Four Factors That Affect Tree Removal Costs

Do you have a tree on your property you are considering removing? For most people, this is not a do-it-yourself job. Specials tools and skills are needed to ensure the tree is removed safely and doesn't put the feller, other trees, utilities, and nearby structures at risk.

But how much does hiring a tree removal service cost? According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of removal typically ranges between $400 and $2,000. This is a big spread and can make it difficult for homeowners to know just how much to budget. However, assessing these four factors can help you come up with a ballpark figure or get an estimate over the phone.

1. Tree Height

Some tree removal services charge a set price per foot. Other companies classify trees in a specific height range, such as 'small,' 'medium,' and 'large,' and charge accordingly. Of course, the height of things is often relative and gauging it is subjective. Most people don't know the height of the trees in their backyard, but there is a simple method for realistically estimating tree height.

Simply find a stick that is as long as your arm, then hold your arm out and hold the stick straight up in your hand. Walk backward until the top on the stick lines up with the top of the tree in your field of vision. Mark this spot on the ground.

Then get out your tape measure and measure that spot to the base of the tree. This number is the approximate height of your tree. Knowing the approximate height of the tree you want cut down will help you get a ballpark figure when you call tree removal services in your area.

2. Tree Species

Some tree species are extraordinarily strong. For example, the hophornbeam tree has incredibly hard wood, hence its alternative moniker, the ironwood tree. Toolmakers often use this wood to make ax or hammer handles because of its strength. But its dense fibers challenge even the sharpest chainsaw. Osage orange, black locust, and some willows can also be very difficult to cut.

Some species also have very wide branching, which can make felling the tree more difficult. For example, some species of oak trees can be as wider or even wider as they are tall. If you want to remove a tree such as this and its limbs are near other structures, the service may need to first remove the lateral limbs to prevent serious collateral damage.

3. Tree Condition

The inherent condition of a tree can also greatly affect the removal price. For example, a standing dead tree can be very unpredictable. Rather than fell it in one piece, the technician may need to make several cuts. Trees with cavities are also unpredictable and usually need several cuts. Older trees can sometimes have a large branch break, but rather than fall to the ground, it can get hung up in other branches. Loggers refer to these branches as 'widow makers' because they are unstable and potentially deadly. The widow-maker branch must be removed first. A tree that is sickened by disease, has a pest infestation, has a lot of woodpecker damage, or has a serious lean may require more care and pose a bigger danger. This can result in a higher price.

4. Tree Location  

Unfortunately, many people don't give enough consideration when they plant a tree to just how big that tree and its root system are eventually going to get. A tree that is too close to your home, garage, driveway, or other structure puts your property and family at risk.

A tree could fall on your house or vehicles during a storm. The roots can destroy your foundation or sewer. Trees that are really close to structures or utility lines require a lot of extra steps and care to make sure they fall the right way and the root ball doesn't cause damage.

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Trimming, Treating and Everything In Between

Have you ever marveled at just how enormous mature trees are? What's even more wondrous is the fact that they manage to keep growing and surviving with little interference from the humans who live around them. You don't need to water or fertilize your tree every day like you would a tomato plant. But that's not to say trees do not benefit from some care. Trimming, annual fertilizing, and the occasional deep watering can go a long way towards improving your trees' health. You can learn more about these and other tree services on this website, which we created for tree huggers, tree lovers, and average homeowners alike.



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