How Much Will It Cost to Have a Tree Removed?
Felling a Tree: How Much Will it Cost?
The process of removing or cutting down a tree is called tree felling. Cutting down a tree is a dangerous and difficult task.
The cost of felling a tree depends on different factors such as the type of tree (which influences its diameter and height), the location of the tree (accessibility), and the position of the tree where it stands. Naturally, it will be more expensive to lop or cut down a much larger tree. The cost will also be influenced by how accessible it is or not – which means the feller will find it more challenging and take longer to cut down the tree if it stands somewhere difficult to reach.
You can expect to pay somewhere in the range of £150 to £200 for a tree surgeon’s labour fee. In some cases, you may need to hire at least two people: the tree surgeon and a general labourer. If you hire at least three tradesmen, the tree-felling-cost will come around to a daily total cost of £350.
Cost Illustration of Tree-Felling Based on Size
Costs to fell a tree will depend on various factors. Here’s an illustration of the prices to cut down a tree, remove the stump, and clear any remaining waste. Having the stump removed will cost an additional £100 to £500.
Size of Tree: Average Cost and Project Duration
- Small-sized Tree (below 25 feet): £150 to £350 / 3 to 4 hours
- Medium-sized Tree (25 feet up to 50 feet): £200 to £750 / 1 day
- Large-sized Tree (50 feet up to 75 feet): £650 to £1,200/ 1 to days
- Extra Large-sized Tree (more than 75 feet): £1,000 to £2,500 / 2 to 5 days
Breakdown of Tree-Felling Costs
Here’s an example of the cost breakdown of a tree measuring 25 feet:
- Materials: £25 or 10% of a £250 budget
- Waste Removal: £25 or 10% of a £250 budget
- Labour fee (Tradesmen): £200 or 80% of a £250 budget
The Tree-Felling Process
Information about tree-felling costs, processes, and time-frames are crucial if you need to remove a tree to landscape your garden or outdoor space. It is quite difficult to estimate the cost of tree-felling without any visual inspection by visiting the site. Every tree is unique and situations will also vary which will influence the pricing of the service. The costs of felling a tree can vary depending on the following factors:
- The type of tree
- The size of the tree
- Tree overhang
- Access to cut down the tree
- How the tree will be disposed
- Stump removal
- The proximity of the tree to a public footpath or road
Felling companies will provide a quote based on your location. It is more expensive to hire a tree feller in certain locations in London and home counties.
Another major factor that affects tree-felling prices is the tree’s height. Naturally, the higher the tree, the more it will take time to cut down and also require special equipment. Taller trees are more likely to cause injury or damage. Because of the height, extra care is required which translates to additional manpower and longer hours.
Trees that overhang to a structure like a greenhouse or a shed is more complicated to cut down, making the process more expensive than usual.
Trees that are difficult to access will also require special equipment to bring people to the site safely. Simply said, when a tree is more complicated to fell, it will have a significant impact on pricing.
If the overhang of the tree reaches a public footpath or road, the area should be closed off to prevent damages or injuries. Closing off an area will need permission and will significantly affect the tree-felling expenses. After the tree was cut down, you may opt to dispose of the waste by putting the wood to good use – either as wooden stove fuel or compost heap.
Transferring the felled tree and loading it for transport will cost you money since it takes time and a lot of effort to move a tree that possibly weighs a few tonnes. If you are moving a large tree, a skip hire is a suitable option because you can save money to transfer the waste from the site to the tip. The tree stump can be ground to prevent the roots from growing a new tree but this, too, adds to the tree-felling costs.
Trees that are less than 18” in diameter can be handled in DIY fashion if it does not overhang any structure or public path. It should also not be leaning heavily over any structure or building. It is not against the law to fell the tree by yourself, as long as the site where it stands is not covered a Tree Preservation Order. However, even if it is entirely possible to cut down the tree on your own, it is best handled by professional tree fellers since it is a dangerous task.
After a tree is felled, a leftover stump can grow out a new tree (also called suckering); thus stumps must be removed to prevent this. Stumps are typically big and heavy but can be removed using the proper equipment. Although it is possible to remove the stump of a tree anytime, the best time to remove it is after felling the tree. Chemicals must be applied to the wood immediately after cutting the tree. If the tree stump is not removed as soon as the tree was cut, the stump has to be cut off again to apply the chemical.
The tree stump can be physically removed by pulling it out using a winch. If it is difficult to pull out, a mini-excavator can be used to mechanically remove the root system of the tree. The main root of the tree can also be mechanically ground using a stump grinder.
