It’s no secret that tree removal can be very expensive, but according to Ben a 15-year tree service professional, exposes the industry secrets that will save you almost 50% off the price of tree removal.

The 6 insanely easy tips and tricks have saved our readers an average of 34.2% on the cost of tree removal.

Let’s dive right in.

Most tree services are small businesses with a single owner. And like all small businesses, they are subject to influxes of work.

Just knowing the right time of year is going to save you hundreds. And in the case of tree services, the warmer weather always brings more work.

Look at the search results for “tree removal services near me” in Australia over the past 5 years on google trends.

tree removal summer winter

When a company is busy with a month of work booked in advance, they normally charge more when quoting the next job.

This is because they really don’t need the work or can’t handle it anymore.

The same is true with things being quiet, they have bills to pay and employees to keep busy so they become a lot more competitive (lower prices) to in the work.

SOLUTION: Where possible, get quotes from companies when they are quite or during the winter months when you know they are.

(see No. 6 on how to find quite companies in summer)

#2. Location & Access is Key

This is a HUGE when it comes to calculating the cost of removal.

2 different locations on your property can double the cost of removal for the exact same tree.

tree location on property

Is your tree easily accessible like the tree above with the yellow arrow?

Or is it in a hard to get to a location like the red arrow…

Access Access Access…. It’s all about reducing the manual labor of cutting down trees for the contractor.

If they know you will be removing the rear fence and they can get their truck beside the tree, you just save yourself a tonne of money!

SOLUTION: Do everything you can to allow the contractor to get his machinery as close to the tree as possible.

Pro Tip: If the tree is in your backyard and you don’t have a rear driveway, does your neighbor? If they do, ask if you can gain access through their yard by removing a panel of fencing.

The same goes if you back onto a park, rear lane, reserve, etc.

I have quoted jobs where this simple trick has saved the owner $1000 + on their tree removal.


#3. Room to Work

This one is nearly as important as No.1 and No.2

We spoke about the location of the tree and access to it, and the 3rd factor is how quickly the contractor can get the tree dismantled and on the ground safely.

In most cases, there is not enough room to fell the tree at the base in a suburban yard. If it can be, it’s going to be a quick, easy, and much cheap(er) job.

On the other extreme, if the tree is overhanging your house and the only room to work is this a tiny courtyard, then it’s going to take more time and manpower to get the tree on the ground and in the back of the truck.

This is an example of removing a tree in a confined space. Branches are lowered one at a time. This is time-consuming and will cost you more.

To avoid an extra charge of “pain in the neck tax”, assure the tree expert (when he is quoting the job) that you will be removing everything from around the base of the tree to make it easier/ faster for him to remove the tree.

This example would be a nightmare to workaround! ( expensive nightmare)

7276823 0 cluttered backyard
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#4. Dispose of Waste Yourself

Offering to dispose of the waste yourself could save you hundreds of dollars.

There are several ways of doing this:

  • Hire a skip
  • Put out for council waste collection day
  • Dispose of overtime in your green waste bin
  • Sell the timber as firewood on eBay, gumtree, Facebook etc.
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Skip hire

This may or may not be cost-effective depending on a number of factors.

  • Size/location of the tree
  • Tree species

If you have a large tree to be removed in your backyard, which has poor access, it’s going expensive for complete removal. i.e. If the contractor has to get laborers in the carry the timber manually from the backyard to the street.

Why not ask an arborist for a price to get the tree on the ground safely, and cut up. Then you can take your time moving it all out the front and putting it in the skip bin.

Note: Palm Trees Cant Be Mulched

tree table

Palms are not normal. They can not be put through mulching machines because of their acidic properties. The mulch generated is also useless as garden coverings due to the same reason.

They must be dumped, which is very expensive.

Half the cost of palm tree removal is actually dumping fees. Half!

To secure a cheap price for palm removal, you must take the dumping fees out of the equation for the tree expert quoting your job.

Get the palm waste taken away free by the council, but align the removal date to coincide with your local council cleanup.
…Dispose of the waste over time in your green waste bin (and the bins of your neighbors if possible)

#5. Sell timber on eBay or Gumtree

This is a great way to recoup the money from your tree’s most valuable asset…it’s timber.

With the cost of power ever increasing, the cost of firewood for open fires has also risen (simple supply and demand).

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Get your friendly tree expert to cut the tree logs up into 30 cm firewood-size logs.

Now take a photo and sell it online as firewood. Split and dried firewood goes for $100 give or take per cubic meter. Yours being green and un-split, you will get between $50 & $70 per cube.

#6. Hire a Gardener NOT an Arborist for Small Trees

Does your tree job actually need a qualified arborist? ….or can it be carried out by a gardener? If it’s a tree that is 5m high or less, chances are you can save money with a gardener.

So what’s the difference?

arborist 95211.vs .gardner

A Gardner

An Arborist

They are generally unskilled (no education in horticulture)
Employees: 0 – 5
Cost of tools: $500 – $2,000
Insurance: None

Skilled and educated in Arboriculture (Horticulture)
Employees: 2 – 10
Cost of tools: $10,000 – $150,000
Insurance: Public liability insurance, Insurance or equipment, worker compensation insurance @ 9% on wages.

How Do I Choose?

Basically, if you have a prune or removal job that is

  1. 5m or smaller (one-story house)
  2. And, the tree’s trunk diameter is < 15cm

….you are best getting a gardener to do the work to save you a tonne of money.

#6. Get Quotes From Cheaper Companies

It sounds like a no-brainer, I know.

But getting 3 quotes from typically expensive companies will have you choosing between 3 expensive quotes.

Skip Page 1 of Google

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Nobody typically scrolls past the first page of Google, this is how Google makes all its money.

You see it is no accident companies end up at the top of search results when you search “Tree Removal Service Melbourne”. They pay a lot of money to be there, either with paid ads or on marketing companies to “organically” rank their site.

The same is true for yellow pages, gum tree, yelp, etc. You pay to be at the top.

These companies have a large marketing budget, so they need to charge you more to recoup that money.

If you go to page two or three of Google search, you will find just as capable companies, that won’t charge like a wounded bull.

#7. Compare Quotes Using Our Free Service

Go Tree Quotes is a FREE service that matches you with top-voted local tree services.

Previous users vote on who was best, and we ask them to give you a quote for your job.

  1. Enter your postcode below.
  2. Answer a few simple questions about your tree job.
  3. Three local top-voted tree services contact you with an obligation-free quote.

No hard sales, just friendly advice and great prices.

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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.