Tree Removal Cost: Hire A Professional Or DIY?

Trees are glorious and gorgeous gifts from nature that are meant to be loved and protected. But there are occasions where they are more of a hindrance than a blessing. Like when you have a small yard and too much tree!

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Luckily, there are tree removal services everywhere. But if you’re looking to cut costs, you can also do it yourself. Both are great options. One being safer and the other much cheaper. That’s why we’ll talk about both. 

Average Cost Of Tree Removal Services?

There isn’t really a set cost to remove a tree. Tree removal services can cost $100 or $2000. It all depends on your situation. There are a lot of things to consider when looking for someone to remove a tree.

Because there is such a great range, it’s a good idea to break it down in a way that lets you understand what you are paying for. Because transparency is key when you are hiring someone to do a job for you.

Chopping

Cost: Varies greatly

This is primarily what you will hire a tree removal service for. This is the main part of the tree removal and can cost anywhere from $50 or less to over $2000. But in general, the chopping itself will be the largest sum. 

Hauling

Cost: $40 to $500

If you hire a tree removal service, chances are they are only going to cut the tree down. If you want to have the limbs then hauled off, you’ll have to pay for a separate service. This may be the same company or a different one. 

Chipping

Cost: $50 to $200

An alternate way to get rid of the branches is to have someone chip them. This will be great for repurposing them if you’re into landscaping or for selling them more easily. Most services will add the cost of hauling woodchips into their estimate. 

Stump Removal

Cost: $60 and $350

Removing a tree stump is hardly ever included in the cost of removing a tree. So you will have to specifically ask for it to be done. It will require different machinery and often a different company than the one that removed the tree.

Commute

Cost: Varies

If you don’t live in city limits, then you will probably pay a bit more than someone that does. Because most companies charge extra for time and money spent transporting their equipment somewhere far. 

Splitting

Cost: $50 to $300

Another option is to have the wood split. If you do this, you can then sell it for firewood which will give you your money back. So it will go towards the investment you spent on removing the tree in the first place.

Size And Type Of Tree

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One of the biggest factors in removing a tree is the size of the tree. While it’s hard to calculate costs based on diameter, you can definitely ask for a quote based on the height of your tree, which isn’t too difficult to guestimate. 

Here is what most companies charge based on the height of the tree you want to be removed. Though each company is different, this gives you a good idea of what to expect before you talk to them.

Tree Heights 

  • Under 20 Feet Tall – $150 and $500
  • 25 Feet Tall to 75 Feet Tall –$500 and $1,500
  • 75 Feet Tall or Higher – over $1,500

Type Of Tree

Another thing to think about is the type of tree that you are having removed. Some types of trees, like oak or pine, cost more than other types. The harder the wood, usually, the more it will cost. So make sure you ask the service about the differences. 

Each company is very different with this, some believing that all trees should cost the same to remove, while others are quite particular about it. In general, size matters more than the type of tree when it comes to tree removal cost.

Tree Condition

Depending on the situation, fallen trees and rotting trees can cost more or less to remove than healthy trees. This may be something you forget to mention to the contractor when you mention the type and heigth.

Don’t forget to let them know what condition the tree is in because you may only have to pay for hauling if it is fallen. But then again, it can be trickier if the tree is only half-fallen and they can’t control the direction the rest will fall. 

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree Yourself?

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To remove a tree yourself, you will need to have a lot of confidence and courage but also learn how to learn before you begin. Safety is very important because this is a very dangerous task. So learn as much as you can beforehand. 

If you’re doubting yourself or if the tree is taller than 25-ft, then please hire a professional. No amount of money saved is worth doing something dangerous like removing a tree yourself. But if the tree is short and you are comfortable removing it, then use these guidelines. 

What You’ll Need

  • Ladder
  • Saw (of your choice) 
  • Goggles
  • Rope or Bungees

Setting The Ladder Up

Now, this is a very important part of ensuring your safety. It starts with putting the ladder next to the tree. There are a few options here. You can get a tall stepladder or multipurpose ladder which will be more stable but may not be tall enough.

Your other option is to get a straight ladder and lean it against the tree. If you choose a straight ladder it will need to be secured. You can do so with rope or bungees near the top. Make sure it is stable before using it after securing the rope.

It is highly recommended not to do this alone. Having someone there to steady the ladder while you ready it or if you fall is very important if possible. When placing the ladder on the tree, make sure you hook it over a short branch or long knot for extra support.

You can even cut a branch to hook it on. You can then nail large nails into the tree under the tip rung of the ladder to help support it. If you do this, it’s a good idea to tie the rope to these and around the tree.

Creating Steps

If your tree is lacking enough strong branches to climb on, you’ll have to make your own steps to reach the higher parts of the tree. Start by creating a few 2x4s that are a foot or two long. Drill long screws into them on the ground halfway.

Then, climb up the ladder and create steps in any spot that is without a good foothold for a few feet. This will give you that extra security and make it easier to cut branches. It can also help to use L-brackets and a 2×6 to create armrests on the tree at places where you will be standing for a long time.

Cutting The Branches

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Now it’s time to cut the branches. Start with easy branches to get yourself used to doing so. Use whatever type of saw you feel comfortable with. Whether it be a chainsaw, bowsaw, or a handsaw. Then get to work.

Start small to find out how your project will work. It can be very useful to have someone work a guide rope to guide where the branches will fall. But if that doesn’t work out, make sure everyone is very far away from the tree.

Then, cut the branches one by one, allowing them to fall to the ground. Keep cutting, using your footholds and ladder to stable yourself. Cut until you get all of the branches down that you can.

Cutting The Trunk

For short trees, you can simply cut the tree from the bottom. But for taller trees, you may need to start cutting from the top. Cut a few feet of the trunk and let it fall safely to the ground. Keep doing this, cutting off the top until you feel safe cutting the bottom.

Then you’re left with a stump that you can either use and repurpose or uproot. You can use fire or chemicals to remove stumps, but the safest way is to dig it out. You just dig until you find the bottom and pull it out.

For large trees, this isn’t recommended as it can be difficult to fill the hole or transport the stump without machinery. For larger stumps, you can use chemicals or hire a professional to remove the stump. 

Finishing Up 

While hiring a professional is highly preferable, there’s nothing wrong with doing it yourself if you wish. Just remember to keep at least a few pieces of wood for yourself to repurpose. It will serve as a reminder and memory. 

There are a lot of projects you can take on that will make great use of the wood you salvage from your tree. You can make wood furniture, trinkets, or even a get pieces to start a gorgeous woodland garden! It’s all up to your creative mind.