A tree on your property is often a source of a great deal of joy. Not only do trees provide a great deal of aesthetic charm, they can also provide practical benefits like shade and privacy. Additionally, a tree – unlike flower beds or a lawn – requires very little upkeep. As long as it gets past the stage of being a sapling, a tree doesn’t need much watering, and does all of the hard work of growing by itself.
This is one of the great attractions of growing trees. However, this strength can also become a weakness, as it’s difficult to control the growth of a tree. The size and scale of some trees can be problematic, and when something does go wrong, it usually requires professional help.
fallen and needs removing, you will probably need to hire a tree care professional
(or arborist). There are a number of factors that go into determining the cost of this.
These include the following:
As such, you’ll need to organize a site visit to get an accurate quote from an arborist. However, this guide will walk you through the key ballpark figures involved so you have a rough idea of what to expect. The more information you have, the better decision
you can make as to removing the branch. After all, it’s a decision that can end up
costing you a lot of money if you don’t do it.
TREE BRANCH REMOVAL COST
The overall costs of removing a tree branch is likely to be somewhere between $50 and $75. However, in extreme situations, the range can be $35 to $1,200. Generally, however, the $50 to $75 range covers most circumstances.
For more information on this, see our guide - Is there free tree removal?
One of the biggest determinants of cost, however, is the size of the branch.
A large branch is classed as anything above 6 inches in diameter. These are usually between $450 and $1,200. At this price point, however, you need to consider whether it’s worth cutting down the tree as a whole, because it costs roughly the same to remove the whole tree as one large branch. This is because of the weight of a single branch of this size makes maneuvering it extremely difficult. It will almost certainly need some chopping (or chipping) before it can be transported.
Overall Size of the Tree
If you are planning on chopping down the tree as a whole, you can use the size of the trunk as a way of calculating the cost of removal. The table below also factors in accessibility as a means of determining cost. Again, these are still ballpark figures (your own local cost of living will play a role in your specific quote) although they give an indication as to how tree size affects price, and how accessibility exerts a 25% to 50% price increase on removal costs.
TREE COST CHART
Tree Height (ft.)
Trunk Diameter (inches)
(Note: This is the cost for the removal of the tree as a whole)
Generally, these center on what precisely you want to do with the removed branch, and whether there are secondary parts of the tree that need removing. The below costs are in addition to the figures listed above (although bundling them with the other costs may help to reduce your overall bill).
If you have a branch removed from a tree, you don’t have to have it taken away from your yard. Instead, you can pay an arborist or tree service to cut down the branch and then chip the wood using their wood chipper. This will allow you to keep the wood chips to use as a cover for a plant bed, or as the floor for a kids’ play area.
Generally, for an arborist to chip the wood, you will usually pay $75 on top of the other costs incurred. In some instances (and particularly if the branch is large), they may do this for free since it means they don’t have to dispose of the wood themselves. You can also purchase your own wood chipper.
If you have a stump that you need to get removed at the same time as a branch, then you can usually expect to pay somewhere between $75 and $150. This price is contingent upon the size of the stump, as well as how accessible it is to the tree removal team’s truck (since the removal process will likely involve the use of some machinery).
If the branch is on the larger side, it can be tricky to transport. As such, the tree service may have to spend time chopping the branch up into smaller pieces with a chainsaw before proceeding to transport it. As a reflection of the extra time required, a branch removal service will charge around $50 for chopping up a branch.
Different Types of Wood
One of the biggest influences in the overall cost of branch removal is the type of wood. This makes sense, since a harder wood is more difficult to cut, it’s denser (and therefore heavier) and generally makes for more work for an arborist.
The table below shows some rules of thumb when it comes to different types of wood. Soft wood such as pine or palm is relatively straightforward to work with, meaning that the costs are as advertised. For a hardwood such as maple, ash, or cedar, the price is usually multiplied by 1.2 to 1.5.
WOOD TYPE COST MULTIPLIER
Again, these figures are ballpark figures, but will help guide your overall costs.
If you do decide to hire a professional tree removal service to complete the work, then you should get quotes from a few different companies. You should not, however, automatically go with the cheapest quote, as there are a number of other factors to consider.
is that you are working with a professional company that takes its responsibilities seriously. The best way to do this is to work with a business that is a member of the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). The TCIA is the industry standard body for arborists; if a company is a member, it means that it has passed rigorous testing and has committed to ongoing professional development training.
is the insurance certificates of the companies you work with. You should not let them begin work until they do. At the minimum they should be able to demonstrate professional liability and worker’s injury insurance. This means that, if something goes wrong while they are removing the branch from your property, that you are not liable for the costs that are incurred. A company that doesn’t carry these insurance policies is also likely to cut corners elsewhere.
get a site visit so that you can receive an accurate quote. This way, you avoid any nasty surprises when it comes time to pay the bill at the end.
professionalism issues, so you need to make sure that price isn’t your
primary factor when choosing a tree cutting service – it could end up
being an expensive decision!