The 6 most frequently asked questions about tree removal

Cutting down a tree. Simple. Right? Wrong. Here are the 6 most frequently asked questions about tree removal to help keep you safe and also out of trouble.
1. Who can cut my tree?

If you’re capable of wielding a chainsaw you can do it yourself. However, there are dangers involved and proper tree cutting techniques to observe.

  • The best thing to do is to delegate the task to a skilled professional with experience. Why? A tree removal company will always have liability insurance.

2. When must a tree be cut down?

A tree should be cut down only if there is no other option. That means if it:

  • Dies
  • Becomes unsafe
  • Gets diseased or insect-infested
  • Blocks construction

3. How will the tree be cut?

Normally trees are cut down with a chainsaw.

  • The direction in which a tree falls is controlled by creating a directional notch. The direction is chosen to protect buildings, roads and nearby trees. When the job is done right, directional felling is reliable and safe.
  • If the tree is too large to be cut down without causing damage, it will require that it be cut piece by piece, starting at the top, until it can be safely removed.

4. How much does it cost?

Prices vary from region to region depending on the difficulty of the job.

  • Variables include the size of the tree, access to the property and whether it needs to be trimmed or pruned.
  • You have the option of cutting the tree into logs, hauling it away, or uprooting it completely.

According to these criteria, tree removal can end up costing $200, $500, $1,000, or even up to $3,000. Get several quotes, estimates and referrals before choosing the right company for the job.

5. What to do if there are power lines nearby

It is strongly recommended that you contact your electric utility company before cutting down a tree near a power line—especially if it threatens to topple the lines.

  • The power company may send its own experts to do the job. However, you’ll still be invoiced for the work.

6. Do I need a permit to cut down a tree?

More and more cities across Canada now require a tree-cutting permit. This is in order to avoid excessive and unnecessary clearing. The permit is usually free and will spare you from having to pay a hefty fine.

  • Special rules apply when removing a tree near a river or waterfront. Check with your municipality for guidelines.
  • Some cities require that you plant a new tree to replace the one you removed.

While in some instances cutting a tree can be a DIY job, it's always best left to an insured professional. If you're still set on doing the work yourself, learn as much as you can to anticipate any possible dangers or negative outcomes.

The 6 most frequently asked questions about tree removal
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