How do I find the cheapest arborist near me? Well, it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Why? Because the industry is a minefield of companies that over-inflated prices for a simple service and others who are just in it for a quick buck.

But we have you covered!

Tree services are a seasonal thing that tends to pick up the most in the warmer months and die down in the winter months (especially towards the end of winter after the holidays). Like all service-based small businesses, tree pruning prices fluctuate depending on how much work they have on.

Winter is key

If tree services are booked out in advance, they tend to quote higher prices to slow the influx while they catch up. The opposite is true when they have little on in the winter months. An arborist will bid cheaper prices to win work to see them through winter.

Look at the Google trends chart below. You can see what I mean.

tree removalist spring winter comparison

Avoid page 1 of Google

This sounds strange, I know…. but bear with me. From a marketing perspective, businesses don’t end up on page 1 of Google by accident. The same is true for yellow pages and any other directory, they pay to be there either with a paid ad, or they pay a marketing company to help rank them higher.

This costs a lot of money, and this needs to be recouped when they quote jobs. You will find a better-priced service on page 2 or 3 of Google simply because they spend less on marketing.

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Use this FREE service

GoTreeQuotes is a FREE service that matches you with the best-priced local tree arborists. Previous users have voted on the best price local arborist. We ask them to quote your job.

  1. Enter your Postcode at the top of the page in the blue form
  2. Answer a few simple questions about your tree job
  3. Three top-voted arborists give you an obligation-free quote.


No hard sales, just friendly advice and great prices.

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Are tree inspections free?

It depends. If you are looking to hire a tree doctor to trim or remove your tree, including stump removal, and you want them to quote you a price and look the tree over, then yes.

If the inspection is part of an arborist report or just out of general interest, it will cost you. Reports are about $500. They are 8 – 24 page documents you can submit to Council to help get approval for removal.

A tree inspection with no report may vary in price. It might cost $150 – $250 for the consultation if it is just a general health inspection and a verbal recommendation.

Tree advice and quote poll

What's a 'Consulting arborist'?

There are two types of tree arborist services. One is your general run-of-the-mill stuff such as tree services in your area, tree trimming and stump removal.

The other deals with tree inspections and arborist reports. They are referred to as a consulting arborist.

A consulting arborist generally has a diploma in Arboriculture, whereas a regular tree surgeon has a Certificate III in arboriculture. Both have different types of specialized work. Regular tree surgeons do not need a diploma in Arboriculture to operate effectively. A cert. II is more than enough.

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Cost Calculator for Tree Lopping


How to hire the best local arborists

In my opinion, the best arborist near you is one who is:

  • Qualified (min. Certificate II in Arboriculture)
  • 5-year industry experience
  • Insured with 10 million in public liability insurance (industry standard)
  • Knows his stuff

Local tree arborists who have been trained in the correct safety standards to operate in the arbor industry and follow the Australian standards such as AS 4373:2007 Pruning of amenity trees and AS 2727 – 1997 Chainsaw Guide to Safe Work Practices.

All arborists GoTreeQuotes recommend following the method of ‘BEST PRACTICE’. This basically means they seek to use techniques that are superior to any alternative for professional arboriculture procedures.

Or expectations of tree contractors we work with areas such that they do everything in their power, experience, and knowledge to uphold the above values.

If you are a resident of the United States, please visit this website to find arborists near you. You are currently on the Australian site, which only services residents.


There are two different types of arborists. One has a Certificate III in arboriculture (level 3). They trim and remove trees on a day-to-day bases. An arborist with a Diploma in Arboriculture (level 5) is also referred to as a consulting arborist. Their main function is inspecting trees and writing arborist reports. These reports are used for private residents looking to remove a tree, construction companies looking to get DA approval or schools wanting tree hazard assessments.

This will depend on what you are wanting from the arborist. If you need a report, then they will need to come out and inspect the tree, take photos and begin formulating a plan for their report. At this point though, you would have committed to paying for the report. If you need your tree removed and your tree does not need a report, a level 3 arborist will come out to inspect the tree before giving a firm price.

Yes. Tree doctor and tree surgeon are both used to describe arborists. Tree surgeon is used quite a lot in the UK where tree doctor is more American. In Australia, we tend to use the correct term which is arborist.

Arborists don’t charge by the hour but by the job. This is good news for you as they take on all the risk. If they charged by the hour, it’s quite easy for the job to take longer than expected. If you were paying by the hour, it would cost you more.

Tree services quote tree removal and tree pruning jobs (including tree stumps) after inspecting the job, and the price includes all works from start to finish.

If your tree is protected by your local Tree Preservation Order (TPO), then your local Council might ask you to get a report from an independent arborist. The arborist will make up a detailed report on the health, safety and their recommendation for the tree moving forward.

I would not go out and get an arborist report unless prompted to do so by the council first. So make your tree removal application to the council. If they knock it back or ask for a report, then contract an arborist to do so.

Just because you get an arborist report, does not mean you will like the arborist’s findings. Arborists do not recommend the removal of all trees they inspect. So if your desired result is to have the tree removed, but the tree is healthy, then you might be wasting your time by getting a report.

That being said you are not a trained professional and there will be things an arborist can see that you cannot. These could all lean in your favor for a removal recommendation.

Yes. Tree doctor and tree surgeon are both used to describe arborists. Tree surgeon is used quite a lot in the UK where tree doctor is more American. In Australia, we tend to use the correct term which is arborist.

The cost of an arborist varies depending on the task. Arborists normally perform tree trimming, tree removal, arborist reports, tree inspections and a host of other jobs.

Arborists do not charge by the hour but rather by the job. The average tree removal by an arborist is $1,100. The real range for tree removal is $350 and $4,500. It all depends on the size of the tree being removed.

You will need to get quotes from a local arborist to know exactly what your tree removal or trim will cost you as there is no standard price.

An arborist report will cost on average about $450 for a single tree. If you have multiple trees that need reporting on you will the price will increase by about $50 – $100 per tree. Arborist reports for DA approval are also more involved and will cost a little more.

No. A council will only ask for an arborist report for a second opinion. The council arborist will have his own idea on what needs to be done and the recommendation of an independent arborist will go a long way to away their decision, but the final say is with the council.

There is no hard and fast rule on this, but I would say that the council would like to see the recommendation from an arborist report that is no more than 12 months old. The condition of a tree can change from month to month, so anything over a year old will not be as valid as a fresh report. If you are submitting to the council for approval, then I recommend you do it asap.

Author: Ben McInerney is a qualified arborist with over 15 years of industry experience. He uses his in-depth knowledge of the tree service industry to give readers to most accurate information on tree service costs and helps to educate them about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.