Free Tree Removal For Seniors (Brief Guide)

Removing unwanted or fallen trees can not only be time-consuming but it can also end up costing a lot. This might not be affordable for a lot of people and senior citizens don’t have an option to remove the tree by themselves. Ignoring any damaged or fallen trees can be really dangerous for both your property and your safety. But there are some programs that help senior citizens in removing trees free of cost. Let’s take a look.

A lot of areas across the US offer free tree removal services for the elderly. One of the most popular programs was started in 2017 by El Dorado County in California through which senior citizens can get free tree removal if they qualify under the eligibility criteria. Similarly, a lot of local tree removal services also offer free tree removal for senior citizens.

tree removal seniors free

Can Senior Citizens Get Free Tree Removal?

In some areas across the country, there are multiple programs that let senior citizens remove dangerous or fallen trees free of cost. The best way to figure out if you are eligible for such a program is to check with a local tree removal service. They usually know about the current laws and programs running in the area.

One such program was launched in 2017 by the county of El Dorado in California in partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention.

Similarly, there are other programs and grants throughout the country like Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery, Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant, Harold K.L Castle Foundation Grant, etc. The application process and the eligibility criteria can differ slightly within each program but the usual broad strokes are similar.

What is the Free Tree Removal Program in El Dorado County?

The free tree removal service started by El Dorado County was initiated to help low-income senior citizens to remove dangerous, dead, or dying trees which might pose a danger to their property.

But there are some eligibility criteria for senior citizens to be able to utilize this program:

  1. The applicants should be above 60 years of age.
  2. They must own the property from which they want to remove the tree.
  3. They must live in a high hazard zone
  4.  The household income must be below 60% of the median income of that area.
  5. They must have trees which are threating their property, ether due to old age, diseases etc.

What Is the Maximum Household Income Limits?

 The maximum household income limit for a senior citizen to be able to avail of this service should be less than 60% of the median household income of that area.

  1. If there is only 1 person residing in the household then this income limit is $31,950.
  2. For 2 people this limit is $36,540
  3. For 3 people it is $41,100
  4. For 4 people it is $45,660

Which Type of Housing Units Can Avail This Service?

Existing single-family residences, any manufactured homes which are placed on a permanent foundation system, and any habitable second dwelling on an occupied property can avail of this service.

On the other hand, any temporary habitat or unpermitted dwelling will not be covered under this program. Similarly, any movable property like a shed or a barn cannot be used under this program.

Which Type of Trees Can the Citizens Remove?

Not all trees will be covered under this program, make sure that your tree meets the eligibility criteria before availing of the service.

Your tree must be thicker than 10 inches in diameter and should be taller than 20 feet. The tree should also be reasonably accessible by machinery and other equipment used for removing trees. The tree should also pose some reasonable threat to your property and must be located within 300 feet of the residence.

One more thing to note here is that this program is only applicable in areas that are considered to be Tier 1 or Tier 2 High Hazard Zone as stipulated by the California Tree Mortality Task Force.

What Is the Application Process?

The first thing which you should do is call up the local authorities to ask for the availability of such a program, even if you don’t reside in California. A lot of local authorities have some kind of free tree removal program going on.

The application process will include a screening phone call to check your income verification, asset verification, financial privacy, and other relevant details. You will also have to sign a ‘Right of Entry Permit’ to allow the tree removal service to enter your property.

What are some other ways for senior citizens to get free tree removal?

If your county or local authorities don’t have an express program for free tree removal, there might be some other ways for you to get discounted tree removal or even free service.

The first thing which you should do is check with your local tree removal services for any offers which are going on at the moment. A lot of services even offer free or heavily discounted tree removals for senior citizens.

If your tree is interfering with electric lines or other utilities, you can also ask the utility companies if they can remove the tree. Sometimes even without a program, the local authorities can remove some hazardous trees for senior citizens.

The Harold K.L Foundation operates nationwide and helps people with grants for removing trees for fences, windbreaks, fire breaks, and site preparations. This grant can be up to $100,000.

There are other grants like this available nationwide and sometimes they are county-specific as well. The easiest way to find out is to contact a local tree removal service or the local authorities.


A lot of local authorities all over the country have some kind of programs in place to provide aid to senior citizens for free tree removal from their property. Some tree removal services also offer heavy discounts for senior citizens. Make sure to ask the local authorities and services about any such programs and find out their eligibility criteria.

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