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The Costs of Hiring an Arborist

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An arborist is a contractor that is specialised in the care, maintenance, and removal of trees and shrubs. An aborist knows what trees require and has the necessary equipment to provide proper care.

Hiring someone to take care of trees is not a very popular thing, as people can be somewhat reluctant to paying someone for this service. However, taking proper care of trees is highly recommended, as trees that are well-cared for can boost the curb appeal of your property. Diseased trees, on the other hand, can be a liability to property owners as they invite pests and can damage your property during extreme weather.

Most people tend to prune or remove trees on their own, without hiring a professional arborist. Removing trees, especially large ones, can be dangerous and you run the risk of injury. Without proper safety equipment, you put your life and home at risk. 


1. What does an arborist do?

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An arborist covers all aspects related to trees. Some of the most common services that an arborist will offer are:

  • Tree reports and consulting
  • Tree pruning
  • Emergency tree care
  • Tree risk assessment
  • Tree surgery
  • Tree removal
  • Stump grinding
  • Root management
  • Log splitting
  • Tree planting

In general, each job that is listed above is a service in and of itself and will have a separate cost. For instance, if you need to have a tree removed, you will be charged separately for the stump grinding.

Root management will include cutting and trimming the roots of trees in order to prevent them from damaging your driveway or the foundation of your house.

Log splitting is a service that is usually needed by homeowners who have a fireplace and who need timber for it.

It is worth mentioning that tree surgery and tree pruning are two very different services. Tree pruning consists of removing the branches that are dead or that are overhanging, while tree surgery consists of removing the diseased parts of the tree in order to heal it.

Usually, an arborist will charge anywhere between $70 and $200 per hour, depending on the job that he needs to do. What an arborist charges will depend on many factors such as the number of contractors needed for the job, the equipment that they need in order to get the job done, and the job’s level of difficulty. Removing tree branches by using a lift truck can be quite costly, as this vehicle might cost up to $170 per hour.

We recommend hiring an arborist regularly and making sure that your outdoor area is well cared for. If you want to learn how to have a perfect garden check out the Bricks + Agent Year Round Gardening Guide.

2. What are the costs of tree consulting and tree reports?

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Tree reports and tree consulting are among the most popular services provided by arborists. A tree consultation is extremely useful as it will offer information about different aspects related to the homeowner's trees such as:

  • Are there any diseased trees in the outdoor area that is being inspected?
  • Can they be cured?
  • What kinds of trees would thrive in that environment?
  • How much are different trees worth?
  • Is one of your trees a liability or a danger to your property, to a neighboring property, or to the public space?
  • Are the roots of the trees a danger to the underground pipes or to a building’s foundation?
  • What are the best ways to care for different trees?

A tree report, on the other hand, is quite different, despite people using these terms interchangeably. A tree report is needed if you must remove a tree from your property but you need permission from the local council. In Australia, certain trees are protected by certain councils, which is why if you need to remove one of these trees you must justify your need by having a tree report.

On average, a tree report or a consultation from a professional arborist will have the following prices:

  • $70 to $100 for up to five trees.
  • $20 to $30 for each extra tree.
  • $35 fee for a report submitted to a local council.

Keep in mind that depending on the circumstances, these costs can vary.

3. What are the costs of tree removals?


Tree removal costs will vary depending on different factors such as:

  • The tree’s height and circumference
  • The tree’s overall condition
  • Where the tree is located
  • If the location of the tree can be accessed easily or not
  • The safety precautions needed
  • The equipment needed
  • Transportation fees
  • The number of workers needed to get the job done

A big tree will obviously cost more to get removed because it will have to be cut from the top down. A tree that is in bad condition will require additional safety precautions on the part of the contractors. The place where the tree is located is another important aspect when trying to estimate the costs of a tree removal. If the tree is hanging over a neighboring property, or over a roof, it will be more difficult for the arborists to remove it. Every additional safety precaution or equipment used will add to the final costs.

Because the process of removing a tree can be anywhere between easy and extremely difficult, the costs can also fluctuate. As a result, you can expect to pay between $200 and $10,000. Before being offered a quote from an arborist, they will have to inspect the tree and check all the aforementioned aspects. In order to ensure that they ask for a fair price, you should ask for quotes from several tree specialists.

4. What are the costs of a tree stump removal?

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As with tree removal costs, stump removal costs depend on different aspects like the size of the stump and how accessible it is. Removing a stump that has a big root system will require digging and using special equipment. The average price of a stump removal job will range between $300 and $800, as stump removal contractors will charge between $30 and $50 per hour. Keep in mind that a very easy to remove stump can cost less, while an extremely complicated one can cost more.

It is worth mentioning that a tree stump removal is never included in the cost of a tree removal. Consequently, if you want to get both jobs done on the same day, you should ask for two different quotes from the arborist. This is a wise move that can save you money because the arborist will know exactly what equipment to bring to get both jobs done and will not have to come twice.

You should also keep in mind that the removal of the root system can also be charged separately, especially if it involves extra digging.

Removing the unattractive stumps from your property can greatly improve the overall appearance of your outdoor area. A nice looking garden or a barbecue area can do wonders if you are selling your house and you are looking to attract more buyers.

5. What are the costs of tree pruning and surgery?


As with almost every job an arborist does, the prices of tree pruning and tree surgery will vary based on the size and shape of the trees. For a small tree, an arborist will most likely charge around $35 per hour, but you might also have to pay extra for the travel and setup. For a large tree, the costs can be up to $2000 because the arborist might have to climb the tree, to use safety equipment, to take extra precautions, and to remove the branches carefully.

If there are problems with the location of the trees or if the trees are positioned abnormally, the arborist might have to charge extra. If the specialists decide that your trees require tree surgery, then you might have to pay for a separate consultation. From this consultation, you might learn that your trees are affected by one of these new Australian pests, which is why it’s crucial to continue working with the arborist until the trees are healthy again.

6. How to choose an arborist?

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Being an arborist does not require having a professional license, which is why homeowners should be very careful who they hire. The job of an arborist can be quite dangerous, so the property manager or the homeowner must ensure that the contractor has a valid personal insurance and liability insurance. Additionally, the arborist should also have a Certificate in Horticulture or Arboriculture and be a member of an Arboriculture Organization such as Arboriculture Australia.

The tree specialist that you hire should have a good safety record and have many positive references. By checking the arborist’s references, you ensure that you hire someone who can do the job right and who will not put you or your property at risk. We recommend that you choose the best arborist that you can find because only an expert can be trusted to take proper care of trees. An amateur could hurt your trees and could cause damage to your property.

Remember that the prices and costs mentioned throughout this article are just a rough estimate. The costs associated with hiring an arborist are subject to each market and can vary locally.

If you need help finding a local arborist then jump on the Bricks+Agent homeowners hub and post your job. It’s quick, easy and free!

Find an aborist

Topics: Property Services, Tradie Advice

Jon Stul

Written by Jon Stul

Having spent over 12 years in the real estate industry covering all facets from residential through to commercial, established and off plan properties and sub-divisions, he has an in depth knowledge of the industry. Stepping out of the industry four years ago and moving interstate to expand a frozen yoghurt chain that has gone from 1 to 4 stores in the time he has been involved. This was recently sold to Made Group. Real estate has always been in his blood and it was a natural fit to start Bricks + Agent given the amount of insight he has into the industry as a whole. Having seen how all different forms of traditional marketing was used to the direction that it is now heading today, we think we have come up with a truly unique proposition that fits into the current state of the property maintenance market.

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