The need for emergency tree removal typically comes about when a tree has fallen on a fence, house, car, or power lines and the tree poses an immediate danger to persons or property.

The cost of emergency tree removal ranges from $879 – $6,150. Typically you can expect to pay 2 x or 3 x the regular price of tree removal.

The cost of emergency tree removal can vary depending on how dangerous and time-consuming the job is and the time and day.

A Sunday night job at 10 p.m. to remove a tree that has fallen in a storm on your home will be expensive.

There are some clever ways to save though which are explored below.

Emergency fallen tree removal cost

On power lines$4,250$1,950$8,200
On a house$3,950$1,500$6,350
On a fence$1,875$1,290$3,290
In yard$1,320$950$2,500

11 Signs your tree needs emergency removal

There are lots of situations trees may need to be removed with haste. Emergency tree removal is generally more expensive than waiting for the tree service to book you in after other clients. Here are the 11 signs a tree needs emergency removal:

  • Leaning tree
  • Fallen tree
  • Close proximity to cables
  • Broken or shedding branches
  • Split tree trunk
  • Diseased or sick tree
  • Roots threatening structures
  • You’re selling your home
  • Storm or weather disaster
  • Cavities in the trunk
  • Root ball bulging

1. Leaning tree

If your tree develops lean in a short period, it could mean it is no longer structurally stable and may need removal. This can happen after a storm where the ground softens, and the roots shift in the soft ground. In some cases, the tree can be saved, but in most cases, it will need to be removed.

2. Fallen tree

If a tree has fallen across power lines, a home or any other structure, you may require emergency tree removal. If the position of the fallen tree is dangerous, it is best to first call emergency services before calling a local tree service. They can make the tree safe for further work.

3. Closer Proximity to Cables

If your tree is growing closer and closer to power lines, you may need to remove it. In most cases, you can trim the branches that are within an 8-foot range of the lines, but if the tree is leaning toward them, it may need to go.

4. Broken or shedding branches

Summer branch drop is a phenomenon where tree branches fall from a seemingly healthy tree without warning. This can be isolated or can occur more than once. This generally happens during a prolonged drought when trees don’t have the resources to sustain all branches. See advice from a certified arborist, but removal may be required.

5. Split tree trunk

A split tree trunk on a large tree after a storm is an indication emergency tree removal services are required. It is near impossible to save a tree with a slip trunk, and will more than likely lead to a full structural failure.

6. Diseased or sick tree

Sick and diseased trees may be impossible to save, and depending on the disease, you may need to remove the tree ASAP before the disease spreads to surrounding trees. Oak wilt is a great example of this.

7. Roots threatening structures

If it has been discovered that a tree is causing structural damage to a home or permanent structure, you will need emergency tree removal services to cut the tree down before it gets any worse. If the issue is roots, you may be able to trim the roots and install a root guard, but doing so might upset the tree’s stability. See an arborist’s advice, but removal may be necessary.

8. You’re selling your homes

An unsightly tree can bring down the value of a home by up to 4.1%. Removing the tree will increase curb appeal and drive the price higher. Call for an emergency tree removal service and get your home ready for market.

9. Storm or weather disaster

After a storm or weather event, many trees become structurally unsound and need emergency removal. This can be caused by stripped branches, unbalanced trees, split tree trunks, bulging roots or leaning trees. Speak to a local arborist and be sure a permit is not required before you begin work.

10. Cavities in Trunk

Large cavities could indicate structural issues with your tree. Depending on the location and extent of the cavity, the tree may be deemed a hazard and needs emergency removal.

11. Root ball buldging

Bulging root balls tend to go hand in hand with leaning trees. After prolonged rain, the ground softens, and then, with some wind, a tree can develop a lean because the roots can no longer support the tree. There is generally little hope in this situation, and the tree may need to be removed.

Get Matched with a Tree Removal Expert in Your State

Hiring emergency tree service near me

Hiring an emergency tree removal service should really be a last resort. Basically, an “emergency” tree service near you is just a regular tree removal service that you have asked to drop everything and help you.

If the tree has fallen but is in a safe spot and you can bear looking at it for a week or two, then you are going to save hundreds.

If the tree has fallen over wires or on your home, I suggest you call the state emergency service to make the tree safe, then contact a regular tree service to cut up and remove the fallen tree.

How to save on emergency tree removal

To save yourself 50% minimum of the cost of emergency tree removal, make sure your first call is to emergency services (911) and not a private tree company.

Each state will have an emergency service to deal with trees that have fallen over power lines, or on homes, so call 911 and explain to the operator the extent of the damage caused by the tree and what is required.

emergency tree removal cost guide

The reason this will save you thousands in the initial response is paid for by the state. They will get the tree off your home or power lines safely on the ground, ready to be cleaned up.

Once the initial “emergency”, you can take your time getting a few different prices for removing your fallen tree.

