Cost guides, Lawn & Garden, tree removal

How much does tree & stump removal cost in the UK?

The cost associated with removing or trimming a tree varies grealty depending on a lot of factors mostly associated with the tree height, location, size and level of access.
tree stump removal cost

How much does tree stump removal cost? Since trees or shrubs can be of different species, stump grinding and tree stump removal cost can vary, as the roots may be quite hard to pull, have difficult branch patterns to cut, or have more undergrowth to cut. However, a professional tree surgeon will provide you with a quote according to what he sees.

Presence of power lines

If electric wires seem to be present in close proximity of the tree, the charges will be definitely higher. Trees near power lines demand special safety arrangements. There is the obvious risk of injury, and additionally, the company must make sure that none of the branches falls over the wires by using ropes to eliminate the branches carefully. This strategy requires plenty of time and effort, and so the charges are high.

Strategy toward felled wood

If a job is relatively large, there will be a huge amount of felled wood. However, in case the job is small, the cost will be very low. Therefore, you may ask the tree removal service your hire to include the expense of hauling away the felled wood with the final cost if the job is small. But, if the job is big enough, and you want the felled wood as firewood, you may ask the agency to include splitting or cutting costs as you will most likely not cut the woods yourself.

Stump grinding options

You can either ask for simple grinding of the stump, or you may want it removed completely. The latter costs a lot as there is no guarantee regarding how complex the root system actually is! The size of the system plays a tremendous role too. Also, it requires much more time than grinding. As grinding of a dead tree stump is quite a simple task to perform, you can pay a straight hourly rate. However, with complete removal, the pricing will probably differ.

Tree stump removal & grinding

Have a chat with your tree surgeon regarding the expenses involved in removing or grinding dead tree stump from the yard. However, grinding the stump down is quite an easy task and will be quoted at an hourly basis.

Tree stump removal cost

In case you wish to remove the stump completely, then you can expect a higher cost. Since one can never know how complicated a tree’s root system until and unless the stump is excavated, it might take more time. The average cost of tree stump removal in the UK ranges from £50 to £300 per stump.

Tree stump grinding cost

If you do not want the stump to be removed completely, you must consider either grinding it or leaving it. A tree stump grinding professional will use a chainsaw to cut down the stump and a motorised machine to grind it away. The minimum charge is around £60 per hour for a tree stump no larger than 15 inches in diameter.

Removing Tree Stumps (up to 5 inches in diameter)

For getting rid of the tree stumps in a garden; you could either try it yourself or get help from a professional tree stump removal professional/company. Another option is to let it remain. What to choose depends entirely on you.

Tree Stump Location

tree stump removal costNot only is a tree stump disagreeable to look at its location can also be quite inconvenient. It can get in the way for many activities on the lawn, which means that the perfect alternative is to get rid of it.

Also, if a tree stump is located in proximity to a building or a fence, it could be a problem if the root system is extensive. Under such circumstances, the best option is to get in touch with a local tree surgeon.

Type of tree stump

If a tree stump is left unattended, it can give rise to a plethora of root diseases; the most common one is known as honey fungus. Honey fungus can be quite dangerous as it utilizes the stump as a source of food and then it attacks the other plants and vegetation in proximity.

Honey fungus

Trees prone to honey fungus are apple tree; cedars; birch; cherries (flowering); eucalyptus; cypresses; leylandii; monkey puzzle; lilac; privet; wellingtonia; walnut; willow.

Trees that are resistant towards honey fungus are ash; box elder; bamboos; beech; Californian black walnut; cherry laurel; false acacia; hornbeam; grand fir; junipers; noble fir; larch; oaks; yew; whitebeam.

A few tree removal companies amplify the hazard of honey fungus to intimidate the customers and making them immediately want to get rid of stumps. In reality, if the tree has a honey fungus it will be a herculean task to get rid of it and in fact, if it’s in the ground, it’ll remain in the ground even after stump removal.

If the stump is removed it will browbeat the source of energy and food of the fungus. Also, the honey fungus usually only targets and attacks the weaker plants in proximity.

Tree stump’s size

Further, Scott says that in case of a relatively smaller tree stump which is up to 5 inches in diameter, you could attempt to dig it which is the most efficient method to get rid of it. This will not only completely remove the stump but also root system, resulting in a place where you can regrow vegetation and plants instantly.

Use a mattock. It looks like a pickaxe, but it has a flat blade on one side. These can be purchased from a DIY store for just £10-£25, depending on your needs.

He also suggests that the stump should be kept at a height of around 4 feet, giving you the much-needed leverage. You should also cut first from the surface and then the roots.

Large tree removal cost

A stump that you might spend all weekend trying to remove unsuccessfully can be ground in 10 minutes by a professional.

In this case, it is most advisable to get in touch with a professional tree surgeon. More often than not customers need help because it is not child’s play and it is particularly difficult for them to do it. Even if the stump has a width of as much as 1 foot below the ground, it can be quite a task because of the root system.

The remains including woodchips stay around in the garden and can be used. More often than not, stump grinders would take woodchips away for an extra fee with little or no harm to the ground.

