5 Things to Know About Tree Removal This Arbor Day

by Michael Franco
A person wearing yellow gloves and blue jeans uses a chainsaw to cut down a tree

Celebrated annually on the last Friday of April, Arbor Day is a national holiday meant to honor and recognize the importance of planting, protecting and conserving trees. Because trees are an integral part of our ecosystem — helping to shade our public spaces, offering food and shelter to wildlife and working to offset carbon dioxide — making sure we continue planting and caring for our trees is essential.

This May Also Interest You: Tree Topping: Why It’s Bad for Your Trees and What You Can Do Instead

That said, unfortunately, sometimes a tree simply needs to come down. Whether it’s due to age, disease or weather damage, if a tree on your property becomes a risk to your or your neighbor’s safety or a hazard to your home, it will likely need to be removed. So, how can you responsibly remove a tree in a way that is safe and affordable while minimizing your environmental impact?

Tree Removal Basics

If the bad news is that the tree has got to go, the good news is that there are ways to help make tree removal as eco-conscious of an act as possible. By going chemical-free with your stump removal, you can preserve some material for firewood, compost or mulch.

Can You Remove a Tree Yourself?

If you have a very small tree with limbs that can be cut without the use of a ladder and the tools needed to cut the trunk, then you could try cutting it yourself. But, depending on how long the tree has been planted and the extent of the root systems, tree stump removal can be tricky, labor-intensive work, even for small trees. Although there are chemical stump removers available to aid the decomposing process, most of these products are toxic and not environmentally friendly options, so forgo those if you’re trying to remove a tree in an eco-friendly fashion.

When Should I Call a Professional?

In almost all tree-removal situations, calling in a professional tree-cutting service is the wisest choice. Whether it’s a large tree, a dead or fallen tree, or a tree situated close to your home, tree removal service professionals can ensure your tree removal needs are dealt with safely and efficiently, using their expert knowledge and task-specific equipment. If you aren’t sure whether or not a tree poses a risk and needs to be removed, you can call a certified arborist in to give their expert opinion on the matter.

How Much Does It Generally Cost?

As you might expect, tree removal services vary quite a bit, with cost calculations depending largely on the height of the tree and width of the trunk. A tree-removal company may charge, on average, anywhere from $300 to $3,000 (CAD 400 to CAD 4,000), depending on size and situation. For emergency tree removal, expect to pay more, not only because the job is urgent, but also because emergency tree situations are often riskier. Other factors, like sloping yards, complex root systems, trees hovering close to power lines or any other situation that may complicate the removal, can also significantly inflate your tree-cutting costs.

More Related Articles:

What Does the Process Look Like?

Sometimes, trees can be cut down without trimming branches first, but oftentimes larger trees or trees close to other trees or buildings on the property will need to have their limbs trimmed first. Depending on the size of the tree, a pulley system or crane might be necessary to complete the work.

Do You Get to Keep the Firewood?

In most tree-removal situations, you’ll have the option of keeping some of the cut-up tree limb pieces for firewood. Sometimes sections of the trunk can be cut up for firewood as well. Let the tree professionals know if you want to keep these or if you’d prefer to have them hauled away. Smaller branches can be sent through a woodchipper and used for mulch. Wood chips are great to use around garden beds or around other trees and help keep the tree waste to a minimum. If you’re having the stump ground, ask to keep the mulch from that as well. Stump grinding makes great mulch, or it can be composted. It can also be pushed back into the hole to help fill the space where the tree was.

Responsible Tree Removal

Trees aren’t just beautiful additions to your property. They also provide shade, shelter, food, and carbon reduction, making them worthy of celebrating every day, not just on Arbor Day. Still, sometimes a tree needs to be removed, and knowing what to expect from tree service contractors can help you prepare to address the issue as responsibly as you can. By consulting an arborist and communicating your wants clearly with the tree-removal services, you can reduce your adverse impact on the planet. And, when the next Arbor Day rolls around, make sure to plant a tree (or two!) in your name to keep that goodness going.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.