A tree needing removal

How much does it cost to remove a tree?

There are many variables that will affect the cost of removing a tree from your property, including the size of the tree, its proximity to buildings, and other trees. In West London locations such as Wandsworth, where gardens can be small, the ease of access is a factor. The proximity of the tree to a neighbour’s boundary or the public highway are also factors that will affect the cost of removal. If a tree is in a dangerous or unstable condition the cost may be higher to allow for additional time needed to remove the tree safely and for any specialised equipment which may be necessary.

Other factors affecting the possible costs include:

  • The number of trees needing attention; it is cheaper to manage several trees at the same time than it is to deal with them one at a time;
  • The size of the tree will also play a part in the costings. The tree might need the arborist to climb in a harness, or to hire a cherry picker, or other pieces of specialist equipment;
  • The amount of debris generated will affect the price, as sites charge to dispose of this material by the truckload, and the distance from the nearest disposal site will also need to be considered.
  • Stump grinding – shredding a stump of the tree to sawdust to prevent regrowth and to make the site ready for recultivation or lawn – will incur an additional charge if required.
A stump grinder used during tree removal

A stump grinder at work after a tree removal


How to get council approval to remove a tree

Your local council will not remove a tree on your behalf or arrange for it to be done. However, if your tree is in a Conservation Area, or has had a Preservation Order placed on it, you will need council permission to prune it or cut it down. The fines for failing to obtain permission or for pruning or felling a tree with bats or nesting birds are very severe. A reputable tree surgeon will be able to advise you and apply for the necessary permissions on your behalf. 

Things to consider – reasons a tree might need removing

While professional tree felling comes at a cost, it must be offset against the possible cost to life and property, both yours and that of your neighbours, should the tree or large branches come down in a storm or during heavy rain.

If a tree looks diseased due to age, fungal infection, from ash dieback or any other infection, or even if it needs to be removed because it has outgrown its space or is cutting out the light from your property, a qualified tree surgeon will be needed to assess the situation and advise you on the most cost-efficient way of dealing with the problem.

In urban spaces, such as London, it is usually necessary to dismantle trees in order to remove them safely. Professional tree surgeons use ropes and lowering tackle to manage and control each section of the tree within the available space. This is called Sectional Felling and requires specialist equipment and expertise.

How to request a quote for tree removal

The costs involved are best discussed at a free, in-person meeting with an experienced tree surgeon who will discuss your options. He and his team will be properly trained and insured to undertake all aspects of the work required.

It may be possible to preserve the tree with proper pruning, pollarding, or crown raising in which case the costs will be substantially less and the life of the tree prolonged.

If the decision is made to remove a tree completely, the cost will depend on many variables as already mentioned above. No reputable tree surgeon will be able to give you a quote without seeing the tree or assessing the position on which it grows. Neither will they be willing to quote a ‘daily rate’ or ‘cost per item’, as providing tailored, reliable costings requires a site visit in every case.

If you are in South West London and looking for a cost for professional tree felling, give us a call by clicking above, or complete our contact form so we can get back to you about providing a free quotation – we will be very happy to hear from you!

Written by

Toby Douglas is the founder of Take A Bough Tree Care. After university in Aberystwyth, Toby made the decision to study Arboriculture at Merrist Wood, in Surrey. In 2001 he successfully completed a National Certificate in Horticulture, and a National Diploma in Arboriculture, then worked for two years subcontracting to large and respected companies in order to gain the practical experience to compete successfully for both private and corporate contacts once Take a Bough Tree Care was launched

"100% reliable, totally professional, clean, tidy and excellent value, Take A Bough are always my first call for tree and garden maintenance. If we had a larger place, they’d be on speed dial"

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