Tree Removal Costs

Tree removal is made necessary due safety concerns or to enhance the appearance and accessibility of your property.

How much does it cost to remove a tree?

You will find the cost to remove an average tree will vary with tree size and type, its proximity to buildings and/or power lines, the accessibility of its location, stump removal options, general tree health, and labor rate.

Cost breakout

In the following table the Labor Cost figure is what the able DIY person should expect to save by performing the complete task.

Remove five healthy trees on a residential lot: each with ten years growth since last trim; 3 oak trees (50 feet tall) and two maple trees (35 feet tall); no power-line or building issues.

ItemUnit CostQuantityLine Cost
Wood chipper: 40 HP; chip limbs to spread onsite; requires gasoline and vehicle for transport to and around site.$244per day2$488
Chainsaw: 18” gasoline powered, including gas and oil.$68per day5$341
Hand tools: shears, axe, and one safety harness system with ropes.$65per day5$325
Stump grinder: 9 HP wheel mounted; requires gasoline and proper vehicle for transport to and around site.$124per day2$249
Equipment and Material Cost$281per day5$1,403
+ Labor Cost (2 persons)$38per hour80$3,040
Total Cost$889per tree5$4,443


Additional considerations and costs

  • Taxes and permit fees are not included.
  • Electric utility companies often perform tree trimming around their overhead lines at no cost to the homeowner, check with them if this is your case.
  • When searching for a service provider, be sure to request a detailed written offer (usually fixed-price) from several providers that includes proof of:
    • business license
    • professional arborist license (not typical but is nice)
    • liability insurance and workman’s compensation insurance
    • customer references
    • a time commitment to complete the work tied to payments
  • Additional information and proof should also be available regarding:
    • certification by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
    • registry as Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accredited Business
    • use of shoe-spikes to climb trees (should NOT be the case)
    • removal of living material from the tree-top (should NOT be the case)
    • disposal of all limbs, branches, and cut material; and full clean up the area
    • a background check on the persons who will be on your property
    • provision of a signed contract that details the work to be done including an estimate of time on the job site and the fixed-price to deliver on terms
    • a valid contractors bond on work that exceeds $500

DIY considerations

  • This activity is not recommended for DIY as it is intrinsically dangerous working at heights with a chainsaw in a tied-off safety harness, and furthermore requires arborist knowledge of how to correctly trim the tree.

References

  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY and arborist Web sites.

Cost to remove a tree in my city

Cost to remove a tree varies greatly by region. To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.