tree care services

How Do I Get Rid of Trees for Free?

We all know that trees are amazing, but sometimes we need to get rid of them. There are a few ways you can do this – some involve hiring an expensive company, and others require more work on your behalf. 

We’re going to talk about the latter option in this blog post! The first step is to find a tree removal service so they can come out and remove the tree for you. If there’s no one nearby, you’ll need to rent or buy a chainsaw and other tools necessary for cutting down the tree yourself. Be sure not to cut too close to power lines or overhanging branches because these could cause dangerous situations after removing the tree! 

You may be wondering how to get rid of trees for free. You can go about this in multiple ways, such as by hiring a professional tree removal service or just doing it yourself with some heavy-duty equipment. 

Not only does money not grow on trees, they can end up costing you quite a bit if they need to be removed from your property by a professional.

That said, the cost of not removing a problem tree could also be significant. For example, if it falls down of its own accord or with the help of a storm, this could end up costing you more than it would have to remove it proactively. 

There are lots of variables, risks and intricate factors to consider when it comes to the cost of tree removal, and if you’re currently struggling to see the wood for the trees, we’ve rounded up some of the main points to help you understand your options.

How much does it cost to remove a tree?

The national average cost of removing a tree in Australia in 2019 is currently about $871, according to GoTreeQuotes, a service that lists local arborists. However, it says that the prices range for individual jobs can vary wildly – from $350 to $4,500 – depending on the circumstances.

Eddie Jenner, an arborist at Australian Tree Specialists, told Canstar that the location of the tree on your property is a key factor in determining the cost of removing it.

“If the tree is growing over something like a shed or over the back of the house, or if it’s close to service wires, that all contribute to the cost because it takes longer to come down,” he said.

“It pretty much all comes down to time, so for example, a tree in the front yard will take less time to remove because there’s less dragging involved. The closer the vehicle and the machinery can get to the tree, the cheaper the job is, generally speaking.”

As an example of potential cost, Mr Jenner said that in his experience, a 25-foot (7.6 metres) tree with a one foot (30 centimetres) diameter at the base would cost approximately $750 – $1,000 to remove, but in some metropolitan areas, the cost could be higher. He said that homeowners removing multiple trees could potentially save on the removal cost per tree.

However, he warned of the possible risks of some other cost-cutting measures, like making a headstart on the work yourself to save the arborist’s time. Initially, removing the lower branches could make it harder for the professionals to do work higher up the tree, for example.

When it comes to some of the other factors that could affect the cost of having a tree removed, GoTreeQuotes suggests they could include:

  • Tree species: Expect to pay more for trees with lots of large branches, such as gum trees.
  • Tree weight: Heavier timbers are generally more labour intensive, and therefore pricier, to remove.
  • Accessibility: Generally speaking, the easier it is for the arborist or other professional to reach the tree, the faster they can remove it.
  • Dangers involved: If the tree is structurally unsound or near power lines, you may face a larger bill.
  • The provider you choose: Depending on the tree and the difficulty involved, a gardening company may be able to assist you with the job. For larger jobs, the services of a professional tree-feller may be required. For even more complex cases, you may need to consult with an arborist for their assessment. The cost of each provider could well be different.

What Are The Options To Finance Tree Removal?

How the job is financed may depend on how much it costs. There are several options available to consider, including:

  • Personal loan: Depending on your personal circumstances and the cost of the job, you may be able to consider using a personal loan to fund the work. This could be a secured loan or an unsecured loan. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that interest rates are generally higher for personal loans than for home loans, and it’s a good idea to read the lender’s terms and conditions first. 
  • Credit card: It may also be possible to pay for the job on a credit card, depending on the cost and your ability to repay the debt quickly. There could be some fringe benefits for doing so, such as extra insurance cover in some cases (read the card’s Product Disclosure Statement to find out the conditions of the cover). However, keep in mind that credit card interest rates are typically much higher than home or personal loans, and interest can quickly accumulate on large balances, so it is a good idea to weigh up your options and consider them carefully. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off the card’s balance in full each month, it may be worth re-considering whether a credit card is the right option for you. 