Small tree removal cost

In case of a relatively smaller tree stump which is up to 5 inches in diameter, you could attempt to dig it which is the most efficient method to get rid of it. This will not only completely remove the stump but also root system, resulting in a place where you can regrow vegetation and plants instantly

Stumps should be kept at a height of around 4 feet, giving you the much-needed leverage. You should also cut first from the surface and then the roots.

Tree stump removal myths

tree-stump-removalIf you look online for different methods or techniques for the removal of tree stumps, you will come across certain suggestions which are either senseless or extremely risky. With a detailed study, Scott enlists the various myths related to tree removal:

1. Paint-on chemicals for making the stump rot quickly

One of the myths include a chemical which ought to be painted on a tree stump to quicken the procedure of rotting, however, this product is non-existent.

2. Nitrate fertilizer for making the stump rot quite fast

Scott says that if holes are drilled in a stump and permeated with nitrate fertilizers it may reduce the long procedure by about a year.

3. Burning stump with kerosene

Another myth as pointed by Scott includes an attempt to burn the stump which leads to the stump becoming hard and dry. It is quite a herculean task and relatively more complicated for an expert to remove a seasoned (hard and dry) stump by grinding. Although the internet is quite in favour of burning the stump using kerosene, it should ideally be avoided because it is unsafe as well as ineffective.

4. Using chainsaw on roots

Usually what people do is try to dig and excavate around the tree stump and further attempt to cut through the roots by a chainsaw. What happens is that the blade of the chainsaw becomes blunt eventually because it is not crafted to cut through the hard roots.

Should You Remove that Tree: Questions to Ask Yourself

tree removal questionsWhenever a tree seems to have developed certain problems or diseases, the crucial question raised is how to proceed with the whole thing! The truth is, trees not only raise property value and beauty but also prevent soil erosion and climate roughness. In fact, whether to remove an infected tree at all is a big question mark in most people’s brain. The thing is, if a dead tree does not provide a threat of falling, one may keep it. Frequent watering and removal of infected parts can do wonders for many years.

However, one needs to carefully assess all the pros and cons before taking a firm decision. For instance, if financial stability is not an issue and an owner wishes to have a tree in compound even after it has developed certain infection or condition, it can be done. In fact, by removing or cutting dead portions of a tree, it can be maintained for years to come. However, such an attempt is not only expensive, but also quite bold, as many neighbours tend to freak out fearing that the particular tree may end up falling in their compound. Also, have in mind that most old dead trees provide shelter and meet the food requirements of many woodpecker species.

In a circumstance where you have to take measures regarding an infected tree, remember to take the help of a professional, as such jobs are little complex as well as unsafe for an average person. Be sure to go for an Arborist who is insured as well as certified rightly by the state and holds a proper license.

Before taking a decision, ask yourself the following questions:

Is the tree species truly desirable?

Issues such as frequent wood damage, the release of huge amounts of debris on a regular basis, a quite frequent occurrence of infections or diseases, undesirable roots that affect pavements or lawns etc. are indications that the tree may not be worth keeping. Moreover, certain species such as catalpasilver maple, black locust, mulberry, Siberian elm, empress tree, willows, Bradford pear, mimosa etc. are not truly desirable species.

What is the health condition of the tree?

Most trees that are affected by herbicides can recover despite having ill-shaped leaves for certain periods. However, in case a tree seems to be damaged too much, more or less 50 per cent, it is best to remove it from the compound. Most trees that develop serious illnesses or diseases have the ability to survive for a number of years to come; however, the look and growth of such trees are often noticeably abnormal or limited.

Is trunk damage an issue at hand?

If the primary trunk appears to have serious damage, the logical option is removal. On the other hand, in case the circumference damage seems to be less than 25 per cent, you may assume with certain accuracy that the tree will survive with no permanent damage. Normally, signs of internal decay include seams, vertical cracks, old large wounds and dead branch stubs.

How hollow is a particular tree?

A tree can survive quite well with hollow trunk since phloem and xylem, the main tissues of a tree, are located toward the outer part of a tree. However, in case the tree has one-third of its interior portion rotten or hollow, it is very important to get rid of it immediately as such condition may prove to be dangerous owing to the weakness of the trunk.

Do huge dead branches exist?

Trees that are big in size having limb damage or top breakage can be quite dangerous for people as well as properties. Although trees witnessing less than 25 per cent damage has a very high chance of survival, any rubbing or crossed branches are required to be removed with care. Narrow angles of branches, particularly those associated with the primary trunk, tend to split often, and therefore, need correction.

Note that this process works best when it comes to young trees. In case the branches seem too large or complex to remove, the cable can be made use of in order to associate the two branches in such a way that any stress is eliminated, removing the chance of breakage. Note that professional help is suggested.

Are the dead branches on a single side?

A tree that is lopsided due to the existence of one-sided dead branches can be very hazardous. Normally, root damage or trunk-related damage on that particular tree side is the cause behind this. Such a kind of situation is to be inspected by a qualified professional.

Are sprouts prevalent from the tree base or epicormic shoots?

