What Is The Cheapest Time Of Year For Tree Removal?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

While trees can provide a refreshing touch of nature, they can also be a major pain in the butt for homeowners. Trees shed during the fall and winter, creating the need to rake up pile after pile of leaves.

They can also house pests and rodents that can gain access to the upper levels of a home. And that’s not even factoring in the falling danger. For plenty of homeowners, this facilitates the need for tree removal.

But there are certain times of the year where tree removal can be a bit more cost-effective. The spring and winter months in particular tend to result in much better deals for tree removal.

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What Factors Go into Tree Removal Cost?

If you think that it simply comes down to deciding to cut a tree down, think again. The truth is that there are many different factors that go into the pricing of tree removal.

It can depend on the location of the tree, its size, and any specific needs that the tree may have. There are also local municipalities that have specific ordinances impacting tree removal.

Understanding these factors can give you a better idea of what to expect out of a tree removal service. Keep in mind that not every removal service is working on the same pay scale and it certainly is possible to score a deal.

But you can generally figure out a price range by knowing those factors and getting quotes from multiple companies within your area.

Workload Matters

Supply and demand is a simple mantra of businesses everywhere. The simple fact of the matter is that if a business is in higher demand, their prices will be slightly higher than when they aren’t busy. This is very much the case with tree removal services.

During the summer and fall, these services tend to be much more in-demand.

Perhaps homeowners are looking to make an addition to their home or build a pool and need a tree out of the way. Or they want to enjoy their time in the backyard without having to worry about debris and critters.

During the months of February and March, when the weather is still cold and the snow on the ground may begin to thin a bit, demand is much lower for tree services. This is why you may notice lower prices than normal for tree cutting services.

Weather Conditions Matter

In addition to lower demand, it is actually environmentally beneficial to cut trees down during the colder months.

Because the ground is colder, it means that the surrounding earth will not be quite so impacted as it would when the weather is warm. The frozen ground can even keep any nearby vegetation in place during the process of extracting the tree.

Tree removal also tends to cost more during the spring and summer because of potentially dangerous weather conditions like wind. This is why tree removal services are also in higher demand: homeowners want to reduce the chance that a tree could do damage to their property.

Though, it’s important to note that there are some instances where having a tree removed in the winter may not be the most cost-effective choice, such as following a major storm. Again, like anything, the higher the demand for tree removal services, the more they are going to cost.

Be Aware of Low Bids

While we all want to find a deal, there is a difference between finding a deal and putting ourselves in a bad position. Most of the reputable tree removal services out there will have both licenses as well as modern removal equipment to maintain. This means they need to charge a certain amount.

If you are comparing costs and one company is coming in substantially lower than the others, it could mean that they are skipping on important costs. Saving costs is one thing but cutting corners on the work can lead to damage that costs down the line.

Use Caution When Doing It Yourself

There are definitely going to be those out there that think they can take on any project, including tree removal. And depending on the size and condition of the tree, that may actually be the case. But it is important to know what to do.

Your best bet if you notice any roots upheaving or the tree leaning is to call a certified arborist. These are trained professionals that can properly assess a tree and lead to its safe removal. If you can’t wait, there are ways to remove the tree safely and effectively.

If a tree on your property is diseased or has a noticeable pest infestation, it is a good idea to act sooner rather than later. Removing them in the winter and spring is easier because they are lighter than they would be during the warmer months. So, even if you plan to trim the branches, these are the seasons to act.

Average Costs of Tree Removal

The cost of removing a tree can vary greatly, mainly on the size and condition of the tree. On average, homeowners spend around $700 for tree removal.

  • Trees under 30 feet tall, you can expect to spend around $250.
  • For trees in the 30-60-foot range, averages are between $300 and $700.
  • And to cut down the largest trees, it can get to be well over $1,000, pushing closer to $2,000.

Pricing comes down to a number of factors. The height, the condition of the tree, the diameter, where it is located, and the type of tree all play into the overall costs. If a huge tree is in brittle condition and tough to remove without it breaking apart, it will wind up costing more.

Keep these factors in mind when you budget what you can afford.