How Much Does It Cost To Dispose Of A Tree?

How much would a woodchuck cost? Well, the good news is that the cost of disposing of a tree is usually included in the cost of its removal, but consider clarifying this upfront with whoever is cutting down the tree. Otherwise, you may need to consider the cost of transporting the tree, plus your local council’s waste charges if applicable.

An alternative could be to keep some or all of the wood and use it as fuel for your fire pit or fireplace, if you have one, provided you have space to store the wood while it dries out.

Depending on how the tree came down, you can also consider checking your home insurance policy if you have cover in place. For example, some policies may cover the removal of ‘debris’ caused by storms or other insured events. However, if a tree falls on your property but doesn’t cause any damage, it’s unlikely your insurer would cover the cost of removing it, nor would they cover the cost of removing a tree you have had cut down.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Tree Stump?


Because of the lower level of difficulty and potential danger that’s typically involved in removing a tree stump, it can often be quite a bit cheaper than getting rid of a full tree. Mr Jenner estimates the average cost to be around $150, but again this could vary depending on the situation.

Diy Tree Removal – Is It A Good Idea?

Depending on the size of the tree and where it’s located, it may be possible to remove it yourself using equipment such as a manual saw or chainsaw and the appropriate safety gear like gloves and eye protection, etc. 

However, there can be risks associated with DIY tree removal. For example, according to Safe Work Australia, chainsaws are “potentially dangerous” and “can cause fatal or major injuries especially if used by untrained workers”. Even if you are trained to use the necessary equipment, there are also the potential dangers that could be posed by a branch or the main trunk of a tree falling. For example, it could hit a power line or fall on someone or something – a shed or carport, for example – either on or outside of your property.

If you have home insurance, then depending on your policy, it may cover you for damage caused to your property by a tree or branch that falls as a result of a storm. But you may not be covered if the damage is caused by an intentional tree-felling job gone wrong.

Because of the risks and difficulties that can be involved in removing a tree, some people choose to seek out the services of professional tree specialists.

Do You Need A Permit To Remove A Tree?

The regulations around tree removal and whether permits are required can vary from state to state and even council to council. So it may be worthwhile contacting your local council to check on the regulations in your area before you commence any tree removal work.

In some cases, councils can impose large fines on homeowners who remove trees without a permit. For example, a Sydney woman received a fine of $83,000 for cutting down two native trees on her neighbour’s property without council permission in a well-publicised case in 2018.

Generally speaking, these are some of the factors which may determine whether or not you would need a permit to remove a tree, according to Queensland-based tree removalists Australian Arborists:

  • Tree size: If the tree’s trunk is below a certain circumference or its height is under a certain level, you may not need a permit to remove it.
  • Species of tree: For example, you may need a permit to remove a native tree in many cases.
  • Distance from the house: If the tree is situated within a certain distance of your house, you may be able to remove it without a permit. This exemption can be particularly common in bushfire-prone areas.

Remember, though, it’s important to check for the specific regulations that apply in your area.

Do You Really Need To Remove The Tree?

One of the most effective ways of keeping down the cost of tree removal could be to leave the tree where it is if that’s an option. In some situations, simply tidying up some of its branches – a process sometimes referred to as tree lopping – can make a tree less prone to leave a mess and obstruct views.

Mr Jenner suggests speaking to an expert for advice before committing to removing a tree altogether.

“I’ve talked people out of removing beautiful big old maple trees by suggesting corrective pruning instead,” he said. 

“By reducing the tree’s canopy, we can reduce the mess it creates and take it off the roofline, so it’s less of a risk to the house.”

Get Free Tree Removal & Cash

Getting a tree removed free of charge is possible but in rare cases. Most of the time, you will need to pay for your tree to be removed.

Palm trees are an exception. If you have a sort after palm species, companies will actually pay you to come and remove it.

