The prices in this guide are accurate, as of 2023
There are many reasons why you might want to hire a tree surgeon. Most commonly, tree surgeons are needed when large trees grow out of control and begin to threaten the structural stability of your property.
Tree roots can damage foundations, pipework, or even grow high enough to disrupt electricity cables. Old trees can also be at risk of falling onto your property.
Tree surgeons are qualified tradespeople who have been trained to handle specialist equipment. As well as the cost of the manual labour involved in felling a tree, you will also have to consider removal costs. Because of the wide range of services a tree surgeon can offer, from tree trimming and pruning to felling, prices vary quite widely.
You could spend anywhere from £120 to upwards of £1,500 to have a tree removed from your property, whereas other tree surgeon services cost anywhere from £55 to £500. How much you end up spending will depend on what kind of work you want done to your tree, how tall and large it is, and where it’s located on your property.
That’s why you’ll need someone to come and survey your tree in order to give you a more accurate sense of the costs involved. The below prices are an approximate average to help you get a general sense of how much you might spend on your tree maintenance and removal.
Does my tree need removing?
There are a few things you can look out for if you’re worried that your tree is becoming a potential hazard:
- Wide cracks visible on the trunk or branches of your tree
- Large branches are falling frequently from your tree
- Your tree no longer produces needles, leaves, or new growth
- You can see dangling or broken branches
- Your tree’s branches are close to power lines or windows
- There is damage to the foundations of your home due to roots
- Mushrooms are growing on your tree’s roots
- Your tree is leaning and could potentially fall and hit a car or property
- There is visible damage due to recent storm
- Hollows or cankers (dead spots) are visible on your tree’s trunk
You might also want to remove a tree in your garden to clear up space.
If any or many of these signs are present on your tree, then it might be time to book a tree survey. This means that a professional takes a look at your tree and assesses whether it poses a risk to you and your loved ones. You can hire a tree consultant here.
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How much does it cost to remove a tree?
When calculating the cost of your tree removal, your tree surgeon will consider the height, width, and lean of your tree.
|Type of service||How long will it take?||Average cost||Lower and upper prices ranges|
|Tree survey + report||One or two weeks||£250||£150 – £350|
|Small tree removal||A couple of hours of work||£135||£120 – £150|
|Medium-sized tree removal||Half a day||£275||£175 – £375|
|Large tree removal||Half a day to a full day of work||£1,050||£600 – £1,500|
You can hire a skilled tree surgeon to cut down your tree here.
Sometimes, your tree surgeon will need additional equipment to be able to remove your tree safely. This is usually for trees that are near power lines or close to roads. In these cases, you might need to hire a mobile crane or another form of aerial platform. This will raise costs.
Some tree surgeons have a minimum call-out rate, so do keep this in mind as well. You could combine work for multiple trees and shrubs to make the most of the service.
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How much do tree surgeons charge?
If you need work done to one of your trees, but aren’t looking to cut it down, there are a range of other services that tree surgeons can provide:
|Type of service||What is it?||How long will it take?||Average cost||Lower and upper prices ranges|
|Tree debris disposal||The removal and disposal of tree debris around your tree and your garden.||A few hours||£55||£30 – £80|
|Stump removal / stump grinding||Removal of the tree stump after it has been cut down. This requires expert knowledge of how your tree spreads its roots.||Half a day||£250||£95 – £400|
|Tree pruning||Removal of dead or diseased branches to stimulate healthy tree growth.||Half a day to a full day of work||£310||£120 – £500|
|Tree pollarding||Removal of upper branches of a tree, to encourage dense foliage growth and keep the tree at a particular height.||Half a day to a full day of work||£310||£120 – £500|
|Tree lopping||Removal of side branches to modify and maintain the size of a tree.||Half a day to a full day of work||£300||£150 – £450|
|Tree coppicing||Removing the shoots that grow from particular tree stumps or roots.||A team (2-3 people) will take roughly a day.||£310||£120 – £500|
|Ivy removal||The removal of an Ivy plant.||Two to three hours||£170||£95 – £250|
|Hedge removal||The removal of a hedge.||Half a day to two days of work||£325||£150 – £500|
|Japanese knotweed removal||The removal of Japanese knotweed, a plant that kills off other plants, and should be removed immediately.||Requires three to four sessions||£1,200||£1,000 – £1,500|
With some of these services, you may also need to hire an excavator to remove the root system of the tree or plant you’re getting rid of. This service may be part of your package, but make sure you ask, so that you can have a clear sense of how much you’ll need to budget. For a more accurate quote, let us know what you have in mind.
If you think you might need a crown thinning specialist, you can hire one here. Alternatively, tree surgeons also offer crown reduction services. If you aren’t sure what your tree needs, but it’s growing out of hand and getting in the way of your property, then we recommend you hire a tree consultancy specialist first.
