There is certainly a lot of things to learn when you are faced with the necessity of removing a large tree from your property. Unlike small scale trees, shrubs and other common garden vegetation that can be removed with hand-operated tree pruning and trimming equipment, larger trees need both plannings from an experienced arborist and a cooperative effort from a team of skilled, strong tree workers and machinery to ensure a safe and effective tree removal.
In this article, Eden Trees Arboriculture services owner Phil Hackett, will attempt to cover everything you need to know about getting a tree removed. With over 20 years of experience in Brisbane’s Northside and Southside regions, Phil was also a certifying Arborist on Brisbane city council as well as having a horticulture background.
How Much does it Cost to Remove a Tree in Brisbane?
Expected price range for tree removal can be anywhere from $350 to over $8,000. Our Tree Removal Calculator can help you input tree size and access calculations for a more accurate figure.
The sheer size and weight of tree limbs and branches creates potentially dangerous situations in the ‘drop zone’, and even a very small branch falling from a low height has the potential to damage properties, structures and of course are potentially fatal to pets or bystanders in the area.
When choosing a tree removal company you really should check to see that they are fully insured, hold the appropriate arborist qualifications, correctly maintained equipment and an experienced crew. It might surprise you to know that not all tree lopping providers are required by law to maintain this standard, so do your due diligence thoroughly.
What Factors Affect Tree Removal Costs?
In this section we will discuss some of the most significant cost factors that make up your tree removal quote.
Staff – Climbing Arborists and ground crew
Eden Trees Arborist setting up ropes for Tree PruningAs we mentioned, a tree removal involves a technical collaboration between both tree climbers and a ground crew to cut a tree down safely. Tree felling is a technique rarely used because there is usually little space in urban areas to drop the tree. This means the arborists will normally use ropes and pulleys to ‘block down’ the tree piece by piece. Each piece of removed trunk or branch can then be lowered to the ground safely and under control. For a large tree there will be a crew of 3-4 bodies at a minimum. As these are skilled positions and very physically labour intensive, they are usually paid well and this is a significant cost factor.
Size of the Tree
Fairly straight forward and obvious. It really comes down to the bigger the tree, the longer it will take to dismantle and the amount of debris that has to be removed will increase drastically. The size of the tree will influence the cost through extra staff and man hours, equipment wear and green waste disposal.
The species of the tree will influence the cost of removing it if the leftover tree green waste is not recyclable. This would mean the woodchips from this vegetation are not suitable to use as garden mulch or for area beautification. The result is the tree removal company will most likely need to pay to dispose of this waste and these costs will be passed onto the tree owner.
For a tree located close to the roadway, at the front of the house in a residential street, the chances of having easy access for machines and tree workers is very good. On the other hand, if the tree is located around the back of the property, with no rear access, on a slope with a mountain of stairs in between, well you can bet this will increase the price of your quote. In the situation described, there may be a requirement for the tree to be chopped into manageable size pieces and manually carried to the street when they can be processed through a wood chipper. This would add many extra staff and a lot of extra time. Alternatively, the same job might require a crane large enough to lift the tree waste from the back to the front, and this could run you as much as 5-6K.
For waterfront properties, it is not uncommon to see a steep slope running towards the water way, making it extremely difficult for a tree crew to manually carry tree debris waste back up the hill. In these cases a barge would often be used to float the truck and the woodchipper to the water’s edge, making it much easier to remove the waste. This situation would decrease your manpower costs slightly, however will add the cost of the barge to your quote.
Condition and health of the tree
For a tree climber to safely navigate and dismantle a tree with ropes, the limbs and branches need to be in sound in structure. This means free from disease and significant decay, giving solid anchor points for the ropes. In many cases, the reason trees are being cut down and removed is because they have died, have diseases and are dangerous. In this circumstance the arborists will need to use either a crane, cherry picker or other type of elevated work platform to safely access the trunk and branches with a chainsaw. The arborist will not be anchored off to the tree structure and no branches would generally be lowered by using the tree structure either. The cost of adding external work platforms varies greatly by type and size, but you can reasonably assume and minimum added cost of around $1000.
