cost

Factors That Affect Tree Removal Cost

Height, Volume and Tree Species

The tree species is closely related to height and volume when it comes to pricing the cost of tree removal. Maple trees and pine trees tend to grow very tall—up to 100 feet—and can cost $2,000 or more to remove. Oaks tend to top out about 20 feet lower than maples and pines, so they will cost between $800 and $1,500 to be removed.

Height isn’t the only determining factor. Italian Cypress trees can reach up to 50 feet high, but their thin trunks, low volume and shallow root systems make them easy to remove. In some cases, they can safely be tipped over and pulled out. Cost of removal is at the lower end of the scale, around $400.

Likewise with palm trees: though tall, they lack volume. The average cost to remove a palm tree is between $200 and $500.

Physical Obstacles

Obstacles can make even the easiest tree removal difficult. Some obstacles that drive up the cost of tree removal include:

  • Poor condition of the tree: leaning, dead, etc.
  • Little room to fell the tree
  • Limited access for vehicles
  • Inclined property
  • Rocky or muddy soil
  • Other trees nearby that hamper work


As with other emergency services that promise to show up quickly, emergency tree removal will come at a premium price. As a rule of thumb, emergency tree removal will cost about two to three times more than ordinary tree removal. On the average, urgent tree removal will cost about $2,500.

Crane Rental

If a crane must be used to remove the tree, the tree removal cost rises sharply. Crane-assisted tree removal will add another $250 to $600 per day to the cost.

Traffic Control

If a street needs to be closed down entirely or partially, the cost of traffic control, cones and flaggers will add to the cost of the tree removal. A two-person flagging crew can cost between $175 and $225 per hour.


Hiring a certified arborist is sometimes necessary to evaluate whether a tree should be removed, pruned or treated and maintained. Obtaining a tree removal permit from your local municipality may also require a report from an arborist. The average cost of an arborist report is $450.

Stump grinding

After the tree has been removed, the stump remains. Stumps will degrade on their own, but only after many years. In that time, new sprouts may develop even from the stump.

So, grinding down the tree stump is often a component of removing a tree. Stump grinding costs about $300 to $400on average.

A special stump-grinding tool with spinning blades is used to shred the stump until it is about six inches below the surface of the soil.

Determining If a Tree Should Be Removed

Consult with an ISA Certified Arborist to determine whether the tree should be removed. Some factors include:

  • Tree Species: Undesirable tree species for your area may include those that frequently break or are prone to insect infestation.
  • Tree Health: If at least half of the tree is healthy, it likely can survive. When more than half is unhealthy, it may be time to remove the tree.
  • Trunk damage: If the tree has long cracks or other severe damage, it may need to be removed.
  • hollowness: Hollowness is not always a cause to remove the tree. But if the hollowness exceeds 30%, you may need to take it down.
  • Dead Branches: If under a quarter of the branches are damaged, the tree may only need pruning.
  • Position of Dead Branches: If all or most of the dead branches are on one side of the tree, it’s often a sign of disease or root or trunk damage.
  • Leaning Trees: Even trees in good health that are leaning more than 15% off of vertical plumb should be removed as they are safety concerns.

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When to Hire a Pro

Except for very small trees, it’s usually safest to have trees removed by a tree removal company or a qualified landscaping company. If the tree is short enough that you don’t need to climb a ladder to remove limbs, you may be able to remove the tree by yourself.

Also, take into consideration the size of the felling area. It should be twice as long and wide as the height of the tree and clear of all obstructions such as power lines or sheds. If the tree’s trunk is greater than 10 inches, the tree should be removed by professionals.

How to Save on the Cost of Tree Removal

  • Do some of the work yourself such as safely clearing low limbs or removing fallen branches.
  • Improve access to the tree by taking down fences, removing obstacles and moving vehicles.
  • If the tree removal isn’t urgent, wait until an off-season to schedule the job.
  • Get three or more estimates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to remove a tree?

Any tree that is a hazard should be removed immediately. Otherwise, tree companies find that November to March is the best time to remove a tree because it has no leaves. During that time, limbs are lighter because they have no leaves. Summer, though, is the best season to observe the tree because it is still in its growing stage.

Can I have the tree cut into firewood?

Yes, at an extra cost most professionals can remove small limbs and cut the tree into manageable sizes of firewood. Expect to pay about $100 per medium-size tree for this service.

Can I sell the wood instead of paying to remove the tree?

If the tree is in good condition, is relatively straightforward to remove, and is a desirable species, you may be able to sell the tree’s lumber. Hardwoods like walnut or old-growth oak are prized by many lumber mills or furniture makers.

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