What’s the cost to remove a tree? This is a common question among homeowners, which is why we decided to write this article, but homeowners have a whole list of questions regarding the cost of things, such as: Tree trimming cost? tree removal cost? stump grinding cost? cost of shrub removal?
We hope you find this article useful — we wrote it especially for you. We provide you with information to help you decide whether or not you should hire a professional or do it yourself.
If you’ve come across this article then chances are you have trees that need to be removed. There is a great deal that goes into the tree removal process, which can lead many homeowners to question if the cost to remove a tree is worth it or should they do it themselves.
Cutting a tree for removal may seem like an easy enough task that one can do on their own. You might want to rethink that, however. There are many crucial factors to consider that could have very serious consequences for someone who is unsure of what they’re doing. This guide will explain all considerations one should take when it comes to tree removal and stump grinding.
Tree Removal Frequently Asked Questions
Anyone that has ever considered looking into having a tree removed has most likely asked themselves at least one or ALL of these questions. If not, then you should be asking these questions to have a thorough understanding of what goes into removing a tree.
What is the Cost to Remove a Tree?
There are many contributing factors that come into play in what it costs to have a tree removed. On average, a home or landowner might spend anywhere between the range of $150 to upwards of $1,500! Factors that will determine what the price will be for having a tree removed include:
- Size of the tree
- The diameter of the tree trunk
- Condition of the tree
- The geographical location (prices will vary based on region)
- The location of the tree (how easily accessible it is)
Naturally, shorter trees that are under 25 feet will be easier to remove and range in price from $150 to $500 for removal services. Trees that are between 25 feet and 75 feet tall might range in price from $150 to $1500. For large trees that are taller than 75 feet the land/house owner can expect to pay at least at least $1,500 and then some.
For example, a company in Atlanta charges $680 for a 25-foot tree and will charge you $510 for a 2nd tree removed. So, there is a lot of variability and if you have multiple trees you need removed then you’re better off having them all done at once. On the other hand, getting a tree removed in New York will be more expensive than Woodstock, Atlanta. The cost of removing a tree will likely vary based on the current market conditions.
Additionally, the condition and type of tree may also affect the price for removal. Healthy, strong trees that are thick in diameter may take longer to cut down as they are typically more difficult to remove. This will consequently raise the price for having them removed.
What are the Bylaws to Removing a Tree?
The cost of removing a tree should not be your only concern. It’s essential that you do the research and find out if you can legally have your tree (or trees) removed. Most people forget this step.
Before you set out to have a tree removed, it’s important to understand that there are certain laws in place for tree trimming and tree removal. The tree cutting laws will vary from state to state. The policies that each state has in place for tree removal is in regards to the safety of those that may live in close proximity to the tree being removed, which could prove potentially dangerous.
For instance, one very common law that the majority of states have in place is that the tree being removed cannot be within 20 feet of power lines. Now, if you live on private land and looking to remove the tree yourself then there may be no restrictions in place.
DIY Tree Removal
If you feel confident enough to do the job on your own, you may find this option to be more practical for your needs. Tree cutting and DIY tree removal has its advantages along with disadvantages to offer. Here are some valuable facts to ponder on before you set out to remove a tree all on your own:
- It may save you money to do the job yourself than hiring a professional
- You can cut down the tree on your terms at a time that’s convenient for you
- Tree cutting, also referred to as tree felling, can be dangerous
- You may need to purchase, rent, or borrow the equipment you need
- Lack of experience and skill set could result in unfavorable mistakes
What Equipment Do I Need?
For tree removal, you will first need to trim and cut down the tree. For the sake of safety and getting the job done right, it is important to fully understand is involved and what tools are needed to carry out this task. The tools you can expect you will need to safely and effectively cut down a tree include:
- A quality chainsaw
- Driving or tree felling wedges
- Protective safety gear (hard hat, safety goggles, gloves)
- First Aid kit
Cutting down a tree yourself requires a series of steps to ensure accuracy. First you will need to determine which direction the tree will fall by examining it and noticing if it has a lean to it. If the purpose of removing a tree is due to it being too close to a structure- such as a home or building – consider letting the professionals do it. While you may be looking to save money by doing it yourself, you could be betting on more than you bargained for if it doesn’t go so well.