Other emergency tree jobs

Branch on power lines$950$550$1,500
Split trunk$2,150$1,200$5,200
Leaning tree (after storm)$1,950$1,320$3,460

Save an additional 50% of the price

This little trick will only really work if your tree has come down because of a cyclone or in a storm. Once a storm sweeps through a city, there are hundreds of downed trees and a glut of work for local tree removal services.

These are small businesses and do increase their prices when they are overrun with work. Directly after a storm, local tree-cutting services are charging an average of 50 – 100% more for tree removal than they would under regular circumstances.

Do this: Get the initial emergency work done by state emergency services to secure the tree and get it off your home, car, power lines, etc. They wait. If you try to lock down a tree service while they are running around making a killing you are going to be fleeced. Wait a minimum of 4 – 6 weeks before calling a local tree service to remove your tree. By that time, the initial rush is over and their prices will start to resemble regular prices again.

Get Matched with a Tree Removal Expert in Your State

Will my home insurance cover emergency tree removal?

Most of the time the answer is yes, but there are a few “ifs and buts”.

Firstly it will depend on how comprehensive your insurance is, but in most cases, a tree falling and damaging something will be covered by insurance. Your insurance company will come to the party for the damaged property and the cost of removing the tree.

If the tree has fallen due to negligence on your behalf, they might buck your claim. For example, if your tree died 3 years ago, you should have removed it long ago as dead trees all eventually fall. They might view this as poor maintenance of your property leading to the damage.

If the tree was healthy and came down after a storm you should be covered.

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24 hour emergency tree services

True 24-hour emergency services are hard to come by. 90% of tree services do not office this service. Again, if you can first call 911 and get a state-sponsored service out to do the initial work to make the tree safe, you can then take your time calling a regular service.

Calling a 24-hour emergency tree service is going to lighten your wallet considerably, so only call if you absolutely must.

When is it considered an emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected and often dangerous situation that requires immediate attention. To be honest I would not call a tree fallen over a driveway an emergency, nor one that has merely fallen in your backyard.

Before you call in an emergency tree removal service, please make sure it is a true emergency and constitutes the call. If there is an immediate hazard or threat, then by all means call, but if it can wait, call a tree service.


The average cost to remove a tree is $871, but that price can double or triple in emergency situations. The average price for tree removal is a bit like the average length of a piece of string. It will all come down to the size of the tree, its location on your property and how soon you need it removed. For more detailed information on tree removal cost by tree size, please go here.

Go Tree Quotes is a free service that can match you with the top-rated local services. Just scroll to the top and fill in your Zip code, answer a few questions about your tree job and we will forward your tree job to local tree services for pricing.

It will depend on how close the tree is to the foundations of your home. Tree roots can undermine the slab your home is built on and cause cracking. Most cities allow trees to be removed without a permit no matter the size or protection status if they are within a certain distance to your home. A good rule of thumb is to take the diameter of the tree trunk and multiply it by 5. If the tree is closer to the house than that distance, then you should remove it. e.g. Trunk diameter = 1 foot, this means the tree should be at least 5 feet from your home or it could cause foundation damage.

The best way in my view to do this is to check previous reviews by customers. I recommend companies that have been in business for more than 5 years, have over 20 reviews on more than 2 platforms (e.g. Yelp and HomeAdvisor) and have an average score greater than 4.5 stars. The longer they have been in business, the greater the number of positive reviews the better chance of getting a great job done.

This will greatly depend on the size of the tree and its location on your property. The best way to get a fair price is to get 3 or 4 estimates. You will begin to get an idea of the ballpark figure and will find one in those bids that is more reasonable than others.

The definition of “emergency tree removal” would lend itself to being covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but as we all know insurance companies can be pretty slippery when it comes to paying, so I would not assume anything. If the tree came down in a storm then it should be covered (not including stump removal) as well as fixing any damage you might have. I would check with your insurer first before going ahead though as they like to use their own companies for the job.

You can phone a tree service and ask them to give you a ballpark figure over the phone (you might want to send an image in advance including access to the tree), but in most cases, they will not commit to a firm bid until inspecting the tree on-site first. This is because the price is largely dependent on how good the access is, the obstacles around the tree and the ease at which the tree climber can scale the tree and lower it down branch by branch. Tree services really do need to be standing under the tree to make that call.

You might need to apply for a permit depending on your city’s Tree Ordinance. You can go directly to your state/ city rules for tree removal here. How it works is each city has a different definition of what they call a “protected tree”. An example might be any tree with a trunk circumference greater than 30 inches is protected. Anything smaller can be removed. Go to the above link to see the tree protection laws for your city or county.

Emergency tree removal is normally done by insurance companies and they do not include stump removal in the price. This is something you will need to discuss with the tree removal service when they are there doing the job.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.