Guide for pricing tree removal

Despite their beauty and the cooling shade they provide, large trees must sometimes be removed by a homeowner. Depending on its size, the cost of tree removal may be quite high, but there may be some hidden savings. It is even possible for a tree to not only be removed, but for the homeowner to be paid as well. There are several things that can be done to estimate the cost.


If the tree is located near your dwelling or an outbuilding, its large limbs may overhang the structure. They will probably need to be carefully removed and lowered to the ground before the butt log is sawn. This activity may require the use of a cherry picker and perhaps several additional workers. If this scenario matches yours, obtain several estimates from tree removal companies. Generally, the larger the tree and the more inconvenient its location, the higher the cost of removing it.

The Wood

If the tree is a hardwood such as an oak or maple, its removal cost may be offset by the value of the wood as fuel. Some tree removal companies double as firewood dealers, and they may be willing to discount their services if they can haul away the wood. If you burn wood for heat or in a fireplace, you could split it yourself and avoid the cost of buying firewood. A large tree may contain enough to yield several face cords.


Dropping a tree can be a messy affair. There are limbs and leaves that must be cleaned up. When you receive your estimates, request a separate breakout of the cleanup costs. If you perform the cleanup work yourself, you may be able to save some money. If the tree is an evergreen, it might even pay to rent a large chipper and chip the limbs into mulch. You could spread around some of your decorative plantings and perhaps lower the costs of removing the tree at the same time.

You Get Paid

If the tree to be removed is a large black cherry or black walnut, fortune may be smiling upon you. Both of these species are highly valued as furniture wood. You might wish to contact a professional logger rather than a tree removal company. When the logs are sold, he may hand you a check instead of the other way around.

So before having a tree removed, obtain multiple estimates and factor in how much work you want to do yourself. The savings might be significant.

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About the Author

Rich Finzer earned his boating license in 1960 and started his writing career in 1969. His writing has appeared in "Northern Breezes," "Southwinds," "Living Aboard," "Good Old Boat," "Latitudes & Attitudes," "Small Craft Advisor," "Life in the Finger Lakes," "BackHome" and "Dollar Stretcher" magazines. His maple syrup has won awards in competition. Rich has a Bachelor of Science in communications from Ithaca College.