How much does an arborist cost?
How much does an arborist cost?
$100 – $250 cost per hour or inspection
$150 – $450 average single-tree report cost
Hiring an arborist costs $100 to $250 for a consultation or tree inspection. An arborist report costs $150 to $450 per tree. An arborist charges $100 to $250 per hour or an $800 to $2,000 day rate. An arborist costs $200 to $1,300 per tree for trimming or pruning.
|Bush and shrub trimming||$5 – $20 per bush|
|Deep root aeration and fertilization||$60 – $200 per tree|
|Injection for insects and diseases||$75 – $250 per tree|
|Tree branch removal||$75 – $250 per branch|
|Tree cabling||$200 – $350 per tree|
|Tree crown reduction||$250 – $1,300 per tree|
|Tree planting||$200 – $700 per tree|
|Tree pruning||$200 – $800 per tree|
|Tree removal||$300 – $2,000 per tree|
|Tree topping||$150 – $500 per tree|
|Tree stump removal||$80 – $250 per stump|
|Tree trimming||$200 – $900 per tree|
|Wood chipping||$100 – $150 per hour|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Arborists typically charge a one-hour minimum rate.
Tree service costs increase for difficult site conditions or homes outside the normal service area.
How much do arborists charge?
The following table shows how an arborist charges:
|Charge type||Average cost|
|Tree inspection||$100 – $250|
|Single-tree consultation and report||$150 – $450|
|Charge per hour||$100 – $250|
|Day rate||$800 – $2,000|
Additional cost factors include:
Tree size – Taller trees require more planning, safety equipment, and time to cut, trim, treat, and inspect.
Tree type – Hardwood trees or species with denser canopies are more labor-intensive to work on.
Tree accessibility – Tree surgeon costs increase for working around power lines, buildings, fences, and other site obstacles.
Street-tree work – A 2-person flagging crew costs $175 to $225 per hour for traffic control.
Tree health – Leaning, rotting, and dead trees require extra safety precautions.
Testing – Various fees apply for testing tree samples for numerous diseases.
Cleanup – Cleanup and disposal methods include:
Tree debris removal costs $75 to $250 per trip.
Tree chipping costs $100 to $150 per hour.
Log splitting costs $50 to $100 per hour.
Emergency work – After-hours work costs $150 to $250 per hour.
Permits – A tree removal permit costs $75 to $450. Tree trimming and other services typically don’t require a permit.
Transportation – Arborists bill $60 to $90 hourly for travel time on average.
Equipment – Charges increase for hauling a chipper, bucket truck, and other pruning tools to the site depending on the distance.
Tree climbing – Higher hourly rates apply for climbing due to the safety risks and setup involved.
Certified arborist charge per hour
A certified arborist charges $100 to $250 per hour on average, depending on the location, skill level, and experience. Arborists typically charge a one-hour minimum service fee.
Arborist cost per tree
An arborist costs $200 to $1,300 per tree on average, depending on the tree size, type, and work included. The most common services include tree trimming, pruning, planting, cabling, or a crown reduction. Tree removals are typically the most expensive.
Arborist day rates
An arborist day rate is $800 to $2,000 on average for 8 hours of work, including driving time. Fees for an arborist to climb a tree start at $150 minimum, plus labor charges for the time spent in the tree.
Arborist tree inspection and consultation cost
A tree inspection costs $100 to $250 on average. An in-depth tree report costs $150 to $700, depending on the number of trees and city requirements for the documents. A consulting arborist who makes reports has more certifications than a standard arborist crew member.
|Report type||Average cost|
|Inspection or risk assessment||$100 – $250|
|Single-tree consultation and report||$150 – $450|
|Multiple-tree consultation and report||$300 – $700|
|Construction report||$400 – $1,000|
Arborist report cost
An arborist report costs $150 to $450 per tree or up to $700 for multiple trees on the same site. A construction report costs $400 to $1,000, depending on the municipality requirements. An arborist report details the tree’s health, damages, and advice for each tree.
An arborist report is essential for:
Removing or pruning a large heritage tree
Lawsuits among neighbors for tree damages
Planning property development or assessing property value
Filing homeowners insurance claims when trees fall
Tree-risk assessment after a heavy storm
Cost to hire an arborist by service
Tree trimming costs $200 to $900 per tree on average, depending on the tree size and type. Trimming labor costs $50 to $125 per hour. Most mature trees need trimming every 3 to 5 years.
Common additional costs include:
Tree branch removal costs $75 to $250.
Shrub and bush trimming costs $5 to $20 per bush.