This type of damage is normally suffered by trees which had recent soil complication, new house construction damage, or over-exposure of sunlight owing to thinning of forest. Sprouts are normal signs of stress, and trees suffering from sprouts need to be checked by experts.

Is trunk rot or fungi growth close to the tree base relevant?

Although most mushrooms seen near the tree base are harmless and do not trigger tree infections or diseases, the growth of fungi on a certain tree suggests internal rotting.

Can excavation leading to root damage be an issue?

In case more than half of the root system seems rotten or damaged, the tree needs to be eliminated.

Is there sudden leaning?

A straight tree is not truly dangerous in most cases, however, if a tree is noticed to be more than 15 per cent leaning from its vertical position, there is likely to be root damage or root breakage. In this case, immediate removal is the most common solution.

Do power lines exist above the tree?

Trees located under power lines are best at a height which is less than 25 feet. In case a tree is exceeding that height, it may be time to take some measures. With very high trees near power lines, there is a chance of human or property damage during wet weather conditions. Power failure is common too. Keep in mind that removing tree limbs close to power lines must never ever be performed by a general person because, in case of any kind of injury, the consequences can be devastating. Always, whatever the situation is, go for a professional who deals with dangerous situations.

Is the associated tree history good enough?

Jobs such as pruning or outdated topping may lead to damages many years later. For instance, the later job normally results in re-growth breakage. Also, there must be maintained soil level, because generally, soil level increase of more than 3 inches above the root system forces a tree to give up. At times, the environment plays a crucial part too. For instance, a tree near a water body or rock ledge may have a shallow or inferior root system, and hence, may require to be removed. Sudden fierce sun exposure can lead to tree death as well. Additionally, construction work causes many trees to die within 3 to 5 years, as there are grade changes and soil compaction.

Is the tree location spacious?

When it comes to a forest, trees can grow very well in a fully natural environment, even when growing

quite close to each other. However, it is not the best idea to plant a huge tree right next to your house wall. At least allow 20 feet distance from the house and the tree if the species is big, and allow nearly 6 feet separation in case the tree species is small.

Is the tree special in some way?

Are there sentimental occasions attached to the particular tree? Are there special moments or memories you share with it? If so, it may be wise emotionally to embrace some expenses in order to keep it alive longer. In case it is simply taking space, or is hampering growth potential of nearby trees or blocking a potentially good sight or view, it is best to have it removed.

In case there exist many unanswered questions, or you want a tree evaluated, be sure to consult a good arborist. You can find certified arborists using the International Society of Arboriculture. You can discuss health and safety issues too with professionals.

How To Remove A Tree Stump

STEP 1: Drill Holes in the Stump

Cut the top of the stump off and drill one-inch holes around the perimeter of the stump using 1-in. spade bit with a spade but extension. Make the holes have a depth of 12 inches and at a distance of 3 to 4 inches away from the edge. Drill more connecting holes of 3 to 4 inches so that they can serve as vent holes to assist the rotting process and for burning.

STEP 2: Pour chemicals used for removing tree stumps into the holes and fill the holes with water. This takes about a month and a half.

Another way to remove a stump is to rent a power stump grinder or simply buy a tree stump remover which is available at home or garden centres. Tree stump removal chemicals are usually made from potassium nitrate, which makes the stump rot faster. Pour the chemical granules into the holes that you have drilled around the stump and pour water into the holes. After a month or six weeks, the stump gets spongy, and then you can use an axe to break the rotten wood. Ensure you keep children and pets away.

If you do not want to subject yourself to any form of labour during a tree stump removal, you can burn whatever is left of the stump by pouring fuel oil or kerosene into the holes. Do not use gasoline. Allow the liquid to penetrate the wood first and then throw a lighted matchstick into the hole (the whole process could take several weeks). For some days the stump removal will smoulder and what will be life is a hole filled with charcoal. Do not leave a big smouldering ember in your yard. Use chicken wire to wrap the stump and remove any leaves around the stump before you light it. You should also monitor it closely while burning. Use an axe to finish the job. Tree stump removal is only recommended for stumps that are old and have spent more than a year dead.

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Choosing a stump grinding professional

With the absence of a certified national level association for stump grinders, most are registered with the Arboricultural Association.

You need to keep in mind here that non-Arboricultural Association stump grinding professionals must not be discarded instantly because many small scale organizations cannot live up to the escalating costs of such membership.

A good stump grinder would ask questions about the following:

    •  The type of tree
    •  The diameter of the stump
    •  Whether the stump is of ground level
    •  Is the stump next to a building?
    •  Is there space around the stump?
    •  What is the reason for stump removal?
    •  What is planned for the region once the stump is removed?
    •  Is there access for the machinery?

Usually, stump grinders may come up with an approximate consensus and cost over the phone whereas a few would pick a tour of the premises for assessing the stump properly before they can come up with an estimate.

An expert who says he will use poison or dig the stump out by hand should be discarded.

Never pay upfront to those professionals who will apply a chemical for making the stump rot away in a matter of few months. Last but not least, check for insurance!


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