Tree Surgeon Prices

If you want to know how much it costs to cut down a tree, we can help as this price guide was updated in 2021.

Tree surgery is a specialist trade that encompasses much more than just felling.

Here is a list of the services offered by most tree surgeons:

  • Crown reductions.
  • Crown thinning.
  • Crown lifting.
  • Pollarding.
  • Dead wood removal.
  • Tree felling.
  • Stump work.

Our guide on this page will focus on tree felling and stump work.

How much it costs to cut down or fell a tree depends on several factors:

  • How tall the tree is.
  • The type of tree.
  • Where it’s located on the property.
  • Safety considerations (ie blocking road or footpath).
  • Does it need to be felled or reduced?
  • Can the waste be left on-site or must it be removed?
  • Leave, grind or fully remove the stump?
  • Is the business VAT registered?

Here is a “First Person” View of Tree Felling

To give you an idea of how much work is involved with a tree felling project, here is an informative “first person” viewpoint of a tree being taken down.

Example Prices

Below you’ll find four projects with a suggested price range.

We sourced these prices from a selection of tree surgeons in 2021.

Tree Removal Cost 1

Project details – Completely fell a large oak tree in a rear garden with very poor access. This price assumes that the tree is overhanging several neighbouring gardens and the customer wants all of the waste removed from the site.

Large oak trees can weigh in excess of 20 tonnes so a project like this isn’t going to be completed in a morning.

The bulk of the cost is due to the removal and disposal of the timber, if you can leave the timber within the ground of the property then it won’t cost nearly as much as the guide price below.

How difficult it is to access the garden also has a huge bearing on the cost – if the waste has to be carried a long distance to a vehicle then the entire project could take several days.

This type of project is quite rare as oak trees are usually pruned and not completely felled.

Expect to pay a tree surgeon between £3000 and £4500 inc VAT to remove a tree like this.

Tree Felling Price 2

Project details – This is a more common tree felling project and reflects the type of work tree surgeons do almost every day.

Remove two 30ft multi-stem trees and dispose of all waste. We assume that there is very good access to the garden, perhaps the tree is located in the front garden too.

Expect to pay in the region of £800 including the VAT

Tree Work Prices

General tree work such as crown reductions, thinning and removing dead wood.

Most of the waste can be chipped and taken away.

Expect to pay around £120.00 inc VAT per hour for a team of three including waste removal.

Stump Grinding Cost

Stump grinding is a great way to get rid of the stump and most types of tree won’t grow back after being ground down to dust.

If you’re using the services of a tree surgeon to fell a tree, they will charge between £95 and £200 extra for stump grinding but if you get a firm in to grind an old stump it may cost more.

The stump grinder is a heavy piece of kit and access issues could push up the price further.

Day Rates For Tree Surgeons

Tree surgeons don’t generally quote for work with a day rate but we know roughly how much they charge.

A team of two or three experienced tree surgeons on site and including the removal of the waste, will set you back around £950 per day including VAT.

Smaller firms, such as those that only undertake easier projects, working in a team of one or two people, will charge anything from £250-£400 per day depending on location.

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Tree Surgeon’s Prices are Subjective

The prices shown above are based on our experience with tree surgeons in the south of the UK.

How much you pay will depend not just on where you live and the type of tree involved but also the size of the business you employ.

A larger firm will have considerably more overheads, vans cost upwards of £20k and equipment can run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Smaller firms will have fewer overheads, perhaps hiring equipment as and when needed.

Therefore, for smaller jobs at least, you could make a saving by going with a smaller firm.

There are also plenty of landscape gardeners that will offer to take down smaller trees even if they aren’t formally trained in this area.

Tree surgeon at work

Also, if the business is operating below the VAT threshold they won’t charge VAT so you could make quite a substantial saving here too.

What About Waste Removal Costs?

Most of the prices we have investigated here on have involved some form of waste removal charge (think builders and roofers etc).

Tree felling is somewhat different in that much of the waste material has some value and can be sold on.

The waste material can be broken down into two groups:

The first is chippings, this is the remains of all the timber after the branches have been put through a chipping machine.

You have probably seen these before, tree surgeons usually tow these behind their vehicles.

This type of waste can be used as mulch in gardens.

Material that isn’t sold as mulch is usually mixed with the second type of waste that is generated. That is low-value waste such as hedge trimmings and the mixture is then sold to the biomass industry for use in power stations.

Large logs are kept and often put up for sale.

Checklist – Read This Before Getting Quotes

For larger and dangerous projects, we suggest you follow our tips here to keep costs down while still employing a safe tree surgeon:

  • Make sure your chosen contractors are registered with Arboricultural Association.
  • Get written quotes that include an assessment of the tree/work.
  • Ask lots of questions. A knowledgeable and experienced contractor will able to answer any queries you have.
  • Contact the local planning office beforehand. Your contractor will know if permission is required but doing this is a good way to confirm their knowledge.
  • Double-check any insurance policies that they have.
  • More tips from the AA can be found here – it’s worth reading.

When Should You Contact a Tree Surgeon?

Homeowners are responsible for the condition of any trees on their land. You may even find that insurance companies refuse to pay out if you fail to have certain trees periodically inspected, so do check the small print of any policies you have.

The list below is very general but if you notice any of the following, then now would be a good time to have your tree checked:

  • Cavities or decaying wood on the trunk
  • Mushrooms near the base
  • Cracks or splits in the trunk
  • Adjacent or nearby trees have already fallen over, are dying or dead
  • Roots have broken off or are obviously diseased
  • The tree has started leaning to one side

Get a Price Online

We have based the prices on this page on our experience of hiring tree surgeons.

How much you are quoted will obviously depend on your location the type and size of tree you have.

Tap the button below to start comparing tree surgeon prices:

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You may be able to recover the cost of any work including tree removal fees if the incident wasn't foreseeable such as a storm or lightening. However, lack of maintenance or the tree being weakened through disease may invalidate any insurance claim. There's no harm in asking your insurer and checking through the small print in your policy documents.
This depends on the type of tree as many are different. But generally, the best time to carry out work on trees is after leaf fall but before the first bud growth. The winter months are often the busiest periods for tree surgeons.
Tree surgeons use wood chippers to break up tree branches. Customers can use the leftover wood chippings in their garden to keep down disposal costs. They're also perfect as a cover to keep weeds at bay in the garden.

The work tree surgeons do often overlaps with general gardening work and it's not unusual for them to spend most of their time trimming hedges, planting trees or doing similar work.

The average wage for a tree surgeon is around £21000 and is well below the UK average.

Experience can increase the wage up to around £28000. Being self-employed also brings many benefits, as the tree surgeon can work directly for customers.

Below you can find a link to our recently updated trade day rates page:

Day Rates For Tradespeople

We work in the property renovation business and have spent the last few years buying properties, renovating them and then selling them on.

Part of our work involves estimating how much work will cost on our houses. That is where the idea for this site came from.

This guide was written by and was last updated in April 2021.

Don’t forget; we have price guides for hundreds of home improvement projects.

Explore our full list of detailed price guides here.

Author - Danny Woodley
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