How Much Does Hiring An Arborist Cost in 2024?

Hiring an arborist costs about $800 on average, but varies depending on services rendered. Read this guide to get an idea of what it’ll cost you.

When you have a problem with a tree, you as a homeowner need to consult someone who knows them best. That’s right, an arborist. An average cost to hire an arborist runs for about $800, with the typical price range going from $300 to $1800. The bottom-of-the-barrel cost is as low as $75, but the extreme high cost goes up to a whopping $6500.

Whether it’s a trim job, removing a stump, or something more serious, hiring an arborist is practically a necessity for any job involving trees. Arborists don’t typically have an hourly rate, instead charging by individual services. The cost for any service performed by an arborist depends on a great number of factors. Read this helpful guide to know what will influence your cost when hiring an arborist.

Average cost of hiring an arborist in 2024

National Average Cost$800
Typical Price Range$300 – $1800
Extreme Low-End Cost$75
Extreme High-End Cost$6500

Arborists provide many tree services, so it’s difficult to pin an exact price on any singular visit. Factors that can affect cost include the extent of a project, any equipment or material necessary to complete it, and the urgency. Before hiring anyone, make sure that they’re a certified arborist so that you know you’re getting someone who knows what they’re doing.

You can shop around, look for quotes, and try consulting arborists to try and get closer to the $75 extreme low-end cost, but if you have a particularly big job, you can expect to pay closer to the $6500 high-end cost regardless of who you pick.

Arborist cost estimator by tree size

One of the biggest factors that will affect an arborist’s price, at least in the case of live tree removals, is size. This will also affect other jobs involving whole trees or stumps, but removal is one of the ones that’s affected by it the most.

For any tree under 30 feet, removal can cost anywhere from $285 to $435. Removal of 30 to 60 feet trees typically goes for $435 to $870. A 60 to 80 feet tree can cost about $870 to $1160 to remove. Large trees over 80 feet can cost from $1160 to $2000, with the cost increasing further with greater height.

Project SizeAverage Removal Cost
Up to 30 feet$285 – $435
30 to 60 feet$435 – $870
60 to 80 feet$870 – $1160
80 to  feet$1160 – $2000

Different arborist services

Besides removing trees, arborists also provide many other services, each with their own price tag. Caring for existing trees and removing stumps are just some of the reasons you might need to call an arborist, but even these are subject to many other factors. Here are some typical services that arborists offer, along with their average price points.

Tree trimming

Tree trimming is a fairly basic service. Landscaping professionals can handle everyday tree trimming needs, but you would hire an arborist if you need a tree trimmed for its health or to prevent overgrown branches from becoming a danger to people or property. Tree pruning costs can run anywhere from $75 to $1,500, depending on factors like the size of the tree.

Tree removal

Arborists will also remove dead trees in addition to live ones. This can be complicated and dangerous but thankfully isn’t a very expensive service, relatively speaking. The cost of removing a dead tree averages out between $385 and $1,070, though again, this will vary.

Tree transplantation

Say you have a tree on your property that’s very near and dear to your heart, but you need to move to a new home. An arborist can transplant that tree to a new location. Keep in mind that this is quite the pricey service, and the cost varies even more than most others. It goes up significantly when considering the size of the tree.

Since the cost of moving a tree varies so much, it’s difficult to pin down an exact number. The average is approximately $800 to $1500, but this is far from concrete. For small trees, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars. This goes up to a few thousand for a medium to large-sized tree. The upper cost, in the case of particularly big trees, can go up to $50,000 or more.

Stump removal

Another arborist service is removing the stumps of trees that have fallen or been cut down. This is done in one of two ways; grinding it down or removing it manually. A manual stump removal cost tends to be more expensive than grinding, averaging about $180 to $525, though this varies depending on the size of the stump and the precise method used.

Stump grinding

Grinding a stump involves using a specialized machine to grind it down into sawdust or small pieces so that it can be removed more easily. This is less expensive than manual removal despite the specialized equipment involved. Stump grinding typically costs about $140 to $450, depending on the size.

Wood chipping

Wood chipping is another arborist service. After a tree has been removed or cut down, it’s fed into a wood chipper to reduce it to tiny pieces. The same thing is usually done with the branches removed during a tree trimming. In a tree removal or trimming job, this will be included with the cost, but for a separate wood chipping, arborists charge about $100 to $500 per tree, depending on size and species.

Deep root aeration

Although most of an arborist’s services involve trees, they also offer services involving lawns. One of these is aeration, where they use a machine to remove small plugs of soil from a lawn. This allows the soil to decompact and makes it easier for grass and trees to absorb air, water, and nutrients. A root aeration by an arborist will typically cost between $85 and $200.

Deep root fertilization

Another service that arborists offer is fertilization for trees and shrubbery. This is applied to the roots of the plants so that it can penetrate as deeply as possible and have the most effect. A deep root fertilization by an arborist ranges from $100 to $300 for each tree or shrub.

