Is Tree Trimming or Removal Needed?

Tree Trimming and Removal

Sometimes homeowners are not sure if tree trimming or removal is in order. Removing a tree is a big undertaking, but may be necessary to make room for construction, or if it is diseased beyond saving. Two of the major components of tree removal include height and how complicated the job is. Basic removal consists of cutting it down, a process that involves “roping down the tree” and sawing it into manageable pieces. Sometimes hauling away the debris is included in the pricing, but other times it is a separate task for the homeowner to handle.

An additional service many homeowners want is stump removal, which is surprisingly rarely included in basic tree-removal services. Stump removal requires special equipment, and the price is gauged on diameter and location. One silver lining is that with a very diseased tree, a rotting stump is typically easier (and cheaper) to remove than a healthy one. Extra fees also may apply for limb chopping, trunk removal, log splitting (if desired) and in some cases travel expenses. Homeowners in rural areas may have to pay extra to have experts come out.

Tree Types Play a Role

Many homeowners prefer to control pests, disease and take care of routine trimming on their own. Trees add incredible value to a home or property, and it is easy to see why preserving is a better move than removal. Plus, very large trees can be expensive and dangerous to take down. It can easily cost thousands of dollars to remove a large tree, especially if you want to add on extra services.

Removing a fallen tree is easier, but it is better to prevent this disaster in the first place. Sometimes it cannot be avoided, like if a lightning strike or natural disaster causes the fall. However, a fallen tree probably had health issues before taking a tumble. That’s why annual or bi-annual inspections are critical to ensure your trees are healthy, safe and secure. If a tree that has not been inspected recently falls on a home, it may even be feasible that homeowners insurance will not cover the damages.

“Hard” Wood

The price of removal is also dependent on what type of wood it is. For example, an oak is a tough tree that’s difficult to remove. They can also grow very tall — a mature 60-foot oak is a real beast to remove. Pine trees are much easier, even though they can also grow tall (some up to 80 feet). However, because it’s a generally softer wood, pine costs less to remove.

A good approach is to opt for just branch removal or trimming if your tree is still relatively healthy — it’s fast, simple, affordable, and if branches are interfering with power lines, your power company might foot the bill.