Tree Removal Cost Calculator
Eden Trees have decades of experience and hold some of the highest qualifications in the arboriculture industry. Our goal is to provide both value and a quality experience to all our clients and inline with this we have developed the tree removal cost calculator to really highlight our commitment to fair and consistent pricing.
Please be aware that the results you get from the calculator will be as accurate as the information you feed into it. There are also other factors that are difficult to program into a calculator so there may be some variation in the actual quote. The results from the calculator are not a final quote, but we have made it easy for you to forward on the results to us and we will usually visit your property the same day for a confirmatory quote.
Do I need a Tree Removal Permit?
The short answer is ‘You may’ and the long answer is that it is a difficult question to answer, as every Brisbane council (South East QLD) has their own variation of vegetation protection (VPO). To find out if you need approval to remove a tree, our suggestion is for you to give us a call and we give you immediate advice on the legislation relevant to your location and tree species.
How much is palm tree removal?
Palm trees are generally less expensive to remove as they are usually reasonably thin and not as difficult to block down. The real issue is with palm tree waste, as it does not serve as useful wood chip mulch due to its physical appearance and it is difficult to spread. This usually means palm tree waste will be disposed of via a different means i.e Council Waste Stations, potentially adding a little extra to the quote.
The species of the tree may also affect a palm tree removal quote. Cocos palms are an example of this as they are significantly harder and heavier than other palm species and this may add a little extra to your quote.
Are Tree removal Companies Licenced?
As we mentioned before, by law in australia a person does not actually need to be a ‘Certified Arborist’ to remove a tree nor does he need any other qualifications. Obviously this can create potentially dangerous situations where backyard ‘DIY’ers’ or ‘handymen’, could be performing dangerous tree removal practices either for themselves or for money.
When you hire a qualified professional arborist company you are getting someone who has studied tree species, biology, their structures, diseases and the many techniques involved in maintenance, disease management and removal. Professional Arborists would be covered by public liability and workers comp insurance. You can view all of Eden Trees current arboriculture, horticulture and insurance certificates by using the link.
Can I remove a Tree on a neighbours property?
This is a common question and an issue that often results in neighbourhood disputes. Since 2011 in Queensland the laws have been changed to allow you to prune or remove branches on a tree that overhangs your fence line by 50cm or more, and at a height of no more than 2.5 metres from the ground. There is no longer any requirement to return the removed branches to your neighbour.
In cases where the branches are more than 2.5 metres above the ground, you can ask the tree keeper (owner) to have them pruned or removed. If this has not been done after 30 days, you can either employ an arborist to have them removed or do it yourself. You can recover $300 of the cost to remove the branches from your neighbour. If a resolution still cannot be reached due to costs or other concerns, the matter can be brought before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) and they will make a final ruling on the matter.
What does stump removal Cost?
Not as much as tree removal thats for sure. Whenever a tree is removed the stump will remain just above the ground level. The fastest and most economical way to remove an unwanted tree stump is by stump grinding. This service is offered by most tree removal companies and is facilitated using a stump grinding machine. This machine has a spinning wheel with teeth at the front that aggressively grinds the remaining tree stump into sawdust and leave the stump ground down below ground level.
Like most tree services, stump grinding costs will vary depending on the size of job, but generally speaking an average job would take 1-3 hours and cost in the vicinity of $150 – $600.
Tree Removal Brisbane Wide
We certainly hope this article has helped you better understand the considerations when pricing a tree removal quote, while at the same time assist you in making informed choices about selecting a qualified and insured arborist to complete the work.
If you need assistance or advice on anything relating to an upcoming tree project, grab the phone and call Phil anytime 0411 511 127. Friendly, obligation free quotes and advice is at the core of our culture and something we happily do everyday.