Monthly pest control

Arborists can also offer pest control services. These are typically done on a monthly basis. The cost per month of an arborist’s pest control services is typically $35 to $55, though this can vary depending on the size of your property and any existing pest problems you may have.

Cabling a tree

Arborists can also cable trees. Cabling a tree involves using cables to secure healthy branches that are at risk of breaking for whatever reason. Cabling typically costs from $150 to $450, depending on how tall the tree is and how many cables are necessary.

Planting a tree

Any arborist worth their salt can plant a tree. If you want to add a tree or two to your property, it should cost somewhere between $150 and $1,850 each for an arborist to plant. This will depend on the size and species of tree, with saplings and smaller trees costing less.

Tree planting is one of the few arborist services that you can try to do yourself, but it’s quite difficult and is best left to the professionals.

Tree inspection

An arborist can also inspect any trees that you believe may have problems and diagnose any existing issues, such as disease or pests. Regular inspections can help extend trees’ lifespans and keep them looking beautiful for longer.

A full tree report for one tree may not cost anything at all, but if there is some cost incurred, it can reach up to $250.

Tree injections

Arborists can also inject trees with a preventative fungicide or insecticide to prevent any problems before they happen. The cost will depend on the size of the trees, how many there are, and what type of injections they receive, but is usually about $60 to $250 per tree.

Arborist report

When hiring an arborist, you can also get an arborist’s report from them that will outline a tree’s needs and recommended courses of action. A report should include any issues a tree has, treatments it will need, and an estimated cost for services going forward.

$250 to $400 is the typical range for an arborist’s report, but this can vary widely depending on the arborist’s findings and the contents of the report.

Bush and hedge trimming

Arborists can also trim bushes and hedges. The cost for each will differ since bush trimming and hedge trimming are different processes, but they’re fairly close together. Trimming bushes costs about $50 to $75 per hour, and hedge trimming costs between $65 and $90 per hour. Both will vary based on the number of bushes and how much work will go into trimming them.

Other factors that affect cost

Regardless of what kind of service you’ll be hiring an arborist for, there are many factors that will affect their cost. Most of them have to do with the trees they’re being hired to service. Though these aren’t usually quantifiable, anything that makes a tree more valuable or difficult to work with will drive up costs in some way.

Age of trees

One factor that will increase cost is the age of a tree. Older trees are bigger and taller, meaning that more work will be required to service them. Trees also get stronger with age, meaning that removal will be more costly.

Finally, trees get more valuable the older they are, meaning that anything to do with them will also carry extra expense.

Species of trees

The species of a tree that’s being serviced is another thing that will affect cost. Different species will need different treatments and care than others, which incurs different costs. Some trees are also more difficult to remove, transplant, or trim, making them more expensive.

Condition of trees

The condition of a tree will also affect cost. Any kind of treatment for a tree in poor shape will cost more than maintaining a healthy one. Removing any kind of unhealthy trees will also be more expensive than healthy ones due to the extra complication and dangers involved.

Location of the trees

Where a tree is located matters. The easier it is to get to a tree, the lower the cost will be. If it’s in a particularly tough spot to reach, you can expect to pay more for anything related to the tree, especially removal or trimming.

Time of year

Lastly, costs will vary depending on the time of year. In the case of tree planting and transplanting, certain times of year are better than others. The best time varies with the type of tree, but as a general rule, early spring is the best time to plant or transplant a tree. As long as it’s after the hottest parts of summer and before the ground starts to freeze, however, they can still be planted with reasonable success.

Arborists may charge more for services, especially tree planting, transplanting, and removal, during different times of year. Winter is the easiest time to remove a tree, for example, so the cost is lower than the rest of the year. Planting and transplanting will also likely be more expensive outside of peak times.

Don’t try to DIY

Although the costs may seem daunting, tree care is not something that you should try to DIY. Machinery to plant and remove trees is complicated and dangerous, so if you don’t know what you’re doing, you or someone around you could get hurt. You might also hurt your trees with improper use of pesticides or fertilizers.

If you do have to DIY something, make sure it’s a small project like planting saplings and not anything overly complicated. Always take the proper safety precautions and make sure you know what you’re doing with any machinery or pesticides before using them.

Cost of an arborist by location

The cost of an arborist also varies depending on location. In general, costs in urban areas are higher than in rural ones due to the higher cost of living, but this isn’t the only location factor. The terrain and soil type can also have an effect on the price.

FAQ about arborism

Why are arborists so expensive?

Arborists are trained professionals who have dedicated years to tree care, so you’re paying for that expertise and time. There are also many overhead costs involved, including liability insurance, materials, labor, and the operation of machinery.

What is the difference between an arborist and a landscaper?

Arborists specialize in the health and trimming of