Tree SizeCost to Remove
Up to 30 feet$100-$300
30-60 feet$300-$700
60-80 feet$700-$1,100
80 feet or more$1,100-$1,800
National Average$715

Types of Small Trees

A “small” tree is 30 feet in height or smaller. Small trees cost the least because they are the easiest to remove. Depending on how big the tree is, it may even take a single person to remove it effectively. Smaller trees will be things like Hawthorns, apple trees, silver birch, ornamental pear, hazel, and other kinds of fruit trees.

Expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $300 to remove a tree of this type and size.

Types of Medium Trees

Medium-sized trees will greatly vary in type. A few examples are elm (generally 40-60’ tall and wide), maple (40-60’ tall and 20-40’ wide), Hornbeam (20-40’ tall and 30-40’ wide including foliage) and Linden (60-70’ tall and 30-40’ wide).

Costs will vary greatly because, as you can see, the sizes of these trees vary greatly. Medium-sized trees fall into the 30-60-foot range and will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $300-$700 depending on the age and condition of the tree as well as where it is located.

Types of Large and Very Large Trees

A large tree falls in the 60-80-foot range while a very large tree comes in over the 80-foot mark. Large trees include oaks (70-80’ tall and 80’ wide) and Zelkova (50-80’ tall and wide). For large trees, you can safely assume to pay between $700 and $1,100.

Very large trees, the 80+ feet kind, are your pines (80-100’ tall) and tulip trees (70-90’ tall and 35-50’ wide). Because of the sheer size, they will cost anywhere between $1,100 and $1,800 to safely remove. This is because taller trees need as many as four people to safely remove it.

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How to Reduce the Cost of Tree Removal Services

There are a number of things that you can do to help reduce the cost of tree removal. Though, some recommendations may not be suitable for everyone.

  • Hire tree removal services in the off-season. Tree removal companies will charge full rates, per tree during high season. If you elect to have the job done in off season, you’ll likely be able to get a fixed rate.
  • Obtain multiple estimates. Although this may be obvious, gathering about three to five quotes can give you the most perspective and help you get the best price.
  • Ask someone in your area to cut the tree down in exchange for firewood. This can come with its own set of risks and should be exercised with caution. However, for smaller jobs that are low risk, asking a local or neighbor is a great option.
  • Get an assessment from an arborist before having the tree cut down. In some cases, you make be able to just remove certain sections of the tree to stabilize it. An expert will be able to tell you what should be done and if your trees even need to be cut down.
  • Have regular trimming done. This will help reduce the risk of weak trees and over-stretched limbs when storms roll in and cause falling branches.
  • Perform the cleanup and cutting yourself. You may be able to negotiate with the tree removal company to reduce the cost if you do all the cleanup and cutting of the wood yourself.
  • Ask for a flat fee estimate. Inquire with your estimator if the estimate they are giving you is based on a flat fee or per hour. If they give you an option, sometimes it’s best to go for the flat fee depending on the complexity of the job.

Keep in mind that the above advice are just some suggestions on how you can reduce the cost of tree removal services. For best results, it’s always recommended to work with a qualified professional.

Is It Worth It Waiting Until Slow Season?

Ultimately, whether or not it’s worth it to wait until slow season to have trees removed comes down to personal preference. At the end of the day, is your goal to save a couple hundred bucks or do you want your tree moved as quickly as possible?

For example, if the tree has fallen on a structure or you have a tree located in an area that prevents you from completely a project, it’s likely not a wise choice to wait for slow season to get the cheapest rate. In this case, you should opt for the fastest tree removal company, no matter the price.

On the other hand, if you’re not under any sort of time restraint, then, yes, it is worth waiting until the slow season for tree removal.

Related Questions

What is a good price to cut down a tree?

The price to have a tree removed depends on a number of factors including the size of the tree, time of year, health of the tree, ease of access, and more. Generally speaking, though, a small tree can cost between $100 and $300 to have removed, while a large tree may be upwards of $2,000.Regardless, the national average for tree removal is $715. You can use these numbers as a guideline to determine whether or not the quotes you receive from tree removal companies can be considered a “good price.”

Can you negotiate the price of tree removal?

Yes, like anything, it is possible to negotiate the price of tree removal with your removal company. For example, they are more likely to drop the price if you are willing to take care of things like cleanup and cutting of the wood.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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