Free Tree Removal for Seniors Backed by the Government in 2023

Man carrying a hand saw approaches a home with an elderly gentleman waving from the window, welcoming the free tree removal for seniors program worker who has come to take down a tree growing into the home.

Offering free tree removal for seniors is definitely one of the best ways to show that we care for the older members of our community. It has been said that a society is judged by how it treats its population’s most vulnerable.

Seniors are a vulnerable group, and removing trees can be costly.

But are various programs that make it their mission to provide free tree removal for seniors. Although the federal government doesn’t have a program in place, many states have grants set up to provide that very service.

This complete guide explains all the free tree removal options for seniors, as well as other tree removal programs that can be used to reduce costs.

Finding a Tree Removal Assistance Program for Seniors

There are many grants offered by the government to remove trees from residential properties.

And some home insurance companies that cover tree removal. It is usually for fallen trees, not standing ones.

The Farm Bill Act of 2014 gave the US Department of Agriculture a number of powers, but free tree removal for seniors is not one of them.

This ONLY applies to tree growers, and is only allocated in the event of a declared national disaster. It is not for individuals.

Tree Removal Cost Calculator

Knowing how much it will cost to remove a tree can help you determine what programs to apply for.

This calculator provides an estimate, based on the type of tree and its location.

Hazardous Tree Removal Program

Many states have hazardous tree removal programs in place to help citizens maintain their property and reduce the threat of wildfire. These include:


Currently, there are no active “free” tree removal options for seniors. However, reaching out to tree service providers may prove beneficial.

To assist with hazardous tree removal, first find out if the location is covered by local government removal services. There may be some work to prepare for the removal, but actual disposal may be provided.


The state has the Community Development Department of Village of Maywood that reimburses half of what people spend for tree removal.

Among the trees that qualify are the ones that are dead, decaying, diseased, or are a nuisance to residents. Single family homes only, so large apartment complexes can’t access the reimbursed funds.

You also have to conform to some basic conditions to qualify, including obtaining a written estimate for a cost of arborist, as well as a few other conditions.


The state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has a grant program for the removal of dead trees.3 Eldorado County’s Department of Forestry has a program for the removal of hazardous trees for residents who are above 60 years old. The tree must be dead or dying.

This grant is especially designed for low income seniors living in high hazard zones, and offers both financial and service for free tree removal.


Among the many home maintenance services for seniors in Alabama is free tree removal. But this depends on the location and whether there is a request to do so.

To access the Alabama program for free tree removal, visit the database of providers at Care Alabama.

Why Should We Remove Trees When They Have So Many Beauty and Environmental Benefits?

This is probably the first question that pops into your mind when you hear “tree removal.” The benefits of planting trees are countless. They clean the air, provide oxygen, lower temperatures, and improve the quality of water, among many others.

It is impossible to list all of them. But what is clear is that they have invaluable social, environmental, and economic advantages.

Many trees are cut down yearly in the world. And we don’t condone these actions. That is why 8 Billion Trees encourages tree-planting projects like this one found in the East African country of Kenya.

Related reading: How Many Trees Cut Down Each Year

However, tree removal may be necessary because they endanger lives or are harmful to the environment.

There are times when they need to be removed for the health and safety of everybody. For example, there may be a pine that has died or a maple that is damaging the sewer lines and needs to be removed. Maybe an oak is destroying the sidewalk.

There are also times when healthy trees must be removed if they have been hit by a storm and are now a danger to everyone. Sometimes trees must be removed if the property owner wants to start a construction project.

A photograph depicting a fallen tree uprooted from the ground and lying on a sidewalk, as a result of a tornado. The tree's extensive root system is visible, with some of the roots still attached to the soil, while others are exposed in the air.

(Image: PublicDomainPictures8)

Whatever the reason, the law has provisions for such cases.4

Steps Normally Followed When Removing Trees

Most of us follow five steps when it comes to tree removal.

Step #1: Check whether the tree is a part of a federal, state, or city program because there are grants offered for citizens to plant and maintain certain trees. This is an effort to support air quality and natural beautification programs.

Step #2: Post ads to find out whether there is anyone willing to remove the tree for free. You may use online channels, Laundromats, or stores. Since many people heat their houses with wood, they are only glad to do it for free.

Step #3: Call the power company to remove trees that you don’t want but are near power lines. Power companies have contracts with tree specialists within the areas they are serving.

Step #4: Cut down the tree yourself, sell the wood, or use it for your home.

Step #5: Contact a logging company and talk to them about removing the tree. There are companies that will do it for free, but there are others that do it for a few dollars.

However, many seniors need help learning how to negotiate tree removal.

You can calculate how much it will cost for tree removal above.

Free Tree Removal for Seniors

There are several tree removal options for seniors, but they do not have enough publicity. For example, there are non-profit organizations and local community foundations that do it.

Government agencies that are also responsible for free tree removal for seniors is scarce, but you can contact the Area Agency on Aging Offices (AAAO) to see if anything has altered.

County or local community or housing development programs also do this. This is because there is funding for these specific programs, and they are supposed to help the elderly. They should carry out home repairs if need be, depending on the programs.

