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Sharing the latest information in residential and commercial outdoor care services

Cha-Ching, Why the High Cost of Tree Removal

by Contributor April 3, 2016


Philosophically –  if a tree falls in the forest but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound –  is an experiment in observation and reality; however, if that same tree falls on your property, it’s the cha-ching, cha-ching sound  that is unmistakable. San Francisco emergency tree removal is often costly and unexpected.

“Why does it cost so much to remove a tree???? the property owner asks while suffering from sticker shock when the estimates to perform the work come in.

Tree care businesses are costly to establish and maintain. Arborist Now believes that an informed consumer is our best customer, so we are sharing the factors that determine the cost of tree removal. The three largest expenses are insurance, employees and equipment.

  • As with so many labor-intensive industries with a high risk for personal or property damage or death, insurance is very expensive. The rates for workman’s compensation insurance are almost as expensive as with coal miners or steel workers. Most companies have a million dollar liability policy to cover property damage and have to pay close to 25 percent of what an employee earns just for this insurance.
  • Tree climbing employees earn skilled labor wages. The training required to perform tree removal is far greater than that of other trades, so the pay is higher. Tree service companies must pay well if they are to meet industry standards with continuing training and education for workers. Membership and participation in professional organizations, such as ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) and TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association), is absolutely necessary requirement for the company and peace of mind for the property owner.
  • A company must purchase tree removal equipment that includes trucks, chippers, booms, loaders, and other large equipment. These are very high overhead expenses. In addition to the initial cost of this equipment, arborists also have regular expense for replacement and maintenance of their tools. 


The condition of the tree is critical

An important factor in determining the cost a tree removal is its condition and structural integrity.

  • Can the tree be climbed or will a bucket be needed?
  • If it can’t be climbed, can the right equipment be brought in?
  • How long has the tree been dead?
  • Is it brittle?
  • Is the bark breaking off?

Trees that have been dead for more than a year are very hazardous to climb and in many cases impossible to safely remove without the aid of aerial equipment or cranes.

Removal of trees during the winter is cost-effective

Most tree companies will give discounts for off-season work. It is faster to remove trees in the winter because there is less concern for lawns and flower beds allowing for less rigging to remove larger pieces, saving time for the tree care company and money for the property owner. The only drawback to winter tree work is scheduling around the weather – sometimes jobs can be delayed due to snow or very cold weather, but in the end the work will get done. If your budget is tight, schedule the work for the winter.

Additional Fees for Tree Removal

  • Extra charges if there are utility lines, buildings, roads, or other obstructions under or near the tree.
  • Stump removal.
  • Chipping/hauling charges. Ask if these services are included in the estimate.

All things considered, tree care can get expensive when not done on a regular basis to prevent the need for costly corrective measures. The key is to keep up on tree care as this will help prevent large expenditures that can occur when regular maintenance is neglected.

Arborist Now is your best choice for tree pruning services in San Francisco as well as professional tree care in Marin County. Contact us today for a plan to regularly maintain the trees on your property and reduce the possibility of unnecessary tree removal.

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