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How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree?

Typical Range: $400 - $2,000

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Tree Removal Cost

The average cost to cut down a tree ranges from $400 to $2,000 according to Rob Alderson of Alderson Tree Service in Spokane, WA. It's size is the largest factor with smaller trees at 25 to 75 feet averaging $400 to $1,000 and larger ones of 75 feet+ costing $1,500 or more. Other factors that affect removal costs include the tree's condition, diameter and location.

Average Cost to Remove a Tree

Average Cost$650

Trees can beautify a yard or a whole neighborhood, but from time to time and for various reasons they might need to be cut down. How much it costs varies according to many factors including the size and condition of the tree and the complexity of the job. As a result, there is no quick answer for how much it will cost. There are, however, guidelines you can use to get an idea of how much you can expect to pay for tree removal from your property.

Tree Removal Cost Factors

Height of the Tree

Many tree removal companies charge a fee per foot of height. On average, small trees are 30' tall or less. Medium trees are between 30' and 60'. Large trees stand 60' to 80' tall. Very tall trees are 80' or taller. Most tree removal services use these size ranges as guidelines for charging.


The condition of a tree can affect the cost of removal. Trees in dangerous condition are often inspected by an arborist, a person with special training in the health and care of trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. A tree that seems to be leaning dangerously should be inspected before removal to determine how it should be cut down. Among the factors that can affect the condition of a tree are:

  • History: Care, recent construction near the roots, and some landscaping activities can adversely affect the stability of the tree.
  • Lean: Not all trees grow up straight. A slight lean in a trunk is expected, but a significant lean, especially when combined with exposed roots and cracked ground on one side, indicates a serious stability problem.
  • Multiple Trunks: Some trees will split into two or more trunks. If they are weakly attached, they could crack and fall during removal.
  • Weak Branches: A branch with a tight V-shaped connection at the trunk is more prone to cracking and breaking, making for a more hazardous condition.
  • Cavities/Decay: These seriously compromise the structural integrity of the tree, making for weak spots that could affect the tree removal process.

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Dead Trees

Dead trees are a mixed bag when it comes to the cost of tree removal. Small dead trees may be considered easier to work on as they are generally weak and brittle and will cut easier. Large dead trees are still weaker and more brittle than their living counterparts, but the weak and brittle stage makes them more dangerous to work on. Dead or dying trees in an urban environment are a hazard, and if one falls, the owner can face charges of neglect. Some tree removal services don't consider dead trees any different from a living tree when it comes to removal regardless of size. Because of the unpredictability of this factor, it's best to assume that it will cost a little bit more than removing a living tree. Ultimately, what it costs to have a dead tree cut down depends on how comfortable the tree removal service is with it.


The thicker the tree, the more it will take to remove. A tall, relatively thin tree will come down faster than a shorter, thicker tree. This will have a direct effect on the per-hour price you pay. If the trunk must be cut into sections (and they usually will), that will add that much more time to the job. Of course, a harder wood, such as oak, can make the job take even more time.

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The location of the tree can affect the price of removal by 25 to 50 percent. A tree that is sitting comfortably away from any structures or power lines will be an easier job than a tree that is right next to your house or has power lines weaving through the branches. Many places require that a certified lineman handle anything dealing with the power lines. These employees get paid more than the others. If the tree is near a structure or any other obstruction, the branches will have to be lowered by rope instead of just being cut loose. Also, cutting down a tree that is surrounded by trees that you don't want damaged can complicate the job quite a bit. How easily the tree removal service can get to your tree is another factor. If the tree is in your front yard, access is rarely an issue. Cutting the crown and higher branches is often easily accomplished with a crane and bucket. If the tree is in your backyard, they may have to send someone to climb the tree. Also, if they're providing a chipping service, it will cost more if the branches have to be dragged any distance to the chipper.

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Average Price For Tree Removal

The average cost to have a tree removed falls between $400 and $2,000. As mentioned above, the height of the tree can affect the cost of tree removal. Other factors that can affect the price include certain species and whether or not the tree has fallen.

"The biggest impact on the cost is the location of the tree and amount of material that's hauled away. It usually takes one to two days. The cost really varies. It's a minimum of $400 to $2,000 depending on the size of the tree."

Small Tree Removal

The average cost to remove a small tree falls around $400 to $500 on average, since small trees are about 30 feet in height. Removing it isn't that difficult but can cost more if transplanted. You'll need to choose which direction to face it, whether in the sun or not. You can also dig the hole ahead of time to save some money. Consider calling the utility company to see if there are any plumbing lines or electricity concerns before you have the tree moved or removed.

Medium Tree Removal

The average cost to remove a medium tree is $500 to $900 and varies by height, which could range anywhere between 30 and 60 feet. You'll pay additional expenses like removing the stump, getting rid of any debris — branches, leaves, etc. — and cleanup. When you speak to the professional, ask about whether they're charging per tree or per hour, as this could widely vary what price quotes you get per arborist you call.

Large Tree Removal

The average cost to remove a large tree is approximately $1,000 to $2,000, since tree height ranges from 60 to 80 feet tall and requires more work. You might have a lot of reasons to remove a large, long-living tree like:

  • Disease or pests
  • Damage from a storm
  • Close proximity to a power line or plumbing pipes

It's very dangerous to remove these trees, so arborists will take care in first removing all of the branches and then cutting it down. You might be able to cut costs by helping with the removal, but it varies by tree service professionals. You might also be able to rent some of the equipment yourself so professionals don't have to bring it in themselves.

