How much does tree surgery cost?

Tree surgery can vary in cost dramatically depending on the tree size, species and where it is situated – find out more here.

Tree surgeon up in a tree

A dangerous tree can prove hazardous to both properties and people, so it is definitely worth fixing by hiring a tree surgeon. Before you pick up the phone and call your local tree surgeon, it is worth having a quick look at the tree in question yourself, to see if there is a real problem. Whilst you may be tempted to just look at older trees (which are more prone to disease) even healthy, younger trees can become dangerous if damaged by harsh weather such as heat waves and ice. So, that begs the question:

How do I spot a dangerous tree?

  • One of the sure-fire ways of determining whether or not you have a dangerous tree is by checking if it has any dead wood. This is easy to spot as dead branches will have brown leaves or often no leaves at all. Dead wood can fall easily and can be extremely dangerous.
  • Observe the ground around the base of the tree trunk. You will need to keep your eyes open for any signs of ground movement (known by tree surgery experts as heave or cracking). Some indicators of this could be raised soil on the side opposite to the trees lean, this could mean the tree is uprooting.
  • If you have a tree which is impeding on a roadway or another building, then it may require tree surgery. The likelihood is that the tree will simply need some heavy overhanging branches removed in order to eliminate any danger.
  • If at the base of the tree there is a fungal presence (often mushrooms) this could be a sign that there is rot or decay. This may or may not be a problem, but definitely call a tree surgeon out for further inspection.
  • If there are spaces on the trunk with no bark, it could be an indicator that there is a dead section or perhaps a fungus attack.
  • Some trees grow multiple trunks, if you have one of these, check the connection between the trunk to see if it is weak and in need of tree surgery. Generally a U shape would indicate a strong connection, where as a V shape usually means it is weaker.

How much does tree surgery cost?

It is hard to give an exact cost for hiring a tree surgeon, but below you will find a rough price guide for hiring a qualified and fully insured tree surgeon:

  • Tree felling cost: £250 per tree
  • Crown reduction cost: £150 per tree
  • Garden clearance cost: £200 per person per day / £40 per hour
  • Wood chipper hire cost: £150 per day / £450 per week

As always, it is advisable to contact at least three local tree surgeons to get a range of quotes. In order for a tree surgeon to produce a quote accurately they will need to see the tree/s in question. A good tree surgeon will offer you a free, written quotation with no obligations attached. The pricing should include the following:

  • A concise description of all the work that has been agreed
  • The total cost of the tree surgery, this should stipulate whether VAT is included or not
  • How the debris will be handled (i.e. whether it is your job to dispose of it)
  • Which of you will be responsible for getting permission from your local council (some trees are protected)
  • A brief risk assessment to make sure that no harm will come to anybody (either your or the tree surgeon) whilst the process takes place

Choosing the right tree surgeon is essential, as your much loved trees could be permanently damaged if the tree surgery is not carried out properly, more often than not by a non-qualified tree surgeon. Remember, anybody could title themselves a tree surgeon and have an advert placed in your local newspaper, so it proves to have a look at their previous work and see some references. Tree surgery is not an easy job, and it also can cost you a lot of money, so be sure to hire a fully qualified and insured tree surgeon.

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