Safety Precautions During Tree Felling
Although cutting down a tree may sound simple, there are several risks involved especially with the height and weight of the tree as well as the tools involved to cut it down. Tree felling should be done only by people with the right training and skills. Felling operations should be planned carefully before the operations itself. This includes a complete risk assessment report containing the plan of action for emergency contingencies. Less than a hundred people have died from tree felling and more people have sustained injuries from it.
If you insist on felling the tree without the help of experts, the first thing that you must do is clear the area of all obstacles to ensure safety and allow you to move more comfortably. Start removing the tree’s lower branches to gain better access to the entire tree. Your escape route should not be behind the tree and make sure to start felling the tree in the direction where it naturally leans. The initial cut will determine the direction where the tree will fall, and it should not exceed one-fourth of the tree’s diameter. As soon as the tree begins to fall, you should move away quickly in the opposite direction.
It must be reiterated that tree felling is extremely hazardous. Thus, you should not attempt to use equipment such as chain saws without training or experience. Also, wearing protective gear is non-negotiable.
Felling Trees Near Power Lines
It is possible to fell trees without noticing power lines overhead. The problem is that when these overhead power cables are struck due to tree feeling, surrounding areas will be affected. These cables provide electricity to villages, towns, cities, and rural areas in the UK. Power lines carry as much as 400,000 volts, but even low voltage electricity sources can be deadly. Every year, many people get killed through accidental power line contact.
If you insist on felling a tree by yourself, it is crucial to practice extreme caution before working. It is essential to visually inspect the tree if it stands near any electrical power supply. If you wish to cut down a tree that is within a few lengths of a power cable, notify the local electricity provider before starting any work, which should be two weeks before the start of tree felling. If there are nearby power cables overhead a tree to be cut down, you should refrain from felling the tree unless there is proper advice from the electric company and if a professional tree feller is doing the work for you.
Once the electricity provider has advised on the overhead power lines, make sure to follow as instructed and keep away from cables, wires, towers, and poles. Damaging the power cables is not just dangerous, you can be liable for a large amount to repair what you have destroyed during tree felling.
Felling Trees within Conservation Areas
Cutting down a tree in a conservation area requires sending a notification to the respective authorities six weeks before starting on any felling work. Trees located in conservation areas that measure 75mm in trunk diameter and 1.5 meters long from the ground up to require a letter of proposed works and will be subject to approval based on laws and regulations governing tree felling within conservation areas.
What is Tree Preservation Order?
Local planning authorities are required to uphold a tree preservation order to protect the woodlands as well as specific trees from being cut down. It is unlawful to lop or fell a tree without the written consent of the authorised government agency. Likewise, If you are an owner of a protected tee, you are not allowed to perform any work or authorise the work on any protected tree without written consent from local authorities. It is usually unlikely to receive permission to cut down a protected tree unless deemed dangerous. However, in some cases, a protected tree may be trimmed down but not felled. Consultants and contractors are knowledgeable about these rules and regulations; thus, they should inform the tree owner about the possible solutions as well as their responsibilities as a tree owner.
Felling Trees Using Wedges
Trees will naturally lean over certain directions However, sometimes, the tree should fall in another direction. This poses a problem since it is not that easy to change or overcome the tree’s naturally lean. Changing the direction of the drop is sometimes necessary to prevent the tree from falling off a certain structure or object. Professional tree fellers will use a wedge to change the fall direction of the tree. Some may use ropes to control the tree, however, wedging may still be safer compared to utilising guy ropes. The wedges used by tree-felling specialists are bucking wedges, felling wedges, and splitting wedges.
To overcome the original lean, a felling wedge is placed at the back cut. The wedge is inserted and the tree is gradually lifted to change the lean direction. This also helps keep most of the tree’s weight off of the tools such as a chainsaw.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will I spend to cut down a tree?
You can expect to shell about £400 if the tree is about 30 feet and can be accessed without any problems. The rate includes stump removal or grinding, as well as the disposal of any waste from tree felling. The work is usually finished from morning until a little after lunch. Expect to pay around £1000 to £1500 for a larger tree, but not more than 80 feet. Larger trees naturally cost more to fell due to the height and weight which means at least two tree surgeons and a few general labourers to work on it for a couple of days.
How much will pruning cost me?
Pruning a tree typically costs between £350 up to £400.
Should I ask for permission before I fell a tree in my garden?
You only need to request permission if the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order, or if stands within a Conservation Area. A yes for any of the previously mentioned means you need to ask permission to work on it from the responsible government agency. You can consult with the local council since a Tree Preservation Order is written by them. A Tree Protection Order aims to prevent the unjustified felling or pruning of trees within the community.