Tree removal can be expensive. According to howmuchisit.org, typical tree removal costs can range from “$250 to as much as $15,000 a tree. A typical job at house is going to cost anywhere from $600 to $3,500.”
We’ve gotten quotes for tree removal in the past (we used to have about a dozen Italian Cypress trees in our backyard) and I do remember it being pricey. So when our poor pine tree suddenly keeled over…
we didn’t even bother getting a quote.
Instead, we marched on down to the Home Depot to check out prices on both renting and buying a chain saw. At about $50 to buy and $44 to rent for 4 hours, we were soon the proud owners of a small chainsaw, which my husband then put to use.
Our tree removal, step by step
After that, it was a matter of:
- Making sure we understood how the chain saw worked (plus a second trip back to buy some bar and chain oil for it, since it didn’t come with any)
- Making sure there was space in the yard for the tree to come down safely
- Cutting off the lower branches so they wouldn’t damage our cactus or house as the tree fell
- Using the chain saw to cut a wedge out of the trunk on the side where we wanted the tree to fall:
- Cutting most of the way straight-through on the opposite side of the tree trunk to meet the wedge
- Pushing on the trunk to get it to fall where we wanted it (and yelling “Timber!” because I’m a dork like that)
- Removing the rest of the branches and then cutting them and the trunk into 4 ft or smaller lengths for bulk pickup
- Making a little temporary fire pit around the stump, surrounding the stump with charcoal inside the pit, and burning it out:
- Covering up the spot where Mr. Tree used to be:
It did take us a few hours to get all that done (plus a day of having the stump smolder down to nothing while the neighbors stopped by to ask where the marshmallows and s’mores were) but it was kind of fun too. Of course, I’m sad that the tree died, but at least we saved money on its removal and got a chainsaw out of the deal. (Which I’m sure we’ll use again.)
Have you ever done a DIY tree removal? Was your process the same? Obviously we are not experts at this, so if you’re a potential tree-remover and reading this: beware and get professional advice — but that’s how our experience went.Posted in How to Save Money on 10.31.11 with 12 comments.