If you are in need of tree removal, due to a tree that has died, is no longer in good health, or that you simply no longer want in your yard because it is too large, is too close to your home, or is blocking a view, you may be wondering what your options are for removing the tree or set of trees that need to go.
The cost of tree removal inhibits some people from taking down and getting rid of trees that should be removed, and that can cause your yard to look unsightly, or can even be a danger to your family and neighbors.
Things to consider
If tree removal costs make you shiver, here are a few options to consider for removing trees that may be a bit more palatable:
Determine if anyone else is responsible for removing the tree
If a tree needs to be removed or cut back because it is near power lines, the local power company may provide a free tree removal service so that the tree does not cause damage to the power lines. If a tree that is near the street needs to be removed, check with your local municipality to see if they provide free tree removals for those trees that may interfere with sidewalks, streets, sewers or other public property. Also, if the tree is along your property line, be sure to check that the tree is actually your responsibility to remove and not your neighbor’s.
Consider removing your own tree
If the tree that needs to be removed is not too large, you may want to consider removing it yourself. This is an option that should be well thought out and should only be attempted if you feel confident in the use of tree removal equipment, such as a chain saw and a large ladder, have help to make sure you are secure during the tree removal process, and can ensure that removing the tree does not interfere with any dangerous wires or power lines. In most cases, a large tree cannot be removed by a homeowner on their own, and should not be attempted, but if you have a small tree that is not in contact with anything else and you feel confident in the use of the equipment, have a sturdy ladder, and are physically capable of handling such a large task, then you may want to consider this option with caution.
Hire someone just for removing tree stumps
Even if you are able to cut down the branches and the trunk of the tree on your own, you may still need help in removing tree stumps. Some tree removal companies will offer a tree stump removal service, so that you can have only the stump removed for you, or you can rent a stump grinder to grind down the stump to a point to where it is level with the ground. This is much less expensive than the cost of a full tree and stump removal. Unless a tree has died and has come partially out of the ground on its own, it is very difficult to remove a tree stump on your own.
Most DIY tree removers will grind the stump down using rented equipment or will cut the tree trunk as close to the ground as possible and then follow steps to help it decompose as quickly as possible. There are ways to accomplish this by making cross cuts in the tree stump, covering it with water or with a tree stump removal chemical and covering it up so that it more quickly decomposes. In other cases, plantings can be made around the existing tree stump so that you will never even know it’s still there.
Share the tree removal cost with a neighbor
If removing the tree in question would benefit both yourself as well as your neighbor, even if it is located on your property, consider asking them to share in the cost of removing the tree. In some cases, neighbors are happy not to have a large tree blocking the sun in the backyard or dropping leaves and berries on their car in the driveway and will be glad to help defray part of the tree removal cost because they reap benefits from removing the tree.
Advertise that you need a tree removed in exchange for free firewood. If you put an ad in your local pennysaver or even on craigslist stating that you are in need of tree removal services in exchange for free firewood, you may just find someone that has the right equipment and experience in removing trees that is willing to remove your tree because they want to keep the firewood.
Purchasing firewood is rather expensive these days, averaging in the neighborhood of $200 for a cord of wood delivered, so it may be worth it for someone to offer their tree removal services in exchange for the wood to either keep for themselves or sell. You may still need to rent a tree stump remover when they’re done, but it is still worth it since the cost will be minimal compared to what you would otherwise have paid for tree removal.
Hiring a tree removal company
If hiring a tree removal company, shop around first. If the only sensible option for removing the tree in your yard is to hire a professional tree removal company, then it is best to first shop around to compare tree removal prices. Different companies will charge varying prices for the same tree and may also offer different services. Some may cut the tree up for you into fireplace size logs and leave it for your use while others may haul away the whole tree.
Some companies remove tree limbs and the trunk but leave the stump in the ground, while others will pull it out or grind the stump down. Depending on what you want done, how many trees you have, what types of trees you have, the size of the trees, and the location of the trees to be removed, you can receive very different prices from tree removal companies that have different equipment and use different techniques.
You can also check with local landscaping companies to see if they offer tree removal services. Be sure to get all estimates, including what services they include, in writing. There are many options to consider if you are in need of tree removal services. The best tree removal option will depend in part on how large the tree is, what type of tree you need removed, and the location of the tree.
Although professional tree removal companies will typically charge quite a bit of money to remove trees, there are a few options to consider that can diminish or eliminate the cost, resulting in free or cheap tree removal.
If you decide that the best option is to remove a tree on your own, extreme caution should be taken and all safety measures, such as wearing protective eye gear, head gear, and gloves, as well as ladder and equipment safety measures should be the first priority. If you are unsure of your ability to safely remove a tree or part of a tree by yourself, then the job is best left to a professional.