If you have a tree that leans too much, is decayed, or is infested with pests, you probably need the help of a tree removal company. Professional tree cutters assess the complexity of a removal and any damage that has occurred — and then safely remove trees without harming nearby plants or structures. While helpful and necessary, tree removal services can be expensive. To help you determine your tree removal cost, we’ve combed through industry rates across the country for tree removal services.
- Tree removal costs range from $250 to $3,000 per tree, with the national average at $750 to $1,200.
- A tree’s height, width, species, and condition all affect the cost of removal.
- While cutting down trees on your own can be tempting, it’s a complex, dangerous job that professionals should handle.
How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Tree?
The cost to remove a tree varies. The price depends on the tree’s height, trunk width, tree type, and more. You can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $3,000 per tree, with the national average falling between $750 and $1,200. However, this price can be much higher for exceptionally large trees or for emergency removals.
We retrieved cost data from RSMeans, a project estimator for contractors and home improvement experts. The average costs listed in this article include materials and labor fees.
How Do Tree Removal Costs Differ by Tree Size?
The most important element for determining the cost of removing a tree is size. The larger the tree, the more labor hours, team members, and special equipment needed to remove it.
Tree cutters consider small trees as ones that are 30 feet tall or shorter. Trees like this, such as dogwoods, typically cost $250 to $500 to remove. Medium-size trees stand between 30 and 60 feet tall and typically cost $500 to $1,200. For tall trees (60 feet tall or taller), such as maples, firs, and oaks, you can expect to pay from $1,500 to more than $3,000 per tree.
|30 Feet or Less||$250–$500|
|Between 30 and 60 Feet||$500–$1,200|
|60 Feet or More||$1,500–$3,000|
If you’re curious about the tree felling process, check out this video from a professional tree service company on how they safely cut down trees.
How Do Tree Removal Costs Differ by Species of Tree?
A tree’s height isn’t the only factor in its removal cost. A tree’s species can impact how difficult and expensive it is to remove. Some trees have extensive root systems, which drives up the price. Other trees have exceptionally hard wood or have special requirements (like taproot removal) that make removal more costly.
Maple trees typically grow up to 100 feet tall and have heavy, long branches that require pruning. As a result, removing a maple tree can cost well over $2,000. Similarly, many pine tree species can reach over 100 feet and require special equipment because of their thick branch structures. Removing larger pine trees can cost upwards of $3,000.
|Type of Tree||Average Cost|
Before removing a tree on your property, always check to be sure it isn’t a heritage tree. Heritage trees have a cultural, local, or historical significance and are protected by either state or federal agencies. Some specific trees are considered heritage trees, while some states will designate every member of a species as a heritage tree. For example, in California, certain oak tree species are considered heritage trees, and need special permission to be removed
How Do Extra Services Impact the Pricing of Tree Removal?
You can buy other services from tree removal companies besides the cutting down, hauling off and disposing of a tree. Most of the time you have to buy these services separately — or alongside a removal. Some companies may offer additional services as incentives or at a discounted rate when ordering a tree removal.
|Additional Service||Average Cost|
|Trimming / Limb Removal||$250–$700|
|Wood Chipping||$75–$150 per hour|
|Log Splitting||$50–$90 per hour|
|Arborist||$150–$800 per tree|
Tree Trimming or Removing Limbs
Occasionally, the tree being felled — or nearby trees — must be trimmed to avoid more damage. When this happens, you’ll need to buy extra trimming and pruning services. Tree trimming ranges from $250 to $700, depending on the tree’s height.
One of the most commonly purchased add-on services is stump removal. While some homeowners like the look of stumps, removing them is important. They attract pests, and their root systems can cause problems for other plants and trees.
Removing a stump is difficult and time-consuming, and many homeowners have professionals take care of the problem. Professional tree cutters usually don’t include stump removal in their removal prices. On average, stump removal costs between $200 to $500, with most companies charging around $300.
Stump grinding is a lower-cost, quicker alternative to stump removal. Unlike stump removal, stump grinding does not leave the stump intact. Instead, it reduces the stump to a powdery mulch. You can expect to pay between $150 and $400 for stump grinding.
Wood Chipping, Log Splitting, and Debris Removal
Once the tree comes down, your property can be filled with branches, chips, logs, limbs and leaves. Tree removal companies will pick up and take away this debris, along with wood chipping, hauling, and log splitting.