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Very Large Tree Removal

The price to remove a very large tree can get as high as $2,000. This is because very large trees can be 80 to 100 feet tall or more. They are the most complicated to remove because of factors like:

  • Power lines
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Professionals having to use rope and climbing equipment
  • Time & labor involved in felling the tree

Some species of trees — American ash, bur oak, maples — reach over 100 feet tall and are the hardest to remove. If you have these species or similar ones who reach tall heights, it's going to be quite expensive to remove because of the work involved.

Palm Tree Removal

The average cost to remove a palm tree is approximately $150 to $500+ to remove if their height is 30 feet. If they're 80 feet tall or more, you might spend $1,100 to $1,500 to have the tree professionally felled. Palm trees have teeth, which means they have to be roped down instead of simply cut with chainsaws. The taller the palm tree gets, the more weight they have. This means their roots are enduring a lot of stress and can eventually break, falling down into the yard's fence or your home. Professional arborists will come in and use ropes to ease it down to avoid that problem.

Pine Tree Removal

The average price to remove a pine tree is around $400 if the tree is 40 feet tall, but the 80-foot pine trees will cost about $1,500 because of the work and potential danger involved. Depending on the breed of pine tree you have, there could be additional work involved with removing the branches and cones. Professionals will have to wear a lot of safety gear to avoid scratches and pine getting in their eyes.

Oak Tree Removal

Since it reaches up to a height of 60 feet, the average cost to remove an oak tree is approximately $400 to $1,000. Oak is a very strong wood, and it's not easy to take down compared to other tree types. Factoring in its strength and girth, professionals will use heavy-duty equipment to fell the tree. It just depends on the species of oak you have and how tall it is.

Fallen Tree Removal

The average price to remove a fallen tree is about $75 to $150 depending on the size and species of the tree. Fallen trees are less expensive to remove because a lot of the work is already done. You might pay additional costs to have the pieces hauled away. If the tree needs to be pruned — branches removed before cutting it into pieces — you will pay more for that service as well. If you want to have the stump removed where the tree broke off, that will cost an additional $75 to $150, depending on its girth and whether you have it grinded or completely removed.

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Average Prices For Extra Services

When you hire a tree removal service, you're going to want to be sure of what they're going to do. Don't assume that tree removal also includes cutting it up and hauling it away. In fact, that is often an extra charge. Also, unless otherwise stated, stump removal is not always part of the deal. Here are some of the extras and a general idea of what they cost:

  • Stump Removal: After your tree has been cut down, the stump will remain unless you pay extra to have it ground down and removed. How you are charged depends on the number of stumps and the pricing practices of the service. Other factors that could affect the price include the age of the stump, the condition of the soil, the root system, and the hardness of the wood. Here are some examples of some general costs, not including cleanup:
    • Diameter: Most tree removal services charge about $2 to $3 per inch. Some have a minimum charge of around $100.
    • Per Stump: Some tree removal services will charge a certain amount for the first stump, around $150 for example, and a lower rate for each extra stump, such as $50.
    • Clearing Land: If you have a large piece of land with a lot of stumps to be removed, a tree removal service may charge by the hour. On average, the cost is around $150 per hour. This rate may fluctuate if the stumps have a large diameter.
  • Trimming/Cutting: Tree trimming is done for aesthetics and to help maintain the overall health of a tree. Non-invasive and applied to the smaller branches, it is usually used to allow more sunlight or water through the branches. While many people do smaller trees themselves, larger trees are best handled by tree trimming professionals. Prices range from $75 to $1000 depending on the size of the tree with an average between $250 and $500. Factors that can affect the cost of trimming include:
    • Location
    • Time since last trimming
    • Accessibility
    • Health of the tree
  • Pruning: Pruning is similar to trimming in that it is best done as maintenance for the health of the tree. It is different in that it involves the removal of larger branches and problem branches such as weak branches or those that rub against one another. Sometimes a tree that looks like it has to be removed can be saved with a good pruning. The same factors that affect trimming can affect pruning. The price range is about the same, but it is more often toward the higher end of the scale.
  • Limb Chipping/Removal: Many tree removal services include chipping and removal in their estimate, but you should ask anyway. Especially if you are having a larger tree cut down, you want to be sure of what you're getting for your money.
    • Chipping: The cost of chipping averages from $65 to $150.
    • Removal: Hauling away limbs can add an extra $50 on average.
  • Log Splitting: Splitting the logs for firewood is often an extra charge, usually about $75.
  • Travel: Living in a remote area is nice for peace and quiet, but a tree removal service will charge extra for travel. This varies widely, so it's impossible to give an idea of the cost.

If you have had a recent bad storm in your area, whether a very strong wind or wind and rain, it's a good idea to at least have your trees inspected. A formerly safe tree may have suffered some damage or may now be in a condition where falling is a possibility. The worst time to pay for tree cutters is after the fact!

"Make sure that whoever you hire is certified and properly trained. You don't want to just deal with a company that says, 'I've been doing it for 20 years, trust me.' Maybe they've just gotten lucky. They should be certified arborists, members of tree care associations where they demand certifications and training."

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