Tree Removal Cost

by | Feb 25, 2019 | Tree Services

The price to remove a tree in Fresno will differ from tree to tree. There are many factors that go into the total cost of removing a tree beyond just the tree itself. The general cost for tree removal ranges from $75 to $1,500 and the national average is $651. We will go into detail, later on, to explain how each factor affects the cost. Trees play a huge role in the beauty and value of your landscape. If you need to have one removed, it is best to have a professional take care of it; as tree removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the tree care industry. Our professional arborists at Quality Tree Care have been removing trees for over 25 years and can ensure that your tree is removed quickly and safely anywhere in the Fresno or Madera area.

Tree Removal Cost Factors

There are 4 major factors that play into the total cost of removing a tree. Those are the height, condition, diameter, and location of the tree. Keep in mind that anything that makes the process of removing the tree more dangerous or time consuming will increase the final cost of the removal as with any procedure.

Height of the Tree

When removing a tree, there are 3 categories of heights we use:

  • 0-30 feet—Small ($125 to $437)
  • 30-60 feet—Medium ($175 to $900)
  • 60+ feet—Large ($400 to $1,000)

These categories will serve as a baseline for the price with small being the cheapest and large being the most expensive.

Condition of the Tree

The condition of the tree will greatly affect the cost of removal. This is because trees that are a hazard or unstable will be much more difficult to remove safely. If the tree is suspected to be in an unhealthy condition, it will first need to be inspected by one of our ISA Certified Arborists, who will then determine what is ailing the tree and how that will affect the removal process. Here are some factors to look out for that can increase the price of the removal:

  • Previous Care—If the tree has a history of needing work or has had construction near its roots or been a part of landscaping projects, it may be more unstable than it seems.
  • Tree is Leaning—Some tree will naturally have a lean or curve to them by nature. And that is to be expected. However, if it seems to be leaning significantly and the roots are becoming exposed through the ground, this is a serious hazard as the tree could easily fall during the removal.
  • Multiple Trunks—Some tree trunks will split into two trunks, which is perfectly natural, but if those trunks are not attached strong enough then they could crack in half during the removal.
  • Weak Branches—Branches that have sharp V-shaped angles are generally weaker and can easily break off while the tree is being handled. If the tree has an abundance of weak branches, it will become a hazard during the project.
  • Cavities and Decay—If there are any cavities or moist cracks in your tree, this is a sign of internal decay. Trees that are decaying on the inside are not structurally sound at all and will require much more care to remove.

Dead Trees

Removing a dead tree is very different than a living tree. For one, the tree will be much weaker and easy to cut. On the downside, a dead tree is very unstable and can fall apart at any stage of the removal. Dead or dying trees pose a huge hazard to their surroundings. Large branches could fall and the whole tree itself could fall with little to no warning. Remember, damages caused by a tree in your ownership will go directly back to you. The unpredictability of trees in this state is what will drive the cost up. When estimating the cost, it is best to assume a dead tree will cost more than a living tree to cut down.


When calculating diameter into the cost, it’s all about what makes the job harder. A thicker tree will mean there is more to cut and that the tree will weigh more and pose a greater threat. A think tree will go down much easier and can be controlled more effectively during the process. The diameter of the tree will directly affect the per hour pricing of the job. Also, if the tree trunk has to be split into sections, a wider tree trunk will lengthen that process. One more factor related to the diameter of the tree is the hardness of the wood. Harder woods will be harder to cut.


The location of the tree to be removed in relation to its surroundings will play a major role in determining the cost to remove the tree. The best situation, and therefore the cheapest, is for the tree to be out on its own and not close to anything else. Obviously, that scenario is rarely the case, so the reason that it is the best case is that tree removal projects require heavy machinery such as cranes and bucket trucks. Getting those vehicles in the right place is imperative to remove the tree. If your tree is in a backyard or is near a building or surrounded by trees that you want to keep, then it will be much more difficult to get in position. Sometimes we may not even be able to get the vehicles into position at all and will need to use a different method to remove the tree. All of these things will increase the cost. Another thing to look at is if the tree is near powerlines. When there are power lines nearby, it is required by law that only certified personnel be allowed to work near those. Location of the tree will usually make up 25% to 50% of the total price.

Average Tree Removal costs

As we mentioned earlier, the height of the tree is what we first look at when determining how much it will cost to remove the tree. Another way to gauge how much your tree removal project will be is by the species of tree that needs to be removed and if the tree has fallen or not.

Small Tree Removal

An average cost to remove a tree under 30 feet will be around $125 to $437. These jobs will usually be much easier and quicker to do, but it is important to watch out for any of the other factors mentioned previously as those will all drive up the cost as well. If you want to relocate a tree, you should also make sure there are no underground powerlines, plumbing, or other obstructions before starting the project. Contact your local utility company first if you are unsure.

