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Tree Removal -What You Should Know About Cutting Down Trees

Tree Removal: What You Should Know About Cutting Down Trees

Tree Removal

As a tree preservation company, our main mission is to protect and preserve trees as long as we can; but, sometimes, tree removal is the safest decision.

For example, you may need to remove a tree if:

  • The tree’s at risk of falling or breaking during storms or high winds
  • It’s sick, dead, or simply growing too close to a building or powerlines
  • Branches could fall off and cause major damage and outages

Here’s a more in-depth look at why you may need to remove a tree, what’s involved, and what you can expect to pay for safe tree removal.

When To Remove A Tree?

Removing a tree lowers your property value, increases your energy bills, and hurts the environment which is why we don’t suggest taking down healthy trees. However, if a tree is a safety hazard it is important to remove it as soon as possible.

Consider the factors below when deciding whether to remove a sick tree or try and save it.

Species: Is this type of tree prone to pests & other problems? If it is you may incur costly treatments for the rest of the tree’s life.

Age: Is the tree young, mature, or over-mature? A young tree till has a lot of life in it; however, a mature tree or over-mature tree may only have a few years left and may be weaker and less likely to survive damage than a young tree.

Vigor: What health condition was the tree in before the damage? If the tree was perfectly healthy before the damage it will be easier to restore its health. But if your tree was already sickly or in bad health before this new damage it may be best to remove the tree.

Value: Does the tree have sentimental meaning to you or is the tree vital piece of your landscape? If so saving the tree may be extremely important to you.

How Expensive Is Tree Removal?

RTEC Treecare tree service experts executing tree removal work on a local Virginia property
RTEC Treecare tree service experts executing tree removal work on a local Virginia property

Have you ever wondered about the cost of tree removal? Most homeowners have to hire a tree care specialist at least once, so it’s a reasonable question to have.

Whether it’s tree trimming, removal, or tree care, determining the cost generally depends on 8 major factors. The complexity of the job and equipment needed is also factored in. Let’s break down the cost of tree removal.

Average Cost of Tree Removal

Getting down to brass tacks, the average cost is between $400-$2,800. The final cost will depend on many factors which we’ll go over, but here are the average tree removal price ranges:

<25 ft tall costs $150-$500

25-75 ft tall costs $200-$1,000

>75 ft tall costs $1,500 or over

You’ll have the option of different levels of service but this usually includes a few basics like hauling it off your property and cleanup. Other tree services such as stump removal ($60-$350) and stump grinding ($75-$1,000) are extra. Emergency tree removal service costs will depend on many factors as well.

Watch the video below to go step by step through these factors to get a better idea of the cost of tree removal in Northern Va, DC, and Maryland.

Factors that Affect Tree Removal Prices

8 main factors determine tree removal cost. Your Certified Arborist will discuss these with you during your quote. These include:

  1. Height
  2. Diameter
  3. Condition – A healthy tree is more difficult to remove than dead, sick, or rotting trees.
  4. Accessibility – If the tree is near power lines, buildings, or fences, liability goes up.
  5. Tree species – Some trees are harder, have more complex root systems, and limb variations.
  6. Overhead cost
  7. Local tax
  8. Local licensing requirements

Areas with higher costs of living will garner a higher price for tree removal. As far as variety goes, we’re able to remove or prune many different types of trees, but here are a couple of examples.

Oak Tree Removal

Being a very strong, tough wood, these will naturally cost more to remove. Not only are they strong, but they’re usually extremely tall (around 60 ft on average). Expect to pay between $200 and $1,000.

Pine Tree Removal

Many species of pine trees exist, but their average height is 40-60 feet, some varietals grow as tall as 80 feet. Small pine tree removal will cost about $200, while an extremely tall one will run you about $1,500.

A good tree removal company will explain all the costs involved so you’re clear on what you’re paying for. 

Fallen Tree Removal

Tree Trimming Services

Proper tree trimming/pruning and branch removal are vital. We aim to keep your area safe and beautiful while reducing the risk of liability and damage. Note that we don’t top trees as it leads to poor tree health.

Tree Removal & Add-Ons:

One of our tree service experts executing stump grinding/removal work on a Northern Virginia tree

When it comes to tree removal, homeowners usually want a package including wood removal/disposal and/or stump grinding. Each of these add-ons can raise the overall cost of the job.

Tree Removal: This is the act of cutting down the tree. When you only purchase it without the add-ons below, the entire tree will be left laying on your property.

Wood Removal / Disposal: If you would like the tree and debris removed from your property make sure your quote includes wood removal/disposal (sometimes called “haul wood”).  Tree companies have to pay to dispose of this wood and it takes extra time, which is why wood removal/disposal will add cost to your tree removal.

If you are concerned about the environment, make sure your tree company is recycling the wood.

Stump Grinding: Stump Grinding is the act of grinding down tree stumps to avoid trip hazards. Rotting stumps are an attraction for insects and fungi. To avoid potential infestation of your existing trees, stump grinding should be performed. Because this takes extra time and equipment, stump grinding will be an additional cost.

Tree Removal Service Done Right

Be careful, because many companies will use outdated techniques that will do more harm than good. Accredited companies, on the other hand, will do the work safely and efficiently.

As the first accredited tree service company in Virginia, we do it right by following the proper techniques outlined by the Tree Care Industry Association and more. 

We also provide 24/7 help with emergency services. Don’t risk your life trying to do it yourself if you’re inexperienced. Reserve an appointment online today to meet with one of our Certified Arborists, or call us at 703.573.3029.

Tree Removal Regulations:

When you contract with RTEC we will work with you and your local municipality to make sure you have all the necessary permits.

Homeowner’s Association

  • Many HOAs have restrictions on the removal of vegetation. Contact your homeowner’s association to inquire.

Washington, DC

  • A permit is required to remove “special trees”. Special trees are between  44” and 99.9” in circumference. Apply for a permit through the Transportation Online Permitting System (TOPS).
  • If your tree is greater than 100″ in circumference it is classified as a Heritage Tree. Removal of a Heritage Tree in healthy condition is prohibited.

Arlington, VA

  • Typically no permit is required to remove trees on private property.
  • If your tree is within a Resource Protection area (within 100 feet of a stream) you will need permission from the Department of Environmental Services.
  • If the tree is within a historic area and more than 15 inches in diameter you need a permit from the historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board.

Falls Church City, VA

  • Must use company on approved Falls Church Contractor List (RTEC is one of the approved Contractors)
  • Must obtain a permit for Specimen Trees. These will only be granted if the tree is dying or dangerous.
  • A building project that requires a stormwater permit must also provide a landscape conservation plan including an assessment of existing trees, tree protection plans, and required replanting.

Alexandria City, VA

  • No regulation for tree removals on private property

Fairfax County, VA

No regulation prohibiting removal of an individual tree on private property. In certain circumstances, like those below, you may need permission or a permit.

  • Removing trees or stumps on more than 2,500 square feet of your property requires a permit.
  • In Resource Protection Areas (RPA) or conservation easements, you are only permitted to remove trees that are dead, dying, or diseased. They will need to be evaluated by county representatives.

Montgomery County

A homeowner will need a permit to remove a tree on private property in the circumstances listed below

  • In A Conservation Easement
  • In A Historic Area
  • If you are disturbing more than 5,00 square feet of canopy or soil you will need a sediment control permit and must comply with Tree Canopy Law.

Looking to get your tree removed? To meet with one of our Certified Arborists, you can reserve an appointment online or call us at 703.573.3029.

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