When looking to have a tree removed from your yard, you may be alarmed by the cost the tree removal company wants to charge you. According to homeadvisor.com in the average cost of a tree removal is $750, with some jobs costing as much as $2000. An expensive bill like this can turn a problem that initially seemed insignificant into a major money pit.
Well don’t worry, because there are always options out there. Whether through using smart negotiation to get a lower price, doing some of the work yourself, or simply selling the wood to recoup some of your costs, there are plenty of ways to save money and keep from handing out any $750 checks.
One simple way to get a better rate on your tree removal, or anything else for that matter, is to buy in bulk. Many tree removal companies are small enough businesses that you’ll actually deal with the owner or somebody with decision making power in the company. You can usually negotiate a better deal per tree by having multiple trees removed at once.
Obviously, don’t don’t have multiple trees removed just for the sake of it. In the long run, you will regret removing trees you really didn't need or want removed. But, if you do have multiple trees that need to be removed, it might be worth saving up to deal with them all at once.
If you don’t need to have the tree removed immediately, wait until a slow season to have it removed. February and March are typically the cheapest months of the year to have trees cut down, but any of the winter or spring months are better than the summer, for a few different reasons.
First of all, trees are easier to remove during these months. Most trees lose all their leaves in the winter. Once they’re gone it’s much easier for the company to remove your tree so they’ll typically charge you less.
Secondly, this is typically a slower time of year for the tree removal companies because people tend to think about their yards less during the winter. During the summer when people are mowing their lawns and having barbecues they’re much more likely to make the decision to have a tree cut down. Since the tree companies have much more business they need to charge more. Ask your local arborist if they give a seasonal discount.
Another way to save money on tree removal is to let the company leave the tree stump in your yard. Many tree removal companies charge extra to remove the stump, and it can be as much as $350.
If you really want to have the stump removed, you can rent a stump grinder at Lowe’s or Home Depot for as low as $90 and do it yourself. You can also remove a tree stump with chemical treatments for even cheaper, some under $10! Burning the stump away is also an option, but may take multiple tries since the newly chopped stump is probably still mostly alive.
You may not want to remove the stump at all. There are many ways to incorporate a tree stump into the design of your landscape. Once great solution is to hollow it out and us it as a garden bed.
If the tree you want to have removed is a walnut tree or another desirable wood, sometimes you can have it removed for free in exchange for the tree removal company keeping the wood. This will take a little bit more work than just calling any tree removal company, you’ll want to make sure you contact a lumber company in your area that could pay you for the wood. This also works the best when the tree you’re looking to get rid of is tall, sturdy and straight.
Another option is negotiating a lower price for cutting the tree down by not having the tree removal company take the cut tree away. Some arborists will actually cut the tree down but leave it intact on the ground for you to chop up and remove yourself. This will save you money because it saves them time, and it also leaves you free to do what you want with the wood.
Leave it on the ground, sell it for lumber or firewood, or maybe get into woodworking. You can cut the tree up and use it as firewood in your fire pit. Whatever you do with the tree you’ll avoid being billed by the tree removal company for the chopping and hauling away of the fallen tree trunk which is sure to save you some money.
Make sure you have the means to cut the tree up if you are going to keep it. If you don't have the tools or ability to cut the tree up, you should negotiate with the tree company to have them cut the wood into firewood.
If the tree you want removed is in a forest or surrounded by brush, you’ll most likely be charged extra for the hassle the company has to go through to work around the obstacles. If you want to keep the extra costs down you can remove brush or small trees around the tree to be removed. A clear workspace will make the tree removal company’s job nice and easy, and that will be reflected in the price you pay.
Be careful because many tree removal companies will try to upcharge you and tack on extra fees to squeeze more money out of you. We’ve already talked about some of these extra charges, such as a stump removal fee, debris clearing fee, or log splitting fee. In addition, some companies will charge you extra for limb chipping, hauling the tree away, or cutting down certain types of trees that may have some level of protection by your state government.
While some of the fees they charge you may be warranted, others are frivolous. Document fees, insurance fees, registration fees, and the like are just ways for tree removal services to add more line items to your bill. When dealing with local businesses you can typically haggle and get a better price, because their prices aren’t set in stone by a corporate structure above a local branch.
While it’s initially daunting, having trees removed doesn’t have to be as expensive as it sounds. Plan carefully and do everything you can to save money and it’ll be over quickly with minimal effect on your wallet. As a final tip, make sure you check to see if your homeowner’s insurance provider, city or power company will pay to have the tree removed for you.