Trees are one of the most beautiful and beneficial investments you can make for your property, and as long as they’re properly cared for, they can last for decades. Nevertheless, there are several reasons you may need to have a tree cut down and removed. Maybe the tree is dead or too damaged or unhealthy to recover. It could have become a hazard, growing too close to property or posing the risk of falling limbs and branches? Or maybe it’s inhibiting other plants and trees in their ability to grow. It may simply be that a tree needs to be removed for a construction project or for any number of other reasons.
When it comes time to have a tree removed, you may be concerned about the costs involved. The going rate for cutting down a tree can vary greatly, depending upon a number of factors. Below, we’ll discuss the variables in play that affect the cost of removing a tree in your area, as well as how to find the right person for the job.
First, Decide If the Tree Really Needs to Come Down
As we’ve mentioned, there are many reasons why a tree may need to be removed from your property. Nevertheless, trees are beneficial, and you may wish to avoid removing one, except as a last resort. That’s why before you make the decision to have a tree cut down, you should investigate if there are any alternative ways to achieve the result you desire.
For example, before deciding that a tree is too unhealthy to leave in place, you should have an inspection performed by a trusted arborist, such as one from Mr. Tree in Oregon. You may be surprised at what a tree can recover from, provided it is given the proper care. Similarly, talk to an arborist if you’re worried about falling limbs and branches. The fact is that simple pruning may take care of the problem, without needing to cut the tree down at all.
If you believe the tree is in the way of a construction project, you may also be able to discuss this with your contractors. In some cases, it will be possible to work around the tree and leave it standing. In others, the tree may be able to be pruned until it’s no longer an obstruction, without the need to remove the tree entirely.
How Large Is Your Tree?
As you may have suspected, the size of the tree is a major factor in the cost of its removal. Large, heavy trees will cost more to remove, simply because your contractor will have to do a lot more to bring the tree down. While a small tree can usually be cut down relatively quickly and easily, a large tree may need to have limbs pruned first and then be guided safely down with a system of ropes that are utilized to control the fall.
The size of the tree also affects the removal of the tree from the site after it has been felled. While smaller trees may simply be able to be thrown onto a vehicle and driven away, a larger tree may have to be painstakingly cut into smaller parts and those parts mulched, sold, or removed by some other method.
The stump also comes into play when factoring in the going rate for cutting down a tree. A small stump can usually be left where it is or dug out by hand. However, a larger stump may need heavy equipment, such as a stump grinder, to remove it properly. Bringing in heavy equipment will increase the costs, as they have their own costs related to running them and transporting them to the job site.
How Accessible Is It?
Generally, anything that makes the job more difficult is going to cause the price to go up, and this is certainly true when it comes to cutting down a tree. If your contractor has to work around other trees, or around buildings, streets, power lines, or any other obstructions, this will make the job more difficult for them. As the difficulty increases, so do the need for more specialized equipment and more highly trained workers. This directly correlates with an increase in the cost of cutting down a tree.
Additional safety precautions that need to be taken also make the job take longer, and therefore make it more expensive. This means any obstacles that your contractor must navigate on the way to the tree will also potentially drive up the price they ultimately quote you.
Finding the Right Person for the Job
Of course, the going rate for cutting down a tree is also affected by the person you hire for the job. It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t want to just opt for the cheapest quote, because, as with many things in life, you do get what you pay for when it comes to an arborist. It’s better to pay a little more up-front than to have to pay twice as a cheap contractor may leave the work unfinished, at best, or even cause damage, at worst.
Expect a realistic quote for cutting down a large tree to be around $1,000 on average. If there is an additional difficulty, this cost can increase to $1,500 or more. For a smaller tree, the cost can be as low as $150, but once again, this number will change depending upon other variables. If your contractor quotes you significantly less than these numbers, you should usually question why that is.
Of course, the cost isn’t the only factor when hiring a contractor for cutting down a tree. Check references, read online reviews, and discuss results with other previous customers. You should also check if a potential contractor is properly insured—this one is critical—and that they have been in business for a while. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of a contractor you are considering either.