Specific Free Tree Removal Options Available for Seniors

In addition to grants and government programs in specific states and areas, there are other free tree removal options for seniors.

The following ideas are common:

Insurance Company

Insurance companies remove trees for seniors if there is coverage, usually with a minimum deductible.

Since tree removal and tree trimming can reduce the dangers to property damage, many companies offer discounts when these sorts of maintenance tasks are performed.

Barter System

Seniors can have their trees removed for free if they give something else in exchange for money. One excellent way to do this is to learn how to get free tree removal in exchange for wood.

Many trees are coveted for their materials, and if the tree is valuable, some companies will offer to remove it at little or no cost. They’ll even remove the debris.

Help From a Neighbor

There are good neighbors that help the elderly, especially if they have the tools. You may want to reach out to a neighbor you trust for help.

Trees in Public Property

In many cases, it is the responsibility of local and city governments to remove trees that are on public property.

This is generally the case when the tree exists in cities near power lines.

Desirable Timber

Individuals, logging companies, and other organizations can remove trees with desirable timber for free.

For example, trees like Rosewood, the Dalbergia species, and Mahogany, among many others, can be removed for free for seniors.

Landscapers and Discount Senior Programs

Some landscapers do this work for free if the trees are exotic.

There are for-profit companies that remove trees for senior citizens at a discount or for free.

How To Find Free Tree Removal Service Near Me

The first way to find a tree removal service near you is to speak with your utility company. The Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC)5 has regulations regarding vegetation, including trees that are a threat to people’s way of life. Your utility company will inform you of these laws.

The second way is to apply for a grant from the city and local governments. This is especially applicable if you live in an area that is prone to wildfires or extreme weather conditions.

You can also check your home insurance and see if they cover the removal of trees.

Another way is to advertise. There are many people that are willing to remove your tree for free to get the wood.

Other Ways To Get Tree Removal Services

There are many landscapes that can remove your tree for free, especially if it is exotic. Also, if the quality of the timber is good, there are many people that can do it for you for free. Some of the trees with such a kind of wood are the Western Red Cedar, the Oak Tree, Ashwood, and the Swietenia Mahogany Wood, among many others.

You may be in luck and have a neighbor who has the right tools and is willing to remove your tree for free. Just communicate with them about your needs.

Free Tree Removal in Exchange for Wood

Although it is rare to find free tree removal in exchange for wood services, they are available. One of the qualifications you must have is that there should be many trees. The trees should also have exotic timber.

Who Removes Trees for Free in Exchange for Wood?

  • Homeowners That Have Log Fires: These are people that heat their homes with firewood.
  • Lumbering Companies: Their interest lies in selling the wood for profit.
  • Utility Companies: These firms remove trees if they are interfering with power lines or service wires.
  • Tree Services: They may remove trees for firewood.
  • Landscapers: They remove the tree for resale.
  • Your Local Handyman: This can happen if you place an ad in your local newspaper or post it in the library or aboard.

Factors To Consider When Trees Are Being Removed for Wood

Factor To ConsiderExplanation
LocationIf the tree is easy to access, then it is likely to be removed for free. But if it is not, you will be charged.
SpeciesTrees with high-quality timber are likely to be removed for free. Also, if the species are essential for landscaping, then they will be removed for free.
SizeIf the tree is large and valuable, then it might not be removed for free. However, others may remove it for free if it has a lot of timber. Small trees are likely to be removed for wood.
Utility CompaniesThey can remove your tree if it leans on power or sewer lines.
Logging CompaniesThey consider the amount of wood that they will get if they remove your tree. The more, the better.
DIYYou can remove the tree yourself if you want to use the wood. It will require a lot of time and effort and may cost you money.

Types of Trees That Are Removed for Free in Exchange for Wood

The following trees are desirable for landscaping1 

  • Palm Tree 
  • Silk Trees 
  • Frangipani
  • Jacaranda
  • Sea Grape

These trees are wanted for timber:

  • Black Cherry
  • Mahogany
  • Red Maple Kingwood
  • Rosewood
  • Oak

Tree Removal Service That Pays You

You can get paid for your tree to be removed.

Local governments can pay you for your trees to be removed if they own and maintain them. You can also get grants, but this depends on where you live. For example, if you are a farmer and you need trees removed, you can get grants to do so.

How To Negotiate Tree Removal

There are primarily 4 things that you can do to negotiate tree removal and save your time.

The first thing is to keep logs as firewood. There are many people that are willing to come over to your house to haul the logs into the fire. This happens especially in winter.

The second thing is to remove green waste without anybody’s help. You can fill the green bin and put it out for garbage collection or hire a trailer and haul the branches to your local dump. You may be forced to pay a few dollars to dump it.

The other thing you can do is leave the stump. The grinding of tree stumps takes a long time and is also expensive because it may cost you between $250 and $600. If you leave it where it is lying, you can save up to 10 percent of that fee.

A photograph showing several tree stumps clustered together in a close proximity. The stumps appear to have been freshly cut, with visible saw marks and exposed wood.