Debris hauling costs between $75 and $250 per trip. Wood chipper services will run you $75 to $155 an hour but provide mulch for your garden. Log splitting costs $50 to $90 per hour and provides firewood for the winter months.
Tree transplanting is when a healthy tree must move from one location to another. The cost of tree transplanting depends on the size of the tree, with the average price between $300 and $750. Larger trees can be expensive, costing at least $1,000 and going as high as $10,000.
An arborist is a certified tree specialist trained to identify tree health, diagnose problems (like diseases and pests), and implement strategies for care and removal. You might need an arborist to spot potential problems, like tree rot or a diseased tree, that may make removal dangerous or difficult.
Professional arborists certified through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) usually cost between $150 to $250 per hour or $150 to $800 per tree. If your tree is salvageable, an arborist will recommend proper tree care and maintenance.
Which Other Factors Impact the Cost of Removing a Tree?
Alongside additional services, other factors affect the price of removing a tree. As a general rule of thumb, anything that makes the job harder, more dangerous, or requires additional equipment or people will increase the cost. For example, special precautions and tools like cranes may be needed to take down a tree that is next to power lines.
The most common additional cost factors include:
- Labor costs in your area
- Where your home is located
- Number of trees
- Emergency removal
- Condition of the tree
- Fallen or dead trees
Labor Costs in Your Area
As with all service industries, tree removal and lawn care prices depend on the industry wages of the local economy. Some locations, like the Pacific Northwest, have taller trees, longer winters, and more hazards that can affect a job, making their costs higher. In comparison, some states along the East Coast have shorter canopies and shorter trees, making removal less expensive.
Where Your Home Is Located
Your home’s physical location and landscaping affects the accessibility of your trees. A home that has a front yard with a steep incline will be more difficult to manage, increasing risk and job time. In situations like these, special equipment and precautions are often necessary, which will increase the cost of your project.
Where the Tree Is Located
Trees next to major structures, like your home’s foundation, sheds, or power lines, need special care and equipment to remove.
Number of Trees
The more trees that need to be removed, the higher the cost. Every additional tree adds more complexity, more labor hours, extra equipment costs, and more back-and-forth trips for debris disposal. Some companies offer bulk removal or clearcutting services, which usually charge by the acre and tree density, saving you massive amounts of money for large-scale projects. For bulk tree removal, you can expect to pay between $500 and $3,000 per acre, with high-density areas costing up to twice as much.
Unfortunately, most emergency services come with an extra cost, and tree removal is no different. Emergency tree removal is much more difficult, as it deals with trees that may have already fallen or are at risk of falling. These situations require more care, specialized tools, and larger teams of workers, all while on a ticking clock. Emergency tree removal can cost between $500 to $3,000.
Some homeowners insurance plans cover damage caused by trees that were felled from an accident, like storms, fire, etc. So before you call a tree removal company, check your homeowners insurance policy to see if you’re covered.
Condition of the Tree
A tree’s health, or more accurately, its lack of health, can increase the cost of its removal. A tree infested with termites, root rot, mold, or any other major malady will be more difficult and dangerous to remove because of its instability. Sometimes a tree removal service will have to contact a pest control company to diagnose the problem, adding a more cost to the end price.
Some municipalities require homeowners to get a permit for tree removal, especially for larger trees. These permits are typically around $150 to $200.
If you schedule your tree removal during the off-season (the winter months), you can expect to pay up to 10% less than during the summer.
Fallen or Dead Trees
Trees that already fell are easier and cheaper to remove. A price range of $100 to $500 depends on the size of the tree and where it fell. However, dead trees that haven’t fallen can be more expensive because they’re unstable and harbor pests.
Professional Vs. DIY Tree Removal
We don’t recommend DIY tree removal. Even small trees can be difficult and dangerous to chop down. Removing a tree without the proper training, equipment, and permits can lead to damaged structures, serious injuries, fines, lawsuits, and even death.
Should You Remove Your Tree Yourself?
While we don’t recommend it, it’s possible that you can remove smaller trees if you have the right tools, skills, and permits. However, even if you have a legal all-clear, you’re liable for all damage to property and people resulting from cutting down and removing the tree.
Should You Hire a Tree Removal Professional?
Finding a good tree removal company can be difficult. But by following these steps, you can find the right professional for your next tree removal:
- Find local experts near you: Search for local tree removal companies in your area. You’ll want to select several and schedule appointments for quotes from each.
