Cheap (And Even Free!) Tree Removal Options

Large, heavy branches and trunk of an old oak tree that was cut down fill up a front yard

If you want to remove a tree, you could spend between $200 to $1,000 or more depending on its size. This cost only covers cutting down and hauling the tree. Stump removal will be an additional charge.

With such an expensive price tag, it’s no wonder that many homeowners seek alternatives to contacting a tree removal service. Lucky for you, free tree removal is possible.

You just need to know where to look.

Thinking of calling a tree removal service? Stop! First, read our helpful guide and save money with these free or cheap tree removal tricks.

1. When Should a Tree Be Removed?

Since tree removal is such an expensive service, you should be absolutely certain it’s necessary. A tree may sit next to your home, but that doesn’t always mean it has to go.

Look for the signs that you have a tree hazard. Tall trees may attract lightning strikes, presenting a danger to nearby property. Trees that are brittle with age or disease are liable to snap and should also be removed.

But if the tree in question appears healthy and is rooted in firm soil, there’s a good chance the tree removal can wait unless its roots are damaging your foundation.

If you’re not sure for yourself, have an arborist perform an inspection. They’ll not only look for these signs of danger, but might also suggest a trimming or pruning rather than an entire removal.

A thorough inspection could save you money in the long term.

2. Tackle the Project Yourself

If you’re no stranger to a chainsaw or workbench, there’s always the option to do it yourself. Felling trees is a dangerous hassle and there’s a reason professionals charge a high price. You might find a cheap tree removal is better than doing it on your own, even if you’re comfortable with the job.

Take every safety precaution possible. A sturdy chain can keep the tree from falling towards your house — or yourself. Once downed, the tree will then need to be hauled away. It can also be carved into firewood and sold.

3. Contact the City or Power Company

The tree in question may not only be your concern. If it’s beyond the sidewalk and next to the street, it’s likely the city planted the tree.

Roots growing under a sidewalk or into the street provide a safety hazard. Tree roots can even pierce into the sewers below. Contact your municipality and explain the situation.

To protect city property, the city may pay to remove the tree themselves.

Likewise, a tree close to power lines is a hazard for the power company. It may save them money to remove the tree, rather than repairing the downed wires if the tree were to fall.

4. Free Tree Removal

Some people still rely on firewood to heat their homes. You might be surprised to learn a single cord of firewood costs almost $200. Your brittle tree is worth more than you might realize.

Advertise on Craigslist and other local venues, such as Facebook or the local paper. Offer your tree to anyone who will fell it for you. Many people would be happy to cut down your tree if they get to take the firewood home with them.

Free pine tree removal is even easier. In the Northwest, loggers will jump on the chance to turn a pine tree into lucrative lumber. 

This option is riskier than using a professional tree removal service. Without proper precautions, the tree could fall on your property or injure someone. But if it’s far from your home, it’s a fairly safe exchange.

You’ll both be doing each other a favor.

5. Save on Tree Removal Services

You’ve determined the tree needs to be removed, the city won’t do it for you, and you haven’t found someone willing to fell it in return for wood. You’ll be happy to know that you can still get cheap tree removal services.

There are many ways to save.

Always get more than one estimate. If the first quote is on the high end, you could be paying hundreds of dollars more than you should. Have a spectrum of quotes so you know what the project is really worth.

Like most labor services, prices vary throughout the year. Winter months are usually slow for tree removal companies. Many will try to postpone city contracts to fill in the gap.

By arranging for off-season tree removal services, you’ll get the cheapest quotes available.

For more saving options, negotiate with your company and provide the cleanup yourself. Not all companies offer this option, but if you dispose of the tree yourself, you’ll save money on labor and can even make some back by selling the firewood.

If you believe the tree removal process will be complex, consider paying a flat fee, rather than hourly. You’ll likely save money when the project goes on for several hours.

Remember that stump removal will require an additional fee. When it comes to removing stumps, there’s a lot to know. Check out this guide to select the stump removal option that’s right for you.

Protect Your Property

Tree removal services are a costly expense. Even if you can’t find cheap or free tree removal services, it’s in your best interest to remove dangerous trees from your property.

If the worst occurs, you’ll end up paying more in repair costs when the tree topples over on your home. Oftentimes an expense is worth the safety and peace of mind.

For more cost-saving tips for managing your home, check out the home and garden section of our blog.

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