Saving Money on Tree Services - 15 Tips

We have done a lot of research into all the possible ways you can save money on your tree removal services, the following is a compiled list of our suggestions to help you make your tree maintenance more affordable and make it cheaper.

Some of our suggestions are more of a long-term strategy which is probably the correct way to approach tree maintenance costs but I realize some of our readers will want some short-term quick fixes to get a cheaper quote.   

We have done our best to include those, don't hesitate to let us know if you have any added suggestions.  Comment at the end of the article to let us know so we can share with our readers. 

All suggestions need to be kept in perspective and you may find some more practical than others depending on our needs and where you're located and how flexible your local experts are.

1. Get the job done off-season

will help you reduce the cost of tree removal, often companies in high season will be charging full rates and will be charging you per tree. In off-season it is possible to get a fixed cost of the total work when your tree removal company is in a go-slow period.

This may vary when that is depending on where you are living, but the most obvious time to avoid calling tree removal companies is during stormy and windy weather. There busy and you will pay high costs and will wait for the pleasure. if unsure, simply call a local removal company and ask when is there quiet season and you want to get a quote during this period.  If your local tree experts have a reasonably quiet off-season, some of them will have no problem considering this assuming you can wait.

2. Get more estimates 

This may seem obvious but often when faced with a potential high bill, after getting your first quote, with the price being received can leave some people a little overcome by the unanticipated cost, they forget to go out and get more prices, if you can get three to five quotes it will give you a much better perspective, however keep in mind lower costs do not equal cheaper work, often a lower bid can leave you hiring someone who costs you more, balance cost against the service and ask them how they are going to do the work, so you can establish how they are giving you cheaper cost against someone who is bidding for the work and giving you a quote that is double the cheaper one.  One way to ask for a cost breakdown will discuss this later as well.

3. Do the cleanup and cutting yourself 

If you can work it out with the tree company that you are willing to drop the tree for you and cut it into lengths.  You can do the cutting, chipping and blocking of firewood yourself, there may be ways to reduce the cost, you will have to check with each quote and some companies may not give you this option but worth checking.  Make sure you can do the limb cutting safety yourself. 

Don't risk this if you're not very competent with a chainsaw. If you have a member of the family that are competent, otherwise if it's cheaper to get a local person to do it against the cost of a professional, you could justify them to do the high-risk work to keep costs down.  Evaluate this and take no risks.

4. Check Craigslist for a Cheaper Quote 

You can often find someone on Craigslist to do it for cheaper for you but again like everything in life it comes with its own risk and you need to keep that in mind. Not recommended by us but an option if you're in a corner and you are aware of the risk.  You will definitely get cheaper quotes but you can expect the service to most likely not to match up to a local professional, weigh up the risk against damages etc.

5. Getting Regular Trimming and Maintenance Done 

I realise this may seem like an industry ploy to get you to hire tree experts every year because they say that it's important and how could you risk otherwise.  But it's not the case, we recommend this for many reasons and if you do the costs you will see that it makes sense. 

It also makes good sense as it reduces the risk of storms and high winds are often nature's way of cleaning up what needs to be brought down, weak and rotten trees will often only fall during bad weather often due to poor maintenance and lack of attention to their health.

Remember trees are continuously growing each year, regular trimming can reduce the risk of over-stretched limbs and weak trees. As well it increases the health and regular maintenance can strengthen their appearance re-enforcing better health so you have less damage during high winds. For regular trimming, Contact us here.

Regular maintenance also makes it financially more manageable to pay a tree expert annual maintenance fees as opposed to when a tree falls during a storm in a busy season, the cost will be far higher with the possibility of having home damage as well, I realize that this is unlikely but also possible.  



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6. Spread out your maintenance over the season

Break down the cost of your tree removal over the course of a season or even over a few seasons rather than in one swoop.  If you have trees that need urgent attention, best to deal with them first, simple branch removal may be enough in the short term to help in spreading the job out over time.

Urgent removal will always cost you more, however, if you can stagger it, pay for what is most urgent and talk to your local expert to see what they can do spread out the work on their quiet periods.


7. Get the estimate broken down into its relevant parts 

If you can get the estimate broken down into individual parts, it will give some opportunity to try and offset the cost of some of the quote such as getting the timber cut and chipped and brush. You may want to do some of this yourself.

At least you will be able to see if there is room to reduce costs.  You will also be able to see what part of the job is costing you more and compare this against other quotes to see how you can save, ask your expert if there is an alternative way to reducing the cost associated with specific parts, they may have other suggestions.  For example, some experts may use climbers rather than crane hire, in some cases you may need both but depend on your job.  Being as informed as you can cost you nothing and may even save you money. 

8. Get an Arborist Assessment 

Before getting any trees cut -Sometimes you can remove certain branches to stabilize the tree, and branches can also be cabled to reduce the chance of their breaking and falling. Trees can also be assessed to determine if their trunks are rotten and what condition they are in, this will give you a more expert view as to what actually needs to be done in relation to what you think needs to be done.

Arborists are experts in assessing the overall health and condition of your tree and they may have alternative advice that can reduce the cost of removal or save the tree.  Some tree removal experts may not have qualified arborists as part of their team.  If the health of the tree is in question, we recommend you get expert advice before deciding to remove it. 

9. Asking someone locally

Ask them to take the tree for firewood in exchange for cutting it for free – keep in mind this comes with its own risks, won't suit everyone but for smaller jobs that are low risk and if you can agree with a local or a neighbor an exchange of timer for cutting down of tree, great, but exercise this option with extreme caution, can go very wrong if not managed carefully.

We do not recommend this option but you can consider it and also consider the associated risk.


10. Ask if your tree expert has a payment plan? 

Check with the company giving you the quote, what is their payment options are, some of the large tree removal companies do provide some financing or payment over a course of time, if you have the option for this, it can reduce the pain of cost in the short-term.   Payment plans can help you get the job done all upfront and immediately but spread out the cost over the longer-term, most of the time, it's usually the larger companies offer payment plans but worth finding out.

Payment plans can help you get the job done all upfront and immediately but spread out the cost over the longer-term, most of the time, it's usually the larger companies offer payment plans but worth finding out.

11. Lift Truck or Climbers

Check if they are using a lift truck or climbers to do the job?  The use of a lift truck, it's far easier for a company and more efficient but it can be more expensive than using climbers, climbers can be a cheaper option some of the time, sometimes this may not reduce the cost, you will have to check with the company and your location and compare costs with individual quotes. if you check the breakdown of a quote, it may help you in assessing lift costs against the alternative (if that possible-sometimes it's not)

12. Flat fee estimate or Per hour estimate? 

Check with the estimator are they giving you an estimate on a flat fee basis or approximating it on a time basis. Sometimes it can be best to go for a flat fee option especially where jobs are complex and unpredictable.

13. Before buying a property

always check the trees and get a health check on them so you can take into consideration the long-term costs of maintaining them.  If you already renovating, maybe a good time to deal with them when you already have contractors on the site.

14. Do part of the job yourself and sell the firewood

Get a professional tree company to fall the tree and then you cut it up for firewood so you are gaining with the firewood or alternatively, sell the firewood locally to offset your falling costs.

15. Coming soon

Please keep in mind we always strive to help you keep your costs down but in no way advise or recommend any action that will risk health of your garden and trees, we only support fully qualified and specialized tree experts that have built up a credible reputation in your local community and come recommended within the tree service industry.

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