(Image: Artur Łuczka9)

The final thing you can do is use the available small companies. Small companies charge less for tree removal. They can remove them with only a chainsaw and without any heavy equipment, especially if the trees are medium-sized.

How To Kill a Tree Stump

There are several ways to kill a tree stump.2

Way #1: Using Epsom Salt

Epsom salt has sulfur and magnesium that, if used in large quantities, are really deadly to plants. If you overdose on it, it will pull all the moisture out, kill it, and accelerate the process of decay.

To use it, first drill deep holes in the stump, about an inch wide, sprinkle the stump with Epsom salt, cover it with water, then use tarp to prevent rain from washing it away. After that, you repeat the same process until you are successful.

Way #2: Using Rock Salt

Rock salt works the same way Epsom salt does. After drilling holes in the stump and packing them with salt, you pour soil to cover them. You then pour water over the mulch 4 to dissolve the salt, enabling the roots to absorb the solution.

Way #3: Using a Plastic Bag or Tarp

This is the easiest way to kill a tree stump. Without sunlight, it will die and accelerate the decomposition process.

Cut the stump as close to the roots as possible, then cover it with a black trash bag. Put heavy stones or bricks on it to contain the bag.

Way #4: Using Boiling Water

You do not need to purchase anything if you are to use this method.

Expose the stump as much as possible, drill holes into the roots and on top of it, then scald it with hot water. This will shock the root system, damage it severely, and kill it.

How To Rot a Tree Stump Fast

There are several chemicals that you can use here.

One is potassium nitrate which decomposes the stump quickly and completely kills it.

Two is high nitrogen fertilizer which also decomposes it quickly.

There is also bleach which is caustic and does this job as effectively as the other two.

Epsom and rock salts are also effective chemicals.

All you have to do is to prepare the stump using either a chain- or hand-saw, drill holes in it, fill the holes with any of the chemicals, cover it, and then break out the mulch.6

Is there real free tree removal for seniors using both governmental and non-governmental organizations that do this work? Yes, and insurance companies may have coverage for it as well.

Is it effective? Yes. But there is little publicity about these programs.

Is there something we can do to help? Yes. We can educate senior members of society so that they are aware of these programs. Awareness strategies are also important because they will prevent corrupt individuals and organizations from taking advantage of seniors when they need help on free tree removal for seniors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Tree Removal for Seniors


Is There Free Tree Removal for Veterans?

Yes. There are many government programs that give grants in the form of loans, benefits, and assistance for free tree removal for veterans.


Is There Free Tree Removal in My Area?

You should talk to your local government representative about this. Even if there is no free tree removal in your area, they will guide you on how to go about it.


Is There Tree Removal Assistance for Elderly?

Yes. There are many non-profit organizations and local community foundations. The US Government also has the US Department of Agriculture and Area Agency on Aging Offices that remove trees for the elderly for free.


How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?

It can cost between $500 and $4,570. This depends on the cost of labor and supplies, accessibility to the tree, and local regulations regarding the removal of trees. It also depends on the species of the tree and seasonal discounts during the off-season.


Who Pays for Tree Removal?

If the tree is within your property, it is you who pays. If it is on public property, then it is the responsibility of the government.


Will the City Pay To Remove a Tree?

Yes. If the tree is within a public property, then the city pays for its removal. Also, if it has grants for the removal of trees, then it can pay.


Are There Government Grants for Tree Removal?

Yes. Hawaii and states like California, Illinois, Alabama, and many others have different grants for the removal of trees.


Can I Get a Grant for Tree Removal?

Yes, just check with the local authority for eligibility.


Can I Get Low-Income Tree Removal Services?

Yes. There are grants in your municipality or state. They are available for the removal of hazardous trees for low-income families.


Can I Remove a Neighbor's Tree?

This depends on your state and local laws. However, in most cases, if the tree has hanging branches across your property line, you are allowed to trim them. It is important to ensure that there is no life endangerment or damage to the health of the tree in the process.



1City of Lincoln Nebraska. (2022). Community Forestry. City Information. Retrieved September 01, 2022, From   <>

20. A,. Leonard, Botanist, Experiment Station, Davis, and W. A. Harvey, Extension Environmentalist and Weed Control Specialist, Davis. (2022). How To Kill Trees and Stumps. fileaccess.cfm. Retrieved September 01, 2022, From   <>

3County of Placer. (2022). Hazard Tree Removal. Emergency Alert. Retrieved September 01, 2022, From   <>

4Senior Legislative Attorney, J. O. (2015, December 17). Tree Removal. Office of Legislative Research Research Report. Retrieved September 01, 2022, From   <>

5Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (2022). Tree Trimming and Vegetation Management. Resources. Retrieved September 01, 2022, From   <>

6University of Arkansas System. (2022). Ten Easy Ways to Kill a Tree (And How to Avoid Them). Agriculture and Natural Resources. Retrieved September 01, 2022, From   <>

7USDA. (2022). Tree Assistance Program (TAP). Farm Service Agency U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from   <>

8PublicDomainPictures. Pixabay. Retrieved from,   <>

9Artur Łuczka. Unsplash. Retrieved from.   <>