According to a report from the USDA Forest Service, trees add a $31.5 billion value to private properties throughout the nation.

While trees provide a multitude of impactful things to neighborhoods, when it comes time to trim them or cut them down, specific care must be taken. This is where a tree removal company shines.

In this handy guide, we’ll explore when tree care companies typically recommend using cranes and bucket trucks during residential tree removal. We’ll go over the ins and outs of why these two tree maintenance options get used and which one might be best for you.

Bucket Trucks and Cranes

These are two pieces of equipment used during the process of removing trees. When the tree removal process becomes challenging, these two methods are used in place of more traditional methods such as felling or climbing.

A bucket truck, sometimes referred to as a cherry picker, provides a tree removal worker with safe access to the top of a tree. Bucket trucks are great for helping workers reach any tall areas that are inaccessible by ladder. Bucket trucks are great for both tree removal and pruning, as they can maneuver into tight spaces and work close to homes.

Conversely, cranes are used farther away from a home, typically parked on a driveway or the street. Cranes need plenty of stability to do the job correctly, so the process of parking the crane can take some time. Cranes are great for removing extremely heavy sections of a tree and can complete the job fairly quickly.

Benefits of Using These Methods

Whether you’re dealing with an overly large tree or a tree that has significant damage, it will take the right method to make sure its removal gets completed safely.

There are a few benefits to using either of these methods. If the tree on your property is aged or diseased, the weak tree could drop branches causing damage to your property. Bucket trucks and cranes are there to remove these branches before they cause significant damage to your home.

Any difficult-to-reach areas are much more easily accessible with a bucket truck or a crane. For example, attempting to remove a damaged tree if it’s located near power lines is extremely risky. Professional tree removal services will know which option to use to remove the tree safely and securely from the site.

Which Option is Best – Bucket trucks vs Cranes

Curious when one of these options gets used over the other? Both removal options give tree removal workers access to hard-to-reach places. However, the tree in question isn’t always immediately accessible. Things like buildings or fences are common obstructions that make it difficult to access the tree.

To that end, a crane is the best option for trees that need removal from obstructed locations. If a bucket truck is unable to get close to the tree for removal, a crane can simply reach around the obstructions and remove the tree in sections.

Conversely, if the tree in question is located in an open location and presents little barriers to access, a bucket truck will likely get used. Your tree removal company will determine which method is most safe overall.

Additional Methods

Tree removal professionals will confirm a few different checklist items prior to removal. They’ll scope out whether or not the tree is located near power lines, the overall health of the tree, the tree type, and more. This gives them the best chance to ensure safe removal.

Methods used in conjunction with either a crane or a bucket truck include climbing and felling. During the process of felling a tree, the tree service will cut a notch on the trunk of the tree. This helps to direct the tree’s fall. A notch will get made on the opposite side until the tree fully falls.

Climbing is essential as it sounds. A climber gets lifted onto the tree and removes parts of the tree as they go. A bucket truck is sometimes used with this method. Cranes also get used when larger limbs need to be lowered to the ground.


Whether the tree has been removed via felling or via a large crane, the removed pieces of the tree must go somewhere. The larger limbs of the tree that get removed can be cut up and used for firewood.

The smaller sections and branches of the tree can be thrown into a wood chipper and ultimately turned into mulch. One particular item to remember during tree removal is that the process of removing a tree does not include removing the stump.

A tree stump left sticking out can be hazardous for families with small children playing in the yard. Furthermore, tree stumps serve as a host to plenty of pests. A tree stump takes some time to decompose. During that time, insects like ants or termites can take root.

To that end, you’ll want to pay the extra fee to have the stump removed.

Your Tree Care Company

Removing large trees is a challenging endeavor. From bucket trucks to cranes, professional tree removal companies have access to the right tools and equipment needed to get it done safely.

At Grace Tree Service, we have 20 years’ worth of experience removing trees in the Kokomo, IN, area. We provide free estimates and 24-hour service for all your tree removal needs.

If you’re looking to remove unwieldy or dead trees from your residence, get in touch with us today!