Below we break down in more detail what an arborist can do for you, and the price range for each task.
The cost of an arborist largely depends on the task they are performing for you. Arborists are not a one-trick pony.
An arborist will cost $75 – $4,500 for tree pruning and removal work, whereas the price for tree inspections and arborist reports will cost about $450.
In general, arborists’ costs do not vary by an hourly rate, but instead by the job.
Arborist’s main tasks:
As every tree job is different (tree size, tree location on the property), and every tree arborist company is different (equipment, staff numbers, overheads, etc.), they all charge vastly different per-hour prices.
Let’s have a look at a quick example…
Example: A large tree company with a crew of 3 laborers might take 5 hours to remove a tree. But a larger company with 6 laborers and a crane will do it in 1 hour 30 minutes for the same tree.
Let’s imagine the price is $1000 for removal by both companies.
The smaller company charges $200 per hour whereas the larger company charges $660 per hour. The larger company with the crane charges 3 times the hourly rate, yet the cost will be the same.
So you need to really compare prices and not hourly rates.
Finding the best priced local arborists
This can be easy if you know where to look.
Going to the local paper or Google search might not yield the best results. Why? Because most arborists are small business owners and charge depending on how much work they have on.
In winter for example, there is generally less work going around, so arborist prices are less than in peak season.
Go Tree Quotes is a free service that matches homeowners with the best-priced local arborist. Every time users get 3 quotes, we ask them who was cheapest, who was most professional and who they chose and why.
This gives us a clear picture of who is cheap NOW and who you are likely to get the best service from.
To try it out yourself, just fill in the form on the right and tell us a little more about your tree job. We will forward your details to the 3 best local contractors by price and service quality.
Stay smart, and save time and money.
Arborist report cost
Unlike tree pruning and removal, arborist reports are normally a fixed price. The price will vary depending on the arborist you use and how many trees need to be included in the report.
The cost of an arborist report is $300 – $450 for a single tree. If you had 4-5 trees then you could pay closer to $700.
These reports are very detailed looking at every aspect of the tree and its surrounding environment.
If you are applying to get the tree removed, the arborist will most likely do a Safe Useful Life Expectancy report (SULE report) to gauge the tree’s amenity value and the potential downside to its removal.
Think about it like the pros and cons. If the pros for removal outweigh the cons, then you are looking good at getting approval for removal.
Arborist report for development application
These reports are generally no different from the above regular arborist report. Depending on the application, your tree might be staying and you just need a report on how the development is going to impact the tree.
In other cases, you might be looking to remove the tree(s) as part of the application.
The price for a single tree will top out at around $450. But depending on the number of and the types of trees to be included in the report, this cost will increase by around $100 per tree.
If you are looking for information on how to get council approval for tree removal for tree removal, we have written a post that will answer all your questions and give you the best chances of success.
Consulting arborist fees
A consulting arborist can do a variety of tasks, but 90% of their work is tree inspections and arborist reports. Most of their work will have a set rate such as tree resistograph reports and arborist reports, but this is something that varies from company to company so you really will need to shop around.
You can refer above for the consulting arborist cost.
FEATURED AND TRUSTED BY:
Cost Calculator for Tree Lopping
Tree inspection report
The tree inspection report is more or less the same as an arborist report, but let’s clear up any confusion.
A tree inspection is getting a qualified arborist out to view and report on the health, vigor, and safety of your tree. You might have concerns about a particular branch or cavity in the tree. Though professional and very thorough your arborist will not generally write up a report, but rather report to you and give verbal recommendations.
An arborist report on the other hand is a lot more in-depth and doesn’t only take into account the tree itself, but the impact on the surrounding environment.
The report itself is 10 – 20 pages long talking about the tree’s useful life expectancy, and its ‘amenity value’ as it sits.
People would not usually go to the expense of an arborist report unless they are asked by the council.
So if you are just after a tree inspection, you won’t need a full report written afterward, unless specified by the council for removal purposes.
Tree inspection cost
Depending on the size of the tree and whether the tree needs climbing, a tree inspection by an arborist should cost $30 – $150.
This cost would be waived if the inspecting arborist were to do some work on the tree.
You need to keep in mind an arborist’s time. They do run a business and all too often customers call arborists for a ‘free inspection’. It’s a bit like calling a plumber for a free inspection of your home’s overall plumbing. It’s a lot of time out of their day for no prospect of work.
If you do have real concerns for your tree, get an arborist out to give you a quote to prune or remove the tree and also their advice.
If you would like an inspection first, then please remember you may be expected to pay for the consultation.
