What Is the Average Cost of Removing a Large Tree?

by Cindy White, Demand Media
    Cutting down a large tree should not be a DIY project.

    Cutting down a large tree should not be a DIY project.

    Although most of us enjoy the natural beauty of trees and the shade they provide to a front or backyard, there are times when trees must be removed. There are many valid reasons to remove a tree. Maybe it's diseased, was badly damaged in a storm or is just located too close to your house. Whatever the reason, cutting down a tree can be dangerous, so it's important to hire a professional for the job. Most businesses that advertise themselves as providing "tree services" can cut down trees. Look in your local phone book yellow pages under "tree service" or find a local company online by entering "tree cutting" and your city in your favorite search engine.

    Step 1

    Estimate the height of the tree you need removed. The cost of cutting the tree down will depend on the size of the tree, and what you consider to be "large" might be in a different category as far as the tree-cutting service is concerned. Although it can vary depending on the company, typically a large tree is 60 to 80 feet tall. A "small" tree is usually 30 feet tall or shorter, and a "medium" tree is commonly 30 to 60 feet in height. Anything over 80 feet tall is considered to be very large and, therefore, much more costly to remove.

    Step 2

    Calculate the cost based on the size of your tree. Although prices vary depending on the company and the area in which you live, you can assume that you'll pay $10 per foot to have a large tree cut down. The smaller the tree, the less money per foot it will cost. A tree up to 30 feet tall will typically cost about $8 per foot, and a "medium" tree up to 60 feet tall will usually cost about $9 per foot to have it removed.

    Step 3

    Identify the type of tree that will be removed. This can impact the cost of removing it. The softer the wood, the less it will cost to cut down the tree. Just the opposite is true as well--the harder the wood, the more it will cost. Hardwoods include trees such as ash, birch, maple, elm, oak and walnut. Softwoods include trees such as pine, spruce, fir, cedar and juniper. Estimates will vary greatly depending on the size and location of the tree as well as whether it is a hardwood or softwood. For example, a 70-foot pine tree located in a yard on the West Coast costs about $700 to remove as of July 2012. In contrast, a 70-foot maple tree in the same location will cost approximately $850 to remove.

    Tip

    • There are a few things you can do to cut down on the cost of having your tree removed. Get several estimates before deciding which contractor to use to make sure you're getting the most reasonable price. If you have a chainsaw or wood splitter, ask the tree service to leave the wood behind for you to clean up yourself. Finally, if the tree impacts both you and a neighbor, see if your neighbor will share the cost of removal.

    Warning

    • If you're not a trained professional, it's extremely dangerous to attempt to cut down a large tree yourself. It's worth the cost to make sure that no one is hurt in the process.

    About the Author

    In addition to a successful career as a professional writer, Cindy White spent several years in mid-management positions for a Fortune 500 company. Prior to that, she enjoyed her tenure as a technical writer and technical documentation supervisor in the manufacturing industry. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Nevada-Reno.

    Photo Credits

    • David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images