Medium Tree Removal

Trees ranging from 30 to 60 feet will range from $175 to $900, depending on which end of that height spectrum they land on. Keep in mind that cleanup starts to play a bigger role in the cost when removing larger trees as their stumps will be bigger and the amount of tree parts that need to be removed is significantly larger. When you call for a free quote, we can usually estimate what kind of cleanup will be needed based on the size of the tree.

Large Trees

The next tier encompasses trees ranging from 60 to 80 feet. These trees will generally cost from $400 to $1,000. Trees of this size will pose more of a hazard than the smaller tiers. Trees that grow to this size usually end up being removed because they grow too close to structures or hazards that were not an issue when the tree was planted there. Other reasons you may want to remove a tree of this size would be pest infestations and diseases that tend to happen to older trees. Trees of this size will almost definitely require cranes and bucket trucks to remove, and so the location of the tree will be a large portion of the cost.

Very Large Trees

Any tree that is 80 feet or higher fall into this category and can cost from $962 to $1500. We didn’t mention this size tier earlier because they are much rarer and usually only become an issue during emergency situations or construction. For the most part, however, trees of this size have been in the location a very long time and have not been removed because they posed no threat. These trees will be most difficult to remove and definitely require special equipment and a lot of time. All things to be considered when calculating the cost of the removal.

Palm Tree Removal

There are tons of Palm trees all of over the Fresno area and is a type of tree that we commonly remove or relocate. With this specific tree, you can expect to pay around $300 to remove them if they are under 30 feet tall. If they are one of the very large 80-foot Palm trees, then you will be paying around $1,250 for the removal. Keep in mind those prices are just average removal costs for this type of tree here. When working with Palm trees, these trees have very thin trunks and grown straight up to reach very tall heights. This puts a lot of strain on their relatively small roots. When removing these, we use ropes to ease the slender tree to the ground.

Pine Tree Removal

The standard Pine trees in the Fresno area stand around 30 to 40 feet tall and we average around $200 for the removal of these trees at that height. Once they reach excessively tall, as in the 60 plus range, the average price is around $1,500. With Pine trees, extra safety gear is needed due to the sharpness of the tree bark and branches. Extra cleanup is also needed when dealing with pine cones and needles that fall very easily.

Oak Tree Removal

Oak trees tend to be more of the pricey side of the removal cost spectrum. Due to their average height being 60 feet and their extremely sturdy wood, the average cost to remove an Oak tree is $600. The price will vary depending on the type of Oaktree, height, and girth.

Fallen Tree Removal

Fallen tree removal can often time be cheaper than regular tree removal. That is, as long as the tree that fell is still stable and not rotted away. If the tree is fallen, that saves us the work of having to bring it out. All that is needed from this point is to section it off then dispose of it. The average cost for a fallen tree in a solid condition will be $75 to $150. Things that may bring up the cost of removing a fallen tree include having to do additional pruning and trimming of the tree to be able to move it away. There is also the stump to think about for the fallen tree. Removal of the stump can also be an extra $75 to $150.

Pricing of Extras

Removing a tree involves much more than cutting it down and hauling it off. Most of the time, the tree will need to be prepped in certain ways to be removed safely and then there are extra steps needed like stump removal to be completely rid of the tree. Here are a few extra that you may not have originally added into the final cost:

  • Stump Removal:Removing the stump isn’t automatically included in the tree removal price and will be extra. The cost to remove the stump will depend on the diameter of the stump, and amount stumps that need to be removed. The price will usually be around $2 per inch in diameter. Again, that is an estimate because in actuality there may be complications with the stump that will drive up the price; such as the stump being near a building.
  • Trimming and Cutting: Sometimes the issue that is causing you to remove the tree can be solved with some trimming instead of complete removal. Trimming is used for a range of reasons from aesthetics to helping the tree get sunlight or water. Tree trimming costs depend on the location of the tree, its accessibility, and its overall health. The average cost to trim a tree will be from $250 to $500.
  • Chipping: Chipping is a way to dispose of removed limbs and parts of a tree. Depending on the size of the limb, chipping will usually cost between $65 and $150.
  • Log splitting: If you would like to repurpose the wood and use it as firewood, we can split the logs for you for another $50.
  • Travel: Another potential cost will be travel time. If we have to travel far to get to the tree, the price per hour will increase.

These are all extra things to consider when estimating how much you will be paying to have a tree removed. Give Quality Tree Care a call if you want to discuss the different factors regarding your project and we will give you advice and free quote.

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