Cost of arborist for tree removal
By all rights, you should never get someone who is not an arborist to remove your tree. An arborist can be a little more expensive than your local lawn and garden maintenance guy, but the difference in skill level is huge.
The only exception is if the tree is smaller than 5m (1-story house). In that case, there is minimal danger of injury or property damage, and a tree of that size can be handled by a lawn care/garden maintenance company.
Refer to our tree removal cost guide for prices on the removal of all types and sizes of trees.
There are quite a few things you can do to reduce the cost of tree removal by an arborist. Like any profession, time is money, and the more time you save for them the more money you will save for yourself.
If you can secure great access to the tree by removing any obstacles like pot plants, tables and chairs, a panel of fencing makes it easier.
This will increase the speed of the removal and save you money.
Disposal of waste
If you have palm trees that are being removed then disposing of the waste yourself will save you hundreds of dollars. Palms cannot be turned into mulch and have to be taken to the tip by the arborist. Dumping fees are upwards of $200 per tonne.
Ask them to cut the palm into foot-long logs and leave them on your property. Then you can put them out for a council clean-up or put them in your green bin.
Profit from waste
One of the biggest tips for hardwood trees (basically anything other than palm or pine trees) is to sell the firewood on eBay.
If you have a large tree that is hard to get to, such as in a backyard with no rear access, it is going to cost quite a bit for complete removal. This is because the company will need to pay laborers to carry the entire tree by hand to their truck on the street.
If you tell the arborists when they are quoting the job they can just cut it down and leave the tree logs (cut into 30cm firewood size logs) they will charge you a lot less.
Once they are done, you take a photo of the logs and auction them on eBay.
With the price of heating these days, people will pay money and come and lug the logs away themselves.
Arborist cost to prune a tree
For tree removal, you should only get an arborist to prune your trees. If the tree(s) in question is/are smaller than a single-story home then they can be handled by someone else, but anything larger does require special skills to carry out such a task.
We have put together a tree pruning cost guide that covers the cost of all types of tree pruning.
The cost for an arborist to prune a tree will vary depending on the tree type, how many branches need pruning, the tree size, obstacles etc.
If there is great access, and the branch does not need to be lowered, it will be a lot cheaper than a branch overhanding a house for example. Great care will need to be taken to remove that branch safely.
I never recommend using anyone other than a qualified arborist to prune your trees as getting a hack in will only lead to poor tree form and possible damage to your property.
There are two levels of a certified arborist. Level 3 which is your standard arborist who takes care of the day to day tree removal and trimming tasks.
They are also capable of carrying out a basic risk assessment and tree inspections. A level 5 arborist aka consulting arborist focus more on tree inspections and arborist reports. They are the ones who recommend whether trees should be removed or should stay. If you need an arborist report you need to contact a level 5 arborist.
This will depend on what you are after. If you are after a tree removal or trimming then they arborist will need to come out and look at the tree and give you a price. This is an obligation free consultation. If you jus want to shoot the breeze about your tree, you really need to respect the arborists time and just call then out for the prospect of a job.
Basically yes. Arborist go by a few names from tree surgeon to tree doctor, but they normally jus advertise as tree services or tree care professionals.
Arborist don’t really charge by the hour but they charge depending on the size of the job. As every tree removal and trimming job is different and every tree service company is different it is difficult to give an hourly price. For example, one company with 8 workers can do a medium sized tree removal in 4 hours, where it might take a crew of 4 workers twice as long. The end price is the same, but the crew of 8 have an hourly rate double the other company.
If you are applying for a Development Application with your city, I suggest submitting an arborist report on all trees on site. This will talk about trees to be removed, trees to be remain and the action taken to protect those trees from mechanical injury and spillages etc. It will also outline the replacement of trees removed with new trees.
If you want to remove a tree on your private property, first refer to your councils Tree Preservation Order. If you need a permit apply for that first. If the council knocks it back you can come at them again with an arborist report.
In short, no. Arborists are trained to give unbiased opinion on the trees health and useful life expectancy. If they feel the tree is a healthy specimen, then they will not recommend removal. Normally a council will go with the arborists recommendations at the end of the report.
This will greatly depend on the task being carried out. If it is a tree removal you can expect to pay on average $927. For tree trimming you will pay around $425. Prices vary greatly depending on the size of the tree being removed and or the number of branches being trimmed. You are best getting a few quotes from local arborist to get a firm price.
Normally an arborist report will cost about $450, give or take $50. For multiple trees you can expect to pay a little more.
If you were hoping for the tree to be removed and an arborist finds the tree to be healthy, you can always get a second opinion. You don’t nee to submit the report to council. You can get a report from another arborist and see if they get different result.