Tree crown reduction costs $250 to $1,300.
Tree topping costs $150 to $500.
Tree pruning costs $200 to $800 per tree on average or $50 to $125 per hour. Pruning improves tree health and new growth by removing broken, weak, dead, or diseased branches.
Wood chipping service cost
Wood chipping service costs $100 to $150 per hour when creating mulch on-site for garden projects. In comparison, regular mulch costs $15 to $65 per yard delivered.
Cost to cable a tree
The cost to cable a tree is $200 to $350 on average, depending on the tree size, type, cable length, and system used. Tree cabling reduces stress damage, holds a tree trunk and branches in place, and improves alignment for proper tree growth. Cabling is important in high-wind areas.
Tree removal costs $300 to $2,000 on average, depending on the tree height, type, and accessibility. Stump removal costs $80 to $250per stump with reduced prices for additional stumps.
The cost to plant a tree is $200 to $700 per tree. A tree sapling costs $10 to $40 each while a 10’ to 20’ tall tree costs $250 to $800 for the tree alone. Total costs depend on the tree size, species, and the total number of trees planted.
Tree surgeon deep root aeration and fertilization costs
Deep root aeration and fertilization costs $60 to $200 per tree for the first plant, and discounts apply for additional trees. Prices vary according to the tree size. Deep root fertilization is a soil-injection treatment to feed the roots faster and boost growth.
Deep root aeration is important when:
Trees are growing in compacted soil with high clay content.
The soil around the roots lacks nutrients.
The growth of tree leaves has decreased, or new leaves are smaller.
Branch tips are thinner or dying.
Pests and diseases infect the tree easily and often.
Tree surgeon insect and disease control cost
Arborists treat pests and diseases through spraying or tree injections.
A tree injection costs $75 to $250 per tree on average or $10 to $15 per inch of trunk diameter. This method is a single treatment and lasts 1 to 2 years.
Spraying multiple trees costs $60 to $80 per treatment. This method is less effective and requires 3 to 4 visits a year.
What does an arborist do?
Services that an arborist does include:
Make official tree-risk assessments for government officials
Consultations with advice on picking new trees and landscape design
Soil tests and drainage assessments
Customized fertilization treatments
Treating trees for diseases, pests, and fungus
Pruning and trimming
Root aeration and root pruning
Tree and brush removal
Emergency care for storm-damaged trees
Planting new trees and transplanting older trees
Annual tree maintenance
Cabling and bracing to stabilize young trees
Soil aeration and root-growth care
Do you tip arborists?
An arborist does not expect a tip. You can tip arborists $20 to $50+per person if the job had many unexpected challenges and they did additional work for free.
Why hire a certified arborist?
Hire an ISA-certified arborist when:
Trees infested with pests or diseases need treatments.
An arborist’s report is necessary for working with locally protected trees.
A rare tree needs careful pruning and maintenance.
Homeowners want to install new landscaping with trees.
A limited-access tree needs an experienced tree climber.
You need to prepare to transplant a tree.
Getting estimates and quotes from arborists
Before hiring an arborist near you, be sure to:
Ask for a list of references to prove experience.
Compare at least 3 arborist estimates from different companies.
Check if they need an arborist or general-contractor license in your state.
Find International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborists and verify ISA credentials of those who claim this certification.
See if they are members of:
American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA)
Society of American Foresters (SAF)
Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)
Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Verify that they have business licenses, liability insurance, and surety bonds.
Request a detailed bid and copies of the contract and warranty.
Take photos of your property before and after work to prevent disputes.
Beware of the cheapest quotes for low-quality work.
Never pay in full up front.
Don’t hire anyone who tops trees, cutting all large branches down to the stubs. Topping severely weakens trees and can kill them.
Don’t allow workers to climb with spikes that leave lasting tree damage.
Questions to ask
Does your arborist company give free quotes?
How many years have you been working as a certified arborist?
Can you show me where my tree needs cutting and why?
How long will your initial consultation last, and how much is it?
Do you prune according to ANSI standards?
How many people are on the crew for projects like this?
Do local laws protect this type of tree? Will you get the extra permits needed?
What type of equipment do you use, and will it damage my lawn?
Are my sprinklers, fencing, or landscaping features blocking tree access?
Did you find any signs of pests or diseases in my trees?
How long will this project take?
What safety measures will you take to prevent injuries and damages?
Do you offer any labor guarantees?
When is the best time of year to prune my trees?
What types of maintenance plans do you offer?
Does this bid include the cost of cleanup and debris disposal?