Horticulture Magazine

What Are The Average Tree Surgeon Costs?

a tree surgeon with a high visibility jacket high up a tree

Is there a tree on your property that you’d rather use to fuel your fireplace for the next few months?

Or maybe it’s growing too big for comfort and you want it tidied up a little bit, and to prevent the risk of causing damage to your property.

If either of these applies to you, maybe you’ve found yourself asking, “What is a fair price to cut down a tree?” In this article we’ll run you through the answer to that question.

After reading you should have a better idea of what to expect from tree surgery, and how much you might have to pay.

man climbing a tree with ropes
“Hey, I can see my house from up here!”

What is tree surgery?

Tree surgery is the practice of managing trees by keeping them in optimal condition and, where necessary, safely removing them.

Tree surgeons are professionals qualified in the art of tree surgery. They have the tools and experience required to carry out all sorts of tree work, from tidy-ups to cut-downs.

Whatever type of tree work you’re looking for, a tree surgeon near you will probably be the best bet. They’ll work with you to understand the job at hand and then, providing you’re happy with their quote, they’ll come and get it done.

How much does it cost to hire a tree surgeon?

This answer, as you may have guessed, depends on the company you hire, the size of the job, and various other factors.

A rough ballpark for the average hourly rate of a tree surgeon is around £40. This is prone to be different depending on geographical region (more expensive in London, for example, or higher charges for travel time if you go for a company located far away) or the size of the company.

Then you need to bear in mind that you probably won’t be hiring a tree surgeon, but a team of tree surgeons. That means multiplying the hourly rate by however many people are on-site to help with the job – usually 2 or 3.

How much does it cost to have a large tree removed?

While we can’t pin down an exact price, we can give you an idea of the factors that will affect the price.

When cutting down a large tree, there’s more to the job than just chainsawing it down and removing it from the site. Here’s what the job entails –

  • Getting to the site: companies charge travel time depending on distance.
  • Use of any specialist vehicles: cherry pickers to reach high spots, for example.
  • Felling the tree: this involves removing branches and is quite time consuming.
  • Breaking the felled sections down to sizes suitable for transportation: again, time consuming.
  • Loading it up: if the tree surgeons have to carry the pieces to off-site parking this is likely to add to the cost.
  • Removing the waste: clearing away the fallen tree involves more travel.
surgeon working on a tree in an elevated cherry picker
Bigger tools = bigger quotes

As you can see, the scale of the job can expand fairly quickly. It’s not hard for this process to take 2 or 3 days, or potentially more. Working with a team of 3, an average hourly rate of £40, an 8 hour day, and a 3-day job that’s £2,880 before VAT and before adding travel time.

How much does it cost to trim a tree?

As this is a much smaller job, you can expect to pay lower prices. One website that gives average quotes for common jobs lists this at about £550.

However, the scale of the job will determine the cost, and trees come in an endless array of sizes. So the estimated figure above may quickly go out the window.

What type of trimming do you need, for example? Many are available, including –

  • Crown lifting
  • Crown trimming
  • Crown reduction
  • Dead wooding
  • Pollarding

The type, the size of the tree, the distance they have to drive – all of these will impact the cost.

Pollard willows in the Netherlands
Pollarding: trees like to have their hair cut as well!

How do you price a tree job?

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably realising that pricing up a tree surgery job isn’t an easy task. There are so many variables that affect the price, that there’s not much point in us providing estimates, as they’ll probably be off the mark when you actually get a quote.

With that in mind, we’ll end this piece with a few things to keep in mind when looking for a quote.

Firstly, as with most services, it’s worth talking to a few providers to get an idea of what things might cost, and if a quoted price seems too high, go with your gut. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get ripped off!

When deciding which tree surgeon to go with, take a look at the following –

  • The testimonials on their site. These usually give a good indication of the scale of jobs they take on and the quality of their work.
  • External reviews. These are very important: testimonials on a company’s website can be curated so that you only see the best. Review sites like Trustpilot, Google, and Yell give real customer feedback – good and bad.

Sites that list average quotes for common jobs may be useful; however their estimates come with the same caveats. Often such sites go into quite a bit of detail on the various factors available, so we do recommend them as a starting point.

Tree-mendous

While it can be hard to estimate a quote in advance, the vast majority of tree surgeons are happy to help you get the job done for the best possible price.

Having a clear idea of the job at hand and talking to a few local tree surgeon companies should let you find a quote fairly quickly.

Then it’s just a case of deciding who to go with, getting the job done, and appreciating your newly-neatened tree (or, if you’re having one felled, your newfound space!)

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