How much does tree removal cost?
£150 - £2,500
How much does tree removal cost?
Trees help make our planet breathable, creating oxygen and sustaining the biosphere. They’re also beautiful to look at! Whether a bright evergreen or red-leaved deciduous tree, they bring a lot of joy to homes and neighbourhoods.
But sometimes, because of disease or risk to property, a tree needs to be removed. This can save the trees around it or make sure you and your family are safe, even in a storm. The average tree removal cost in the UK is £400. However, this can vary from £150 to more than £2,500 based on the size of the tree, access to the tree, and waste removal.
Labour is by far the highest cost in tree removal, making up more than half of your overall budget. But there are other factors rooted in your average stump and tree removal cost. Read on for the main influences that impact the average cost of tree removal and things to keep in mind when hiring a specialist.
What factors affect overall tree removal costs?
Tree felling is one of the most specialised landscaping tasks. There is a reason tree removalists are often called tree surgeons, bringing a lot of expertise and special equipment to the task. So how much does it cost to remove a tree?
The answer is: it varies a lot. Tree removal is one of the most challenging tasks to quote on without seeing the property and knowing the tree’s size, shape, and location. Removing a 2m sapling from the middle of your garden is a simple task, which might take a tree surgeon less than an hour.
But if you have an old oak tree overhanging the property, it might take days to remove, setting you back thousands of pounds—especially if you have poor access to it. Under the canopy of tree-removal specialities, the kinds of services you can get include:
Tree removal – A tree surgeon or tree lopper can help using special equipment, ensuring people and property are kept safe at all times. This also includes safe felling and removal.
Arborists – Arborists tend to be more qualified about tree health and maintenance. If you are worried about unruly branches and unhealthy-looking trees, they can help you assess whether they need to be trimmed, moved, or removed.
Stump removal – Once a tree has been cut down and removed, there will often still be a stump in sight. If you want to ensure the tree doesn’t re-root and grow again, it’s worth paying the pounds to have the stump removed too. To learn more about tree stump removal costs in the UK, get a quote on Airtasker.
Below are the main factors which influence the cost of tree removal:
Size of tree
As you’d expect, size matters. The height, diameter, and type of tree is the most significant factor when it comes to cost. Tall trees require more equipment and time and carry higher risks, making pine tree removal costs exceptionally high. A very tall tree is more likely to damage if it falls incorrectly, and it could fall faster and harder.
If the tree overhangs a house, shed, or road, extra care must be taken to avoid severe damage. The type of tree can sometimes impact how easy it is to fell. But, even with the variation, there isn’t a massive difference in price between different types of trees. The estimated cost for large tree removal is often higher, meaning size is more important to consider.
Ease of access
If it’s hard to reach the tree, it will cost more to fell. Logically, if a site is hard to access, it will take longer for people and equipment to get there. It can also take longer to clear waste away from a place that’s hard to get to (which may mean you’ll face tree debris removal costs too). For trees that overhang on public footpaths or roads, you’ll need permission to close the street down before felling starts. This can add quite a high cost on top of the general price.
Reuse and recycle where you can. The cheapest disposal method is simply cutting the tree up to where it falls and using it as firewood. You can also use it as compost or for a wood-burning stove. Also, check with your neighbours—they could use a branch or two.
If you have a surplus and need tree debris taken away, you can expect to pay quite a bit extra in cost. The best way to get an accurate price range for your circumstances is to get a quote. Luckily, it’s easy to get multiple quotes on Airtasker. Put up a task for tree service and maintenance and find professionals who can give you an accurate estimate on tree removal costs near you.
Tree removal costs based on tree size and type
It’s worth repeating: the main factor that impacts price is the size of the tree. The bigger the tree, the more labour it takes to cut down and remove. It might even take a small team of tree surgeons for giant trees, leading to much higher costs. These prices are the average costs of removing a tree, including cutting the tree down to the stump and eliminating waste (but not stump removal).
Small (less than 25 ft)
£150 - £350
Medium (25 ft – 50 ft)
£200 - £750
Large (50 ft – 75 ft)
£650 - £1200
Extra large (over 75 ft)
£1000 - £2500
The average cost of a tree surgeon is £150 - £200 per day (arborists tend to cost a little more). But often, tree surgeons work in pairs (or even small teams for large and complex jobs). Expect to pay around £350 - £450 per day.
How do I know if a tree is deceased and needs to be removed?
Trees hold a lot of history and a lot of secrets. It can be hard to know what’s going on beneath the surface. You may need an expert to tell you if a tree is deceased or just dormant.
If a tree shows cracks in the trunk, has flaking bark or fungus growing under the branches, it might need to be removed. There are two simple tests which should tell you which one it is:
Scratch test: Scratch the outer side of the bark to see the second layer. If it is green, this is a pretty sure sign the tree is still alive and needs some time to bloom.
Snap test: The other way is to try and snap a twig. Bend a year-old twig to 90 degrees. If it snaps, the tree is most likely dead.
If you are in doubt, it’s best to get an arborist to come and assess things. You can find one in your area quickly and easily using Airtasker.
Additional costs to consider before getting a tree removal
When deciding to remove a tree, keep in mind there may be some extra costs. This includes removing the stump and roots if you want to stop another tree from growing in the same place or are worried the old tree was diseased (which could spread to other trees).
Tree trimming or pruning is a lot cheaper than removal. If your tree only needs trimming or pruning, expect to pay between £100-500 pounds (depending on how big and complicated the canopy and access is).
Tree stump removal
For stumps with shallow roots, use a chainsaw and machine to grind them away. Deeper root systems take a lot more work. Cherry tree stumps with notoriously deep roots can take hours to remove. In contrast, conifer trees have shallow roots and can be easier to remove. In general, expect to pay an extra £100 (small tree) to £500 (giant tree). For a more accurate quote, get in touch with an expert or search for conifer tree removal costs in the UK on Airtasker.
Tree surveys and arborist reports
A tree survey can let you know how healthy the trees in your garden are and flag any potential problems. They might threaten to grow through pipes or against the property, or the canopy might threaten to cause issues with leaves and branches dropping on the roof. The cost of removing tree roots from sewer lines might be a shock, but it’s better than replacing your pipes. An arborist report generally costs £250 – £350.
Does homeowners insurance cover the cost of tree removal?
This will depend on your policy. It is common for policies to cover removal if a tree has caused damage, such as falling in a storm and damaging the house. If a tree falls but doesn’t cause any damage, the insurance policy probably won’t cover that. It’s your responsibility to call a tree surgeon to remove the tree. An insurance policy usually considers the risk from nearby trees if they are very tall and likely to cause damage. Risky trees might mean you pay a higher premium. An insurance company shouldn’t ask you to remove a tree, but you’ll want to check if it isn’t protected by a preservation order if they do.
Do I need planning permission when removing a tree from my property?
You only need planning permission if the tree removal requires blocking a footpath or road. If this is the case, contact your local council to get permission to block off the street so the tree can be removed safely.
How often should I trim my trees?
For mature trees, trim them every three to five years. Meanwhile, trimming should be done every two to three years for younger trees. Fruit trees need a yearly prune to ensure they can regenerate each season. A qualified arborist can let you know precisely how often to trim your trees to keep them healthy. If you have a tree that needs removing, it pays to shop around for the best price based on your unique circumstances. Put up a task on Airtasker and receive offers in minutes.
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