Trees Removed In Exchange For Firewood

Getting a tree removed for nothing is very rare but is possible if you have a desirable tree like some pine trees or palms. Regular tree services will not remove the tree for the firewood. It is not worth their time.

They would need a property to store timber for trees for 2 years to dry it, then they need to split the timber and deliver it for a fee. Firewood, along with garden mulch, is a side business for tree companies, and to be fair, this costs them money, so their margins are minimal.

If you would like a tree company to get rid of a pine tree for free, but you don’t live in a zip code that has any landscaping service nearby, you can try to negotiate a reduced rate for the lumber for milling for firewood.

Do Lumber Companies Cut Down Trees For Free?

In short, Lumber companies get contracted by the owner of a tree/ timber plantation to cut the trees down for a price.

After the owner of the trees pays for the lumber company for processing the timber, they make a profit by selling the timber to other companies who turn it into furniture, floorboards, and other timber products.

What Could Work?

If you were to find a local lumber company that was interested enough in your trees for its timber, then it is feasible that they would come out and remove them in exchange for the timber.

The catch is that you would need to live on a largish property with god access, and the timber could be desirable.

Some Landscapers Buy Mature Trees

If you have a great-looking tree that you feel would be a shame to cut up and remove, there are companies out there that will buy them and use for landscaping projects.

There is no point in me listing any here as you will need to get in touch with one local to you, but if you have a tree that looks like it can be dug up and hauled away on a truck and it is a desirable tree, then it is worth a phone call.

Remove Trees Free – Seniors Assistance

Like the above example, tree companies can certainly give a discount for seniors, but you will not be able to get it removed for free.

It costs a tree company $500 – $1000 per day in expenses to run with labor, equipment, fuel, insurance, etc., so they will need to cover costs and make a living on top of that.

Are their grants for getting rid of trees?

It will depend on your city and state. Some grants are available, but they are more closely linked to farming and helping with expenses than the home suburban residents.

Will The City Cut Down My Trees Free?


If the tree is on the cities land, they will get rid of the tree at no cost to you if it is causing issues to your home. However, trees that are on your property will need to be removed and paid for by the resident.

In cases where one tree is on the cities property and hanging over your property line, you can report this, and they will come and remove the offending branches at their own expense.

So How to Remove Trees for Free

Although trees are planted for their beauty and environmental benefits, sometimes a good tree can go bad and needs to be removed. Unfortunately, it has to go, whether it is a pine damaging the sewer lines, a maple that has died, or an oak damaging the sidewalk. 

Tree removal can be costly, sometimes several thousand dollars or more, but there are sometimes ways to remove them for free, depending on the tree and the situation.

Step 1

Check to see if your trees are part of a city, state or federal program. In addition, many areas have received grants to plant and maintain trees as part of ongoing efforts to promote natural beautification and air quality programs. Check with your local cooperative extension office to learn about such programs in your area. 

You also can ask at city hall or at a forest service office that covers your area. If the trees are near the street, it is likely that the city owns them and will remove them at no charge if necessary.

Step 2

Post ads, either in stores, laundromats or online bulletin boards, advertising-free wood for anyone willing to cut it up and haul it away. Many people heat all or part of their homes with wood, and these people are often glad to get free wood in exchange for their efforts.

Step 3

Call the power company to remove any unwanted trees that are near power lines. Most such companies have contracts with tree specialists in the areas they serve. If there is a chance that your trees are or will become problem trees, the power company will often remove them for you at no charge.

Step 4

Cut down the trees yourself. Then, you can either use the wood in your own home or you can sell it. Using this method not only removes the trees for free but actually pays you to do so. In addition, you can barter with someone if you need help, trading some of the wood for assistance cutting, splitting and hauling.

Step 5

Contact a reputable logging company about cutting and removing your trees. Many small companies will do this for no charge, provided there are enough trees – usually 20 or more — to make it worth their while. 

Be sure you know what kind of trees you have and their value. In some cases, the logging company may not only remove your trees but will also pay you. Check with more than one company, ask at your county extension office and ask neighbours for recommendations before agreeing to anything.

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