The cost of tree removal depends on various factors, including height, type/ species, as well as specific circumstances surrounding the tree’s condition, location and access.

The cost of removing trees ranges from $550 to $21,000

The size of a tree is the number one factor that affects the price. It determines how long the removal will take and in turn, the price of removal. 

  • $500 – $1,500 for small trees (5 – 6m)
  • $1,500 – $3,000 for medium trees (6 – 9m)
  • $3,000 – $7,000 for large trees ( 9 – 20m)
  • $7,000 – 22,000 for extra large trees (20 – 50m)

Factors That Affect Tree Removal Costs in Australia

There are a myriad of factors that will affect the cost of tree removal. When a tree surgeon comes out to inspect your tree and give a quote, these are the things they will take into consideration.

Tree Type/ Species

According to a local tree surgeon we consulted for this article: 

“some trees are just harder to work on than others. A Liquid amber is very small branches with little spread. A Gum on the other hand can be a lot more times consuming if the branches have a large spread.” 

When we conferred with an arborist in Brisbane, he commended:

“Palms come in all shapes and sizes. A Alexander palm has a skinny trunk with small fronds, where as a Date Palm has a hige trunk with large branches covered in spikes. The tree type will determine time spent and therefore cost.”

Tree Size

This is a big (or small) factor tree removal services take into consideration. The larger the tree is, the more timber there is the remove, which leads to a larger removal price. 

  • Small – Lill Pilly, Bottle brush, Magnolia, Crepe Myrtle
  • Medium – Weeping Willow, Sheoak, Banksia, Silver Birch.
  • Large – Red gum, Silky oak, Lemon Scented Gum, Bunya Pine
  • Extra Large – Norfolk Island Pine, Moreton Bay Fig, Coastal Black butt

Health and condition

A sick or dying tree can be very hazardous to remove, as it may be structurally unsound. When removing any tree, safety is paramount. With unsafe trees comes extra equipment and procedures in an attempt to mitigate all possible hazards. This includes:

  • Elevated work platform
  • Extra crew members
  • Crane-assisted tree removal
  • Traffic control
  • Powerline shutdowns

Dead trees

Dead tree removal is always more expensive than a live tree. The reason being a dead tree is a lot more difficult to work with and may require special equipment such as a cherry picker or crane.

  • As a general rule of thumb, you can add 20% – 40% to the prices listed above.

Property Access

How easy it is to access a tree is a crucial factor when an arborist is determining cost. A front yard vs backyard access will cost significantly less compared with poor rear access.

If your tree service is able to get heavy equipment like their truck and chipper close to the base of the tree, this will reduce removal times and cost. If not, extra manpower and time are required to drag branches and logs by hand to the truck. This will cost more.

access for tree removal

Emergency Tree Removal Cost

Emergency tree removal is general done at odd hours and is under extremely dangerous circumstances. Thes type of removal can be very expensive depending on the tree size and hazardous situation.

  • Pro tip: Call the SES first. They will make the tree safe and get it off the road, driveway or car, which will give you more time to get a regular price on removal.

Permits to Work

This can cost $65 to $250 extra depending on the council fees. Tree removal permits are required in a lot of cases for large tree removal. There are circumstances when a permit is not required, but it does vary from council to council. 

  • See local permit laws in your area here.

Arborist Reports

Some councils will require an independent arborist report before they will grant a permit for removal. For a single tree this will cost $500 on average. Arborist reports do not guarantee a favourable outcome for removal or an automatic permit from council.

Travel Time

Some companies charge travel time if your job is more than 30 minutes from their base of operations. To negate this cost, I suggest you only get quotes from local companies. You have nothing to gain going with a company out of your area.

Time of Year

Tree removal is seasonal so arranging to have a tree removed in the off-season is going to save you an average of 10%. Winter is the best time to get quotes on getting a tree cut down.

Qualifications: Arborists vs Gardners

The prices for removing a tree from a qualified arborist (expert in urban tree management) and the local garden maintenance man are night and day.

