Tree felling costs do vary greatly depending on a large variety of factors. Prices range from $200 to $3000.

Below are a few factors that determine the price.

  • Tree height
  • Trunk girth
  • Felling difficulty
  • What is to be done with the waste?

Small tree felling -1 – 1.5 stories high.

Prices start at $150 and would go right up to $850. The price difference would be determined by how much room there is to work and whether the tree stays on-site.

Medium tree felling – 1.5 – 3 stories high.

You can expect to pay $600 – $1250. If the tree can be felled in one go, it is going to cost you a lot less than a tree that needs to be scaled and taken down piece by piece.

Large tree felling – 3 Stories + high

Prices would start at $900 and go up to $1800 when it comes to felling large trees. No matter how much room the tree feller has to work, the tree will still need to be scaled to tie off a high point to help pull it over. Then once on the ground, there is more work to cut it up.

Extra Large tree felling – 4 stories +

The price for extra-large trees varies wildly depending on obvious size and room to work. You are best getting a price from your local tree feller as anything I can give you would not take in all the factors pertaining to your particular tree.

Difference between tree felling and tree removal

One of the biggest things we need to clear up when considering the price for tree felling is what it actually involves. There are so many terms used these days for tree removal that some people get confused.

Some common terms that refer to the felling of trees

  • Tree felling
  • Tree logging
  • Tree removal
  • Tree cutting
  • Tree lopping
  • Tree clearing
  • Land clearing
  • Stump removal

…. and the list goes on

What is tree felling exactly?

Technically tree felling is the cutting of a tree from its base in a controlled way.

The normal environment for this would be on a farm or in the forest. By definition, you cannot fall a tree in suburbia surrounded by houses unless you have ample room to work.

As this term is adapted from older times people still use it to refer to urban tree removal.

tree felling in forest

DIY tree felling to save money

I often get asked by the novice gardener if they should attempt tree felling on their own. It’s a bit like asking a plumber if you should try to hook up your house to the gas mains on your own.

There are so many hidden dangers that you just would not consider if you do not have the experience, tools or know-how to complete the job in a safe manner.

In some cases, it is possible to do it yourself. I only advise this when the tree is smaller than 5 meters or 1 story high. Anything larger than this and you start to run into problems.

As the saying goes, the bigger they are the harder they fall.

And in the case of trees 6-10 meters tall, they really do come crashing down.

How to fell a tree

Step 1 – Safety

Before you begin you need to make sure you have all your personal protective wear in order. This includes chainsaw pants or chaps, helmet, eyewear and ear protection.

You should also do the basics on chainsaw safety and its safe and correct use.

PPE work safety tree work

Step 2 – Assessing the fell zone

An important aspect of tree felling is knowing how to read a tree. You need to look at the tree from all angles and determine where the weight is and where it naturally wants to fall.

Remember you cannot right gravity. It a tree is dead straight you can fell it in any direction. But depending on the size of a tree if it is leaning in one direction you can on fell it in that general direction. You can change its angle by up to 30 degrease, but that is it.

Step 3 – Making the wedge cut

This involves taking a wedge-shaped chunk out of the side of the tree in the direction you want it to fall. There are 2 cuts to the wedge;

Cut 1 – The lateral cut
This is made at a comfortable height usually about 1 meter from the ground. You are to cut in 1/3 of the tree’s diameter.

Cut 2 – The wedge gut
This is made on a 45-degree angle and matches up with the first lateral cut

cutting method for tree felling

Step 4 – Tie off a high point

Once you start making your back cut, you will need to nudge the tree in the right direction for the hinge wood to begin working. This is best done with a rope tied off as high up the tree as possible.

Step 5 – The back cut

This is the final part of felling the tree. As you begin on the back cut, make sure it is above the initial lateral cut so the hinge woodworks. Never cut all the way through as the tree can fall in any direction.

The rope you tied off to the top of the tree needs to be pulled on at a constant rate by an assistant while the back cut is being performed.

Note: I do not recommend you carry this out yourself on a tree any larger than 5m

Is it worth the saving?

Again we are talking a tree that is about 5m or less. You will find prices will start from about $500 including hauling it away clean.

Now of course this will depend on the tree. Something like a Canary Island date palm with a trunk up to a meter in diameter is going to cost you quite a bit more by for a run of the mill tree in the front yard, again prices would start at about $500.

Hiring a professional tree feller

Again we are talking a tree that is about 5m or less. You will find prices will start from about $500 including hauling it away clean.

Now of course this will depend on the tree. Something like a Canary Island date palm with a trunk up to a meter in diameter is going to cost you quite a bit more by for a run of the mill tree in the front yard, again prices would start at about $500.

Get a gardener for bigger savings

Most tree felling services are equipped to prune and fell large trees up to 50 meters tall. A lot of them don’t really bother with smaller jobs, and if they do, they will probably charge you a lot more than a regular garden maintenance crew.

The reason?

They tend to have a lot of bigger overheads. Their heavy equipment, truck, chipper, insurance, ground crew… it all adds up.

A local lawn mowing guy with his off-sider is likely to charge you about half for the same job.


Do it yourself if you think you can manage, but if not get in a professional tree feller for trees larger than 5m. For anything smaller you should get a local garden maintenance/ lawn mowing crew in as they will be cheapest.

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Author: Ben McInerney is a qualified arborist with over 15 years of industry experience. He uses his in-depth knowledge of the tree service industry to give readers to most accurate information on tree service costs and helps to educate them about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.