The average tree removal cost is £500-£750 for a medium tree when a tree surgeon is hired for the work.
Small tree removal cost is as low as £75, while the tree felling cost for very large trees can exceed £2,500.
Stump removal cost is an additional £75-£300 depending on the size of the stump and whether it is simply ground down to just below the soil level or whether it is removed entirely.
Overall though, tree removal can really add to the cost of landscaping a garden, if it’s incorporated into a bigger project. Sample projects with specific costs are shown below.
Before we get into specific factors and other important issues such as when permission is required, here is a table that summarises the cost to remove a tree.
Costs include grinding the stump and removing all debris, which will usually include the use of an open back “grabber” or skip hire.
The following factors determine where in the cost range your quotations will fall.
|Tree Removal Costs|
|Tree Size||# of Trees||Crew Size||Cost||Time|
|Up to 25 feet||1||1 or 2||£75 – £225||2-3 hours|
|Up to 25 feet||3||1 or 2||£200 – £600||4-7 hours|
|26-50 feet||1||2 or 3||£300 – £750||3-5 hours|
|26-50 feet||2||2 or 3||£525 – £1,275||5-10 hours|
|More than 50 feet||1||3+||£800 – £3,000||2-3 days|
|More than 50 feet||2||3+||£1,500 – £5,000||3-5 days|
Tree Removal and Tree Stump Removal Overview
A tree surgeon might work alone on a small tree, but will have one or two labourers assisting on trees 25’ or taller. Very large trees require a larger crew, often of two tree surgeons and two or more others to cart away debris.
The tree is taken down in segments. The crew works its way up the tree removing branches. The trunk is then removed in several sections.
Once the tree is down, the stump is ground, if that is part of the project. Another, more costly, option is to dig out the trunk and fill the cavity with gravel and topsoil before reseeding the turn.
Most of the debris are chipped. Large branch and trunk sections are carted away. Of course, you can negotiate to keep any of the wood for your purposes such as wood chippings for the garden or wood for the fireplace or wood burning stove.
The Best Time to Fell a Tree
The easiest time of the year to remove a tree is winter when the leaves have fallen.
However, if the tree is damaged or diseased and poses a risk of toppling, then it will need removing regardless of the season.
Tree Removal Cost Factors
We’ve said the cost for cutting down a tree ranges from less than £100 to more than £2,500. These tree removal cost factors will help you determine what your cost is likely to be when you get tree removal quotations.
- Size of the tree: It’s more than just height. Some trees have multiple trunks and are very bushy. Others are tall and skinny. Larger trees are usually bulkier. They take much longer to fell and present more risk to workers and property during the process. All these tree features are factors in pricing the job. Cost rises somewhat exponentially. For example, a tree 50 feet tall might cost four times to take down what a tree 25 feet tall costs.
- Equipment requirements: This relates to size. A cherry picker or crane might be needed to safely cut the branches and upper trunk from a large tree, so the cost will be higher.
- Minimum fee: Some tree surgeons charge a minimum fee of around £100 for even small trees.
- Overhanging branches: When the ground is clear below, a large branch can be cut and allowed to fall. When a home, power lines or other feature is below, extra time and care must be taken and ropes used to get it safely down. To a tree surgeon, time is money, so cost rises.
- Access to the tree: The more difficult it is to reach the tree with the large equipment often required for tree removal, the higher the cost will be because it will take more time.
- Number of trees: Cost per tree for several trees is lower than for one since the tree surgeon, crew and equipment are already on the property.
- Waste removal: When removing some or all of the debris is part of the quotation, as it usually is, cost will be higher, as the cost to hire a skip or a “grabber” is not usually cheap.
- Time of year: Cost is higher when leaves are on the tree, since the work is more time-consuming than when the tree is bare.
- Stump grinding or complete removal: Grinding or removing the stump, filling the cavity and adding dirt will add £75-£300 to the price for most jobs.
- Over roadways or footpaths: If your tree overhangs public areas, you might need to obtain a special permit at additional cost.
- Where you live: Costs are higher in and around London than they are in most other parts of the country. Costs are lowest in rural areas of the North.
Is Permission Needed to Cut Down a Tree
Sally-Ann Smurthwaite of the Woodland Trust answers the question. “If the tree has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) placed on it then yes, you will need permission from the council to perform any works to the tree. A TPO is a written order created by a local planning authority. The aim of a TPO is to give protection to trees that provide amenity value to the public. It is a criminal offence” to cut it down or even trim it.
Is Tree Removal a Do-it-Yourself Project
Felling a tree is dangerous work and is best left to a skilled tree surgeon. Care must be taken against injury and damage to property. If you need convincing of this, there are dozens of videos available, like this one, that show instances of tree removal gone wrong.
The factors to consider are the size of the tree and whether buildings or power lines are nearby. Simply put, the larger the tree and the more obstacles near it, the more it makes good sense to hire an experienced tree surgeon.
The tree surgeon you hire should be:
- Covered with adequate public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance
Get Several Quotations Before Hiring a Tree Surgeon
Prices vary quite a lot, and so does the experience of the tree surgeons.
Request quotation consultations from several local tree surgeons. Ask each about their experience, certifications and liability insurance.
If the tree is large and near buildings, decking, fencing or power lines, ask the surgeons how they will go about taking the tree down safely.
Of course, get a price quotation from each. Then choose the surgeon you believe will do the best job, even if they aren’t the lowest cost option.
Frequently Asked Questions for your Tree Removal?
- Q. Can I cut / prune a council tree?
- Ans. If the branches from a council tree are overhanging your property, you are allowed to cut / prune them back yourself to the boundary of your property but no further, unless the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
- Q. Can I do this myself or do I need a tree surgeon?
- Ans. The bigger the tree the harder it will be to remove, other things to consider also include the taller the tree the more dangerous it will be due to the height and if you tried to prune it or cut it down yourself it may cause danger to you or the people around you, so it is much quicker, easier, safer and cost effective to hire a professional Tree Surgeon to do the job.
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