TREE LIMB REMOVAL
Trees can be a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to any property. They can help to provide shade, privacy, and a nice vista. However, the downside to having a tree is that its size can be problematic, particularly when something goes wrong. If a tree limb grows in the wrong direction, it can cross outside of your property line, it can become too heavy for the tree to handle, or it can generally be a nuisance. If the tree limb dies or becomes weak, it can fall and cause an extremely dangerous situation. The cost of removing a tree limb is therefore dwarfed by the potential cost of property damage or injury.
There are a couple of ways to remove a tree limb – either wait for it to fall from the tree naturally or cut it down and then remove it. In both cases, you’ll most likely need to hire a professional tree cutting service (or arborist) to come and help with the process. The service providers will be able to give you a price based on your specific requirements, but the below guide will be able to provide ballpark figures to help guide your decision making.
There are a number of variables that affect the price, including the following:
Many of these will require site visits for accurate quotes, so you’ll need to do some shopping around before you proceed with the work. Below is a guide to help you ask the right questions, and go in with as much information as possible.
TREE LIMB REMOVAL COST
Overall you can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $75 for tree limb removal, with a wider range going from $35 to $1,200 in more extreme circumstances (i.e. if the limbs are particularly large or particularly small. Below is a breakdown of the different costs involved for different sizes of limbs.
A small limb is classed as anything between 2 inches and 4 inches in diameter. Anything smaller than this, and you’re better off removing it yourself using a saw. A limb between 2 and 4 inches will cost somewhere between $35 and $195 inches to remove. The factors shaping the cost are the accessibility of the limb (in terms of where it is on the tree) and where the tree is (i.e. whether it’s close to where the company’s truck can get to.
A medium limb covers everything from 4 inches in diameter to 6 inches in diameter. The cost of removal will be somewhere between $190 and $370 for removal. Again, the actual price is based on the factors above, although accessibility will play less of a role since the limb itself is going to be – by default – fairly difficult to maneuver compared to a smaller limb.
A large limb is anything thicker than 6 inches in diameter. For this, the price can be anywhere between $450 and $1,200. Naturally, this price is far higher than small and medium limbs and, at this point, it’s worth considering whether to cut the tree down as a whole. The cost for removing a tree is usually between $450 and $1,200, so it’s effectively the same price for removing one limb as for the whole tree. This is something you need to consider, and to ask the tree cutting company for its advice.
These involve primarily the cost of breaking up larger pieces of wood into smaller ones, which will usually require additional work and equipment.
If you need to have a limb removed, you can always pay to have it chipped, or cut up into wood chips, which will allow you to use the wood chips in your own yard. Most of the time, you can use this as a cover for your plant beds. Alternatively, you can use it as a soft surface for a kid’s play area.
Either way, chipping wood ensures that it takes up a lot less space (you will be surprised at the size of the wood chip pile when a large limb has been chipped). Most limb removal companies will have a wood chipper that will easily be able to dispose of a limb.
If you decide to pursue this option, then you will usually pay around $75 more than your other costs (see above). However, you may be able to negotiate with the arborist, as they may be able to give you a discount because they will not have to take the limb away and dispose of it themselves. Wood chippers area also available for purchase online and at many home improvement stores if you’re interested in doing the wood chipping yourself.
For a large limb that you are expecting a removal company to take away, there may be a requirement to chop it into smaller pieces. This is particularly relevant when the limb is extremely long (rather than having a big diameter) as it is difficult to fit into a truck without cutting up.
If the limb does require chopping, there will likely be a fee of around $50. This will be built into your overall cost, as there will likely be additional costs for removal of the limb from the tree due to its large size.
Different Types of Wood
The type of wood that your limb is made from also exerts an impact on the cost of the removal, because it takes more effort to actually cut the limb up (and chop it if it requires it for transportation). Woods such as pine are far easier to work with compared with woods such as maple, cedar, or ash.
Because of this, softer woods tend to be cheaper than hardwoods. The actual cost of the removal project depends on a number of things, although overall, you can see the type of wood as a multiplier. Using the above figures as a ballpark guide, use the below table to multiply the final costs:
HOW TREE TYPE AFFECTS REMOVAL COSTS
This will naturally vary a great deal based on factors such as your location and the accessibility of the tree, although the multiplier table will help guide you in determining what is a good quote and what is not.
On top of this, you also need to factor in the potential costs of delaying or not spending the money on limb removal.
If the tree limb were to fall during a storm or heavy winds, it would likely do some damage, and potentially cause injury, which can create a whole host of financial problems for you. Acting sooner rather than later is by far the best course of action.
When getting quotes from tree limb removal companies, you should start by working with companies that are members of the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). This is the professional body that regulates the quality and training of companies operating in the industry. Not only does this ensure that your work will be completed by trained specialists, but it also means you’ll be working with companies that take professionalism and safety seriously.
You should also ask to see insurance certificates before starting work. By this manner, you can make sure that the work is done in the best possible way, and that you aren’t left with lingering problems.