Aug 1, 2019

How much does tree removal cost?

Tree vs building.
Tree vs building.

Tree cutting and tree removal is serious business. We've been at it for a while, and we can help you with whatever situation you're facing.

Why preventive maintenance for trees are more important than ever.

If you have been reading up on the news lately, the extreme weather that we have been experiencing all over the region has not been kind to larger trees. It’s pretty common to hear about accidents caused by unmaintained & unkempt trees, which brings us to the next topic.

So, where do you start?

There are a couple of simple rules to remember about tree removal:

  1. It’s not cheap.
  2. It looks easier than it is.
  3. Deal with the problem as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be.

While hiring ‘professionals’ to remove a very small tree might cost as little as MYR 500, for any decent-size mature tree, start thinking four figures, as in MYR 3,000 and up. And that may or may not include extras, like stump removal or special hazards like dealing with power lines.

So, tree removal is not cheap, but there are good reasons why. Pricing for this service is anything but universal, and you’re likely to get different quotes from equally qualified bidders.

Tree trimming at an office building in Malaysia.
Tree trimming at an office building in Malaysia.
Tree trimming at a parking lot in Malaysia.
Tree trimming at a parking lot in Malaysia.

Why tree removal costs so much

The high cost of tree removal reflects the many hazards of the job (and related insurance costs), the specialized skills and equipment required and the sheer labor of the project.

If you’ve ever pruned a small tree before, you will know how much work that little trim & debris cleanup can take. Imagine how long it takes to chop up and get rid of an entire tree by yourself — and that’s on top of all the heavy and hazardous work that comes first.

Most people should not even begin considering taking such a job by themselves. We know this — just as plumbers know how much people dislike cleaning out their own sewer lines — and we charge accordingly. However, tree removal is not for the faint hearted. It’s an extremely dangerous work, and if you don’t know what you’re doing (and who does?) and don’t have the right equipment, you might easily get hurt during the process.

Sure, even RM 1,000 is a lot to spend on an old dead tree, but if that tree fell on your house (or on your neighbor’s house, or on you), it would cost a great lot more.

How much should I budget for this?

As a home or business owner, it’s very difficult to estimate how much it might cost to remove a tree based on averaged costs, because there are many factors that can impact the price of each job.

Usually, we look at a couple of variables, mainly the size, location and condition of the tree. Naturally, bigger trees cost more than smaller trees to remove.

If the tree is easily accessible and has plenty of room around it for dropping limbs and dealing with debris, the job will cost less than if the tree is in a tight spot in the back corner of your lot. The condition of the tree can affect the safety of the work: Climbing and cutting down a live, healthy tree is safer than performing the same work on a diseased, damaged or dead tree, so the former is usually less expensive. In some instances, a very robust tree might cost more because of its strength and weight.

What’s the base cost?

That said, the cost to remove a mature tree typically ranges from about MYR 1,000 to MYR 2,500. This should be considered a base price. Many additional factors can increase (or sometimes decrease) the base cost:

  • Hazards: Trees near power lines require special care and may require the involvement of the utility company. Trees near buildings or limbs hanging over streets require additional precautions and often more workers.
  • Obstacles: Trees that have grown into fences or other structures can be more difficult and costly to remove.
  • Access: If a tree can be reached only by climbers with ropes, it may cost more to remove than if the tree is in a front yard near the street or a driveway that allows easy access with a bucket lift and other equipment. Hauling out debris from a remote location also adds to the cost.
  • Emergencies: If you need the tree removed after a big storm or an emergency situation, expect to pay a premium.
  • Extras: Many tree companies price debris removal separately from the cutting down of the tree. You may pay extra to have the limbs and trunk removed or cut up once they’re on the ground. Stump removal will be cost extra.

How to save money on tree removal

While you should rule out going with a crazy-low bid as a cost-saving measure, there are some legitimate ways to reduce the cost of the project:

  • Leave the stump or grind it yourself. To save money, leave the stump in place, and go with the DIY approach.
  • Tackle the debris yourself. This might not be feasible for most cases, but if you’re willing to dispose of the branches and limbs yourself, you may be able to negotiate for a lower price. Remember, it’s not easy work and don’t forget about the amount of labor involved.
  • Keep the wood for firewood. Some companies charge extra to take away the bulk of the solid wood. If you’re able to cut it up, split it and store it for firewood, you can save on the tree removal and get some free firewood at the same time.
  • Get bids from small contractors. There’s a reason why we charge what we charge. If you don’t mind risking your properties, or if you deem the risk is not so huge, go with smaller contractors; one climber and one ground crew is sufficient for a small job. Just keep in mind that you will be on your own if something does go wrong.
  • Ask about group discounts. We can give discounts for jobs removing multiple trees, since we’ve already allocated the team on site. Service all of them at the same time and get additional discount.

I still have more questions!

We have only covered the most frequently asked questions for tree cutting and tree removal in this article. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us. Our team will be more than happy to help.

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