The benefit to removing a tree yourself is that it will typically only cost you the supplies you need to get the job done. If you don’t currently own a chainsaw you will need to look into purchasing or borrowing one. Consider what it might cost to have all of the necessary equipment it will take to perform the job including safety gear as opposed to the average cost of a tree removal service to do it professionally. It may turn out to be more cost-effective, not to mention safer, to hire a professional tree trimming service to get it done.
Stump Grinding and Stump Removal
Once the tree is trimmed and chopped down you will be left with a stump. Even though a stump is a major part of the tree, it is usually not included when you request the tree removal price estimates. Most companies that provide tree removal services will charge an extra fee to remove or grind the stump as well.
There are two options when it comes to getting rid of stumps leftover from a cut tree: stump grinding or stump removal. With stump grinding, it involves the use of the electric grinder to chop the wood and rake off the chips that come from the tree stump.
The stump removal process can entail rotting, burning, or using chemicals that are aimed to kill the stump. When the stump is dead, it can then be easily removed. Stump removal methods tend to be less manual, but stump grinding is quick and very much effective as well as cheaper.
What is the cost of stump removal?
On average, you will pay anywhere between $60 to $350 for each stump removed on your property, which is the cost of hiring a professional company. This cost will be affected by variable factors like the diameter of the stump, accessibility of the stump, and the total stumps to be removed.
The accessibility relates to the need of clearing the land in order to access the stump. Most companies will charge around $3 for every inch of the stump diameter. For multiple stumps that need to be removed, most services will offer a discounted rate rather than a flat rate for each stump. If you have a large area of land you’re needing to clear with several stumps that will need to be removed some services might also charge based on an hourly rate rather than by the stump. The average hourly rate is around $150.
What is the cost of stump grinding?
Stump grinding is the other alternative of removing the stump from your property. It involves the use of a machine to remove the stump by chipping away the wood from the top. The cost to grind the stump can range from anywhere between $75 to $1000. The average cost is typically about $100 to $400.
Before opting for tree stump removal, consider whether or not you need to have the stump removed as it is an added expense. If the tree removal is for a landscape project or to clear off land for building on, then it is necessary to remove it. Other reasons for having a tree stump removed include:
- Contributes to new growth – stumps can sometimes cause new, smaller trees to grow around it, which can be unsightly and expensive to maintain as the sprouts will likely continue to regrow.
- Tree roots are growing too close to a structure that can cause damage
- Stumps pose an obstruction to mow around and take up valuable yard space.
If you would rather attempt to remove the stump yourself than hire a professional you could possibly shave off a few dollars from this additional expense. The most common tool for stump grinding is obviously the electric grinder. Fortunately, you can rent a stump grinder from a home improvement store for much less than what you might pay a professional, depending on certain factors. You will also need a means of getting it to the location where the stumps are to be removed by either using a trailer hitch or paying to have it delivered.
Typical rates for stump grinder rentals range around $75 for half a day, and up to $400 for the entire day. DIY stump grinding takes approximately 3 hours for the average landowner so figure how many stumps you’ll need to grind to determine how long you will be needing it for. In addition to the grinder, you will also need a mattock, a rake, a stable chainsaw, and a shovel. All these tools will make the stump removal quick and easy.
It’s important to keep in mind that rental stump grinders may not always be suitable for the job. For instance, if you have a particularly larger stump to get rid of a rental grinder will likely not be powerful enough to tackle it. Rental grinders are most suitable for use with smaller stumps or those that are rotting as they don’t have the power capability of a commercial-grade grinder that the professionals commonly use.
Tree Stump Killer
Another option to removing a tree stump yourself is by killing it. This can be achieved by using chemicals, burning the stump, or decomposing it. The use of chemicals for stump removal will eat up the stump slowly, and you will sweep out the remainder after the stump reacts to the chemicals. To decompose the stump, you would drill holes in it and pour water to leave it to rot out. These options would be far more cost-effective than renting a grinder or hiring a service, but they will take considerably more time to reach completion of ridding the stump.