- Get a quote from a few options: You can find a good price by obtaining multiple free quotes while meeting in-person with a representative of each company.
- Consult them about their recommendations: Ask each company about the project, its difficulty, expected complications, and recommendations.
- Research company credentials: Look at each company’s customer reviews, Better Business Bureau (BBB) score, years of experience, and history of complaints. Ask your neighborhood group on Facebook or Nextdoor about the company.
Is It Always Legal to Remove a Tree?
Tree removal laws vary by state and by county. Tree removal, even for trees located on owned residential property, often requires a permit. Some states have protections for endangered, native, or heritage trees. Here are some tree removal law examples for different states:
|State||Tree Removal Law|
|North Carolina||The North Carolina Forest Service oversees tree-cutting laws. Removal of trees on private property can require a permit if the property is located in a designated tree protection area. You should consult the forestry service before undertaking any private tree cutting.|
|Oregon||The removal of private trees can require one or more permits if it meets any of the following criteria: If it’s a heritage tree, if it’s considered a “street tree,” if it’s in a preservation zone, or if it’s of a certain width and height. In Oregon, tree regulations are handled by the Oregon Department of Forestry.|
|New York||New York State has no overarching tree removal laws, but each ordinance and municipality does, and they can vary wildly.|
|Utah||Utah state law does not require permits to remove trees on private property, but it does have strict laws protecting designated heritage trees. For heritage tree laws, contact the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands.|
|Florida||Regions in Florida have their own tree removal laws. For example, in Jacksonville, any tree greater than 4 feet tall or possessing a circumference of 3.5 feet or more requires a permit.|
How Can You Save Money on Professional Tree Removal?
You can save money on tree removal in several ways:
- Be smart when choosing your tree removal company: The best way to save money on tree removal costs is to pick the right company. When picking your company, check its customer reviews, BBB score, and work history. You can find the best company for the lowest price by reviewing multiple quotes.
- Schedule during the off-season: Tree removal companies increase prices during their peak season. The busiest time for tree removal companies is late spring to late summer. So, by scheduling your tree removal during the fall or winter, you can save by as much as 10%.
- Make access easy: If a tree service company has difficulty accessing a tree, it typically increases its service fees. You can reduce this possibility by removing fences, lawn placements (like bird baths, statues, etc.), and other obstacles.
- Handle cleanup yourself: Disposal and cleanup fees can add up to a hefty amount by the end of the removal. You can save on your final bill by handling the removal of debris yourself instead of having the company do it.
So, Is Tree Removal Worth the Cost?
On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $750 and $1,200 to remove an average-size tree. While this may seem expensive, it’s nothing compared to the repair costs you’ll face if it falls on your home. Even small trees can rip down gutters, knock down other trees, tear holes in roofs, and damage vehicles. Then there’s the liability cost if your tree falls on someone else’s property.
Tree removal costs become more reasonable when you look at how insurance companies handle fallen trees. If a tree is felled from an unforeseen or unavoidable accident, like a storm, you’ll typically be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. However, if you have a tree showing signs of damage, like a cracked trunk or rotten roots, and it falls because of that damage, your insurance may consider it preventable — and you may not be covered. Remember, proper tree care, including trimming, pest removal, and even felling, are a must if you want to be covered fully by your homeowner’s insurance.
Ultimately, our research team and homeowners insurance experts believe tree removal prices are almost always worth it. Even for oversized trees with removal costs in the thousands of dollars, the total price for removal is worth it compared to the potential damage it can cause if it falls.
FAQs About Tree Removal
What is the average cost of tree removal?
Homeowners can pay between $250 and $3,000 for tree removal, with the national average cost of $750 to $1,200. Large tree removal, especially in emergencies, can have much higher price totals, easily reaching $5,000 or more.
What do you do with tree stumps once the tree is removed?
You’ll want to remove tree stumps once a tree gets removed. Leaving a stump in the ground can lead to mold growth and pest infestations. Stumps can be dug out, removed with a chemical stump remover, or ground out.
What is the fastest way to get rid of a tree stump?
Grinding is the fastest way to get rid of a tree stump.
Is it safe to cut down your own trees?
It’s usually best for professionals to remove trees. Removing a tree yourself is a potentially dangerous job that can cause destruction of property, physical injury, or death. Homeowners can remove smaller trees with the right skills and equipment, but we don’t recommend that, either. The risk almost always outweighs the potential savings.