  • You will require an arborist for anything 5m in height or taller, but if you have a smaller tree, then I suggest the local lawn and garden care business. It will save you money.
  • Arborists generally don’t do small tree trimming and removal or hedging work, so getting a gardener in is slash costs by 50% or more.
arborist 95211.vs .gardner

Tree Removal Price by City

Median tree removal cost country wide = $1,740

CityStateDifference +/- From The AverageAvgerage Cost
SydneyNSW+ 9.06 %$2,354
NewcastleNSW+ 3.74 %$1,993
PerthWA+ 1.16 %$1,763
BrisbaneQLD+ 0.1 %$1,851
CanberraACT0 %$1,740
Gold CoastQLD– 1.23 %$1,648
MelbourneVIC– 2.17 %$2,350
HobartTAS– 6.32 %$1,643
AdelaideSA– 6.72 %$1,789
  • The cost variance by city is large with the highest cost of tree removal being 9.06% higher than the countrywide average of $1,740 for tree removal.
  • On the low end, the best price in the country for having trees removed at 6.72% less than the average, coming in at $1,623.

The above prices to get a tree removed may vary depending on the company you go with. Additional tree services such as stump removal and mulch spreading can add to the cost. 

Tree Removal Cost infographic final 3

Additional Tree Services Information

Stump Removal Cost

Stump removal is usually included in the cost of tree removal, but not always. Be sure to ask the tree service for a price including stump and root removal. You can expect to pay $70 to $550, for palm stump removal and $250 to $1,200 for regular/ hardwood tree stump removal.

Tree Stump Cost infographic final 1

Debris removal

The disposal of green waste is a cost consideration, especially for palm trees. A palm tree can not be mulched like regular trees and the tree service needs to pay to dispose of the waste. This adds 50% to the cost of palm tree removal.

  • Pro tip: To get a 50% discount on palm tree removal, ask the service to cut the palm down and stack the logs and frond on the nature strip for council clean up. Arrange the clean up a couple of days after removal. This negates dumping fees and will save you money.

Tree Trimming

tree pruning melbourne

The average cost of tree trimming is $435 which would include trimming 15% of the foliage of an 8m tree.

Below are some of the biggest factors in the price of tree pruning. These are the factors that make up tree trimming costs.

  • The size of the tree
  • The number of branches you need to remove
  • Obstacles such as power lines and sheds
  • The time take to prune a tree
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Cost Calculator for Tree Lopping

calculator

Tree Lopping

Note: Tree lopping is a very general term given to either removal or the pruning of a tree. In this guide, we will refer to either specifically removing the whole tree or the pruning of branches.

If you are here researching tree lopping cost, you can get all the information on the removal or you can go to our tree pruning cost guide page for trimming cost info.

Palm Removal

Palm trees are priced differently from normal tree removal. This is because dumping fees need to be added.

  • 1 x palm removal 5m high = $350 – $450 (includes tipping fees). Add $270 for each additional tree.
  • 1 x palm removal, 8m high = $450 – $650 (including tipping fees). Add $380 for each additional tree.
  • Palm pruning is normally $150 – $175 per tree

Note: we have put together a palm removal cost guide for specific species based on the size of the tree also.

Removing Fallen Tree

These are by far the easiest jobs for an arborist. The hard part of tree removal is felling the tree. As it has already fallen on its own (and hopefully not cause too much damage), it won’t cost you nearly as much to get it cut up and taken away.

Fallen trees:

  • The 10m tree will cost $1,600 – $3,000.
  • 15 – 20m will be closer to $2,000 – $5,000, but again you need to consider access.

Note: Tree felling is a specialized skill and should only be trusted to an arborist.

FAQ's

Insurance will cover the cost of a fallen tree but not a live healthy one. Generally, you have a better chance of getting an insurance company to come to the party for a tree that has fallen and damaged something.

  • Fallen tree
  • Tree has damaged something

Most tree services will not commit to a price over the phone. The reason is that all trees are different. They are hard to describe over the phone or with an image and give an accurate price. Most local tree removal services will insist on coming out to view the job before committing to a price.

In most cases, the answer is no. There are some palm trees that are highly desirable and landscaping companies will come and remove your tree for free as they know they can sell it to other customers, but for 99% of trees, you will need to pay for removal.

You will need to check the tree removal laws for your local council. If the tree is considered significant and is not exempt from the rules, you will need to apply for a permit first.

Normally dead or dangerous trees can be removed without a permit, but anything larger than 5m high will need approval first.

ben
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.