Do I need permission to cut down a tree on my property?
You don’t need to gain permission to cut down a tree (that’s in your own garden), unless you live in a Conservation Area or the tree itself is subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). Trees over 5 cubic metres in volume also require permission to cut down.
If your tree does have a Tree Preservation Order, in some cases you will still be able to cut it down, but you will need to apply to get permission. In this case, you will have to replace the tree with another one. If your tree doesn’t have a TPO, we still recommend you plant new trees to compensate for the lost one.
In general, we recommend that you leave felling your tree as an absolute last resort, only to be carried out if the tree poses a safety risk to your home and loved ones. And in most cases, homeowners would rather not cut a tree down, unless it’s necessary. Pruning and pollarding can sometimes be good alternative options. A skilled tree surgeon can carry out work safely and will also make sure that as much of the tree is saved, if that’s an option.
Tree preservation laws can be complex. If you’re ever in doubt over whether you’re allowed to fell a tree on your property, you should seek advice from your local council.
For more information on up-to-date government laws, check out the official government guidance, or the Woodland Trust information guide.
Cutting down a tree without the correct permission can result in prosecution, and a fine of up to £20,000.
Ways to repurpose your felled tree
You can usually ask your tree surgeon to leave parts of your felled tree, if you think you might want to repurpose it.
One of the most common ways that felled trees are used is for firewood. Your tree surgeon can cut your tree into firewood sized lengths, which you can cut down further if need be with an axe or a wood splitter. You’ll have to find a place to store your firewood as it seasons (this can take between 6 and 12 months), but once it does, you’ll have free firewood which you can use as fuel to keep your home warm during the winter months.
Some types of trees, like oak trees, are better than others for firewood, so make sure you do your research beforehand.
If you don’t have a fireplace, you could also consider using larger pieces of wood to start DIY projects. You could make a table or some chairs, or even just use some of the larger logs as stools. Smaller projects could include cutting boards, candle holders, or even coasters.
Otherwise, you could turn the wood into mulch, which is great for your landscape plants and trees, or wood chips, that creates a soft surface for your yard.
There are plenty of things you can use a felled tree for, saving you money on furniture and fuel, and allowing you a degree of creative licence too. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to reuse all trees – if your tree has a pest infestation or disease, the best thing to do is remove it from your property altogether. Your tree surgeon will let you know if this is the case.
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Do trees cause subsidence?
Subsidence is the cracking of the external (and internal) walls of your property, caused by foundation or ground movement. Trees can cause subsidence when roots take up all the moisture in clay soil, causing it to dry and shrink.
If you think this is happening to your home, you should report it straight away to your building insurer, who will then investigate. They can then produce evidence which can be used to apply for the tree to be removed. If the tree in question is protected by Preservation Order, then further investigations will have to be carried out to determine the best course of action.
If you’re not sure, the best thing you can do is hire a tree consultant to come and survey your tree and property. You can hire one here.
How can I save money on tree removal?
There are definitely steps you can take to lower the cost of your next tree removal. Not all of these will necessarily apply but being aware of even just a few of these tips could help lower your overall tree surgery bill.
- A large part of why lots of tree removals go up in price has to do with access. The harder your tree is to access and remove, the more it will cost you. Do what you can to reduce manual labour for your tree surgeon. If you don’t have a large backyard, consider asking neighbouring homeowners if they’d be happy to let your tree surgeon access the property by their garden, removing the fence between your property to complete the job.
- Similarly, how much space there is around the base of the tree can have an impact on costs. Assuring your tree surgeon that you will remove all garden items that could get in the way of the surgeon’s job will help you reach a more affordable quote.
- Tree services tend to be seasonal, with more work being requested during the warmer months. This means that in the summer, tree surgeons tend to charge more to cut down your tree. Consider this when hiring your labour.
- Keep, dispose, or sell off the leftover wood yourself. This can help you avoid disposal costs, allow you to repurpose wood into fuel or furniture, and can even allow you to make some money back if you choose to sell the wood to someone else.
- Hire a skilled tradesperson. Tree felling is a tricky task that requires a lot of experience to make sure everything is completed properly, and no damage is incurred to your property or neighbouring ones. Make sure your tree surgeon has insurance and the right qualifications. You can hire a skilled tree surgeon here.
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Tree surgery is a tricky task that requires qualifications and expertise to ensure no damage is caused to your property, and to neighbouring ones. This is why it’s so important that you hire a skilled tradesperson, as they can also advise you on how best to look after your tree, and whether or not it actually needs felling, or just some pollarding or thinning.
It’s hard to give an accurate quote for how much you might spend, as it all depends on the size of your tree, where it’s located (and how hard it is to access), and where you live in the UK, which impacts cost of labour. Prices will range accordingly.
We recommend you ask for multiple quotes before you settle on your tree surgeon. Let us know what you have in mind and get some more accurate quotes today.