You’ve bought your first house and love owning your dream home. But with the joy of home ownership also comes the costs of maintaining your property.
In addition to renovating and fixing up the house itself, you likely should expect typical landscaping costs. Landscaping can help you keep up the yard, may improve the value of the home, and could even lower your potential costs down the road. That’s especially true when it comes to any trees you’re responsible for.
Trimming branches and even tree removal may seem costly but are an important part of home ownership. Large trees, even landmark ones, might have to be removed if they’re dead or damaged. Ultimately, it’s usually better to spend the money upfront to prevent damage instead of risking a tree falling and causing more damage.
If you’re considering removing a tree, then you probably want to know what tree removal entails and how much you can expect to pay.
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Why You Might Need to Remove a Tree
There are a number of reasons you may need to hire a tree removal service. According to the Arbor Day Foundation , the signs you might have to remove a tree include dead or dying branches, signs of infection, root defects, or if the trunk has rotted and hollow.
Even a healthy tree may need to be removed if it’s too close to buildings or power lines. If a tree starts to lean or appears as if it may fall, then you may have to consider removal as well. The biggest danger is the risk of a tree falling and hitting you, your house, your car, or power lines.
DIY tree removal is an option in some cases, but it can be difficult and even dangerous to do on your own. And if you don’t have the skills or tools, then you shouldn’t try to remove a tree yourself.
Additionally, if the tree is large or the job complicated, then there is almost no way to do the removal yourself and a professional is almost certainly necessary.
Generally, the first step is to get an arborist to give you an opinion on your tree’s health. Then, in order to determine what is the average cost of tree removal in your area, you may need to call multiple tree removal services to get quotes on the project. Ask them what exactly their quotes include and what extra services or fees they charge for.
How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?
The average cost of tree removal varies based on the size and type of tree, the complexity of the job, location and condition, and how many tree limbs need to be removed. Thicker trees or trees with harder wood, like oak, can also take more time. Trees that are dangerous or could potentially crack and fall may be more difficult to remove.
Additionally, trees close to buildings are more challenging. And if power lines are involved, then a certified lineman might be required and they are typically paid higher rates per hour.
If a tree is dead or weakened, the effect on the price varies. Small dead trees can be easier to deal with. Large dead or brittle trees, however, can be more dangerous to work on. In busy or urban environments, dead trees are a particular hazard.
On average, removing a tree can range from $150 to $200 to over $1500. According to HomeAdvisor , for example, small trees up to 30 feet or so cost $400 to $500 on average. Medium trees, up to 60 feet, cost $500 to $900. And large trees can cost $1,000 to $2,000.
Other general estimates online give the average cost for tree removal in a very similar ballpark: $150 to $500 for trees up to 25 feet tall, $200 to $1,000 for trees up to 75 feet, and around $1,500 for trees over 75 feet high.
Additionally, there are average costs for removing specific kinds of trees. For example, the average cost to remove a pine tree is about $400, though tall pine trees can be more expensive. Oak trees typically reach a height of 60 feet or so, and then cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000.
Fallen trees can be significantly cheaper to remove once they’re already down, just $75 to $150—though you likely do not want to wait for a tree to fall if it poses a danger. A smashed car or roof is a lot more expensive and could be dangerous
What is Included in the Tree Removal Cost and Process?
The cost of tree removal typically includes cutting down the tree and cutting it into pieces in order to bring it down. How complicated this is—ie. how big, how old, how many limbs—affects the price of the tree removal. The cost of hauling away all these pieces may or may not be included in the price.
However, removing tree limbs isn’t always included. What that means is the cost of tree removal likely includes hauling away the bulk of the tree, but if you need additional limbs removed from your yard you may have to pay an additional fee. It can be cheaper to have them chipped if the company has a chipper available.
You may also have to pay extra for tree trunk removal, depending on how big it is, though the company should cut it into smaller pieces.
Stump removal and stump grinding are not typically included in the tree removal price either. That means you may be left with the stump of the tree in your yard, unless you pay extra or negotiate a price to be included in your tree removal. The average price for stump removal is about $60 to $350, around $2 to $3 per inch of diameter.
One other thing you can pay extra for: If you want the logs split so you can use them in your fireplace.
Tree trimming or pruning is a separate and different service from tree removal.
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Paying for Tree Removal
Depending on how much it costs for tree removal, you may be able to pay for it outright—i.e., in cash or with a credit card you pay off at the next due date. However, if you don’t have the money to cover the cost, then there may be other options.
In some cases, you might be able to finance the bill or pay it in installments. Additionally, you could, of course, borrow money from a friend or family member, though there are downsides to that as well.
You can put the cost on a credit card and then pay off the credit card over time, though you’ll end up paying interest if you don’t pay it all off when it’s due.
Some home improvements actually increase the value of your home, potentially making a home equity line of credit also worth considering. To discover what it would cost to do additional home updates check out our home improvement cost calculator. Another option is to take out an unsecured personal loan and then pay that off.
Personal loans can be used for many personal expenses, including home renovations or landscaping improvements. Depending on your financial history, the interest rate and terms on a personal loan may also be lower than what you might pay on a credit card—which could potentially save you money in interest over the life of the loan.
SoFi offers home improvement loans with no origination or pre-payment fees and fixed interest rates. If approved, you’d then make monthly payments over the life of the loan.
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