Tree removal FAQs

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about tree removal.

View of a tree surgeon removing the top section of a tree

Your tree removal FAQs

Our tree surgery experts provide the answers to our customers’ most frequently asked questions about tree removal.

1. How much does tree removal cost?

Tree surgeons in the UK charge roughly from £150 – £200 per day (labour) and will typically have a crew of two labourers. This means labour costs to remove a tree will be about £350 per day.

Stump removal is extra at £100 to £500, again, depending on size, type of tree, and access.

At Bark & Branch, our tree surgeons will always do our best to provide you with lowest quote we can, however, there are lots of different factors that come into play when it comes to pricing up a tree felling job. This is why we are unable to provide a quote without visiting your site. Some factors include:

  • The size of the tree
  • What type of tree it is
  • Where the tree is positioned on your property
  • The amount of overhang the tree has
  • The location of the tree to public footpaths or roads
  • Whether or not the stump is to be ground down after tree removal

The general rule of thumb is to consider that the larger the tree is, the more it will cost to remove. The same rule applies as far as access is concerned. The harder the tree is to get to, the longer it will take to remove, which will cost more.

The height, diameter, and type of tree you wish to have removed greatly impacts the cost of tree removal. The taller the tree, the more equipment is required to complete the job safely as the risk increases with tree size. The same for diameter and type of tree.

Some tree varieties are easier to cut down than others because of the type of wood these trees are made from. Essentially, the greater the risk and the difficulty in removing a tree, the more it will cost.

If a tree overhangs a building or other feature, more time and labourers will be required to safely remove those branches to prevent damage to nearby structures. This is also true with trees that are close to roads and public pathways.

If the tree is hard to reach on your property, as there are obstacles or outbuildings in the same area, the work required to remove the tree will increase to minimise damage, and that will add to the cost of removal.

Clean-up adds time and stump grinding involves another piece of equipment and a labourer.

Finally, if the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) then we will require special permission to remove it. This includes providing reports and filling out paperwork, all of which may add to the tree removal costs.

2. Can I remove trees from my property on my own?

Trees that measure 18-inches in diameter or less can easily be removed as a do-it-yourself project. That is, provided they do not overhang a building, public road, or pathway. Additionally, you need to be sure that the tree you plan to remove yourself does not have a severe lean to it or a Tree Preservation Order attached to it.

If you don’t know how to remove a tree or are unsure of the safety precautions necessary, it is best to leave even the small trees for a professional tree surgeon to handle.

3. Does a tree's stump need to be removed?

Suckering, where a new tree plant will grow from an old stump, can occur if the stump of a removed tree is left behind.

It takes a special tool called a stump grinder to shave down a tree stump to just below ground level. The best thing about a stump grinder is that it can be used on stumps of any age. This means that if you have some old tree stumps on your property, they can still be removed with a stump grinder.

Stump grinding is also faster and cheaper than having the stump dug out of the ground. Grinding also produces wood chips that can be used elsewhere in your yard or garden.

4. What is a Tree Preservation Order?

Local governing authorities who have selected specific trees or woodlands to protect will have issued a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) for that area. You cannot remove or trim a tree that is under such an order without written consent from the planning authority.

Obtaining permission to remove a protected tree is very unlikely unless that tree poses a danger to the public or a nearby structure. If you have a tree that you wish to remove that has a Tree Preservation Orders on it, you may need professional advice from an arborist on how to find a suitable solution.

For assistance with this type of situation, contact us at Bark & Branch. We can discuss the options available to you once we carry out a site inspection.

5. Why do tree surgeons remove trees with wedges?

A wedge simply assists us in falling a tree in a specific direction. Each tree has a natural lean and, when cutting a tree down, it is going to want to fall in the direction of that lean. If there are no obstacles or structures that can be damaged, letting the tree fall naturally is a good idea. However, most trees are close to buildings or other items that can sustain damage if the tree is allowed to fall naturally, so wedges are used to redirect where the tree will land.

In addition to wedges, ropes may be required to ensure a safe and controlled tree removal. The use of wedges takes a fair deal of skill and an understanding of physics, which makes it anything but a DIY project.

6. How can I tell if my tree needs removing?

For most people who have trees in their garden, the condition of their trees isn’t really a concern, especially if they look is fine on the surface. However, the actual tree structure could be unstable.

The following are some key signs that your tree may need removing:

Cracks – If you suddenly spot a large or deep crack in your tree, then it is likely that it is suffering from internal decay or some other kind of structural weakness. If this weakness or decay is serious enough, then the tree may split or collapse on itself.

Not all cracks signify serious damage though, and some cracked trees can stand for years, so it is best to ask a qualified tree surgeon to take a look.

Leaning – One of the most obvious signs that a tree is unstable is if it starts to lean. If the angle of the lean begins to grow, then you need to take immediate precautionary steps and arrange for it to be removed. Other things to look out for are cracks in the roots around the tree and loose soil.

Weak or falling branches – If a lot of large pieces of dead wood have been dropping from the top of the tree, then this could be a sign that the tree is in a bit of trouble. Keep an eye on branches that attach to the trunk, and if they have a tight v-shape crotch then this shows there is a weak connection.

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