It is advisable to consider all of these factors in your total cost of stump removal when calling around to get quotes from a stump removal service for comparison. In the end, you may save a little bit of money by doing it yourself, however going with a professional will be much faster and ensures the job will get done right.
- Hiring a Professional
- Tree Removal: $650
- Tree Stump Removal: $165
- DIY (Do it yourself)
- Tree Removal: Varies
- Tree Stump Removal: $100
These rates are based on national averages and may not reflect prices based on certain factors.
Tree Removal Safety Tips
Should you decide to attempt the tree removal yourself keep these valuable safety tips in mind to protect yourself and your property.
- Assess the tree to determine the direction it will fall prior to cutting. Analyze it to see if there is a lean to it as this is the direction you want to cut towards. Be sure it falls in a direction clear of any buildings or other property it may cause damage to.
- Ensure the chainsaw and all necessary gear is working properly. A malfunction or slip up in your gear could cause a very dangerous mistake so check out your gear to ensure everything is running as it should and that safety gear fits like it should. For gas-powered chainsaws, be sure there is plenty of oil and gas to operate.
- Only trim trees when the weather is permitting. Attempting to trim or remove a tree when it is raining could be extremely hazardous or even deadly. Wait until the weather is clear and the ground is dry.
- Be sure you know how to accurately operate a chainsaw prior to using it. Hospital and emergency room visits are often the result from injuries that are incurred while using dangerous equipment such as chainsaws. Make sure you are familiar with the machinery you intend to use before you begin.
- Always wear protective gear to protect your head from falling limbs, your eyes from flying debris, and your legs and feet from the slip of a chainsaw. Wear a hard helmet, safety goggles, chainsaw chaps, and closed-toe shoes (preferably steel-toe)
What to Know Before Hiring a Professional
If you have a particularly large tree or one that is near a house, it would be best to seek the services of a professional in tree removal and stump grinding. There are some considerations you should make, however, to protect yourself when hiring a service. Are they licensed and insured? This can be an important aspect that indicates a professional service from an average Joe portraying as a professional.
Was the service recommended by a friend or was it one you found in the local paper? Find and speak to actual clients that received service from the company you have in mind to obtain valuable feedback on their worth.
You want to hire a trained professional in the field of tree trimming and removal services. The service you opt to hire should be able to provide you with valuable information specific to your tree removal needs that shows they truly know what they are doing and have experience. Ask questions to determine how knowledgeable they are such as:
- Would it be better to simply trim the tree or cut it down and remove the stump? Why? If it’s not necessary to remove the tree or the tree stump this will save you money. Also, be wary of companies that offer ‘topping’ which is a technique done that removes live, healthy top portions of a tree as this is not a recommended practice.
- What services are included for the price quoted to remove the tree and what may cost additional? Some services include hauling away the chopped down tree and limbs while others may charge extra.
- What approach do they plan to use and equipment for the job? If you have a sprinkler system or something in your yard that can be damaged from large heavy equipment, be sure to let them know where they are located.
- How long will the job take? A professional service should be able to provide you an estimated time the job will take to complete.
- Can they provide references? A qualified company should be able to provide you a list of satisfied customers they have completed work for upon request.
Cost to Remove a Tree and Other Yard Tasks
Should your hire a professional or do it yourself?
When it comes to affordability, it’s typical to look for a service that offers the lowest cost for tree removal. A service with much lower rates than its competitors could mean lower quality too. Seek out various tree cutting and stump grinding services to get competitive rates to find one that is affordable and refer to the aforementioned tip of researching up on them.
When hiring a professional tree removal service opt for one that not only meets these important criteria but also appears professional. A professional service should have well-kept vehicles and equipment. Appearance can provide a good indication of how a company takes care of their business and customers.
When comparing tree removal cost from hiring a service or doing it yourself, be sure to take into account all factors from the price for tools and rates, as well as the time and effort it takes. Taking on the task yourself may save you money but will most likely take much more time and it can be quite dangerous if you’re not careful. You also have to take into account the availability of the supplies you will need such as equipment you plan on renting. If you are on a time-crunch to get the job done and need to be sure it’s done right than hiring a professional service may prove more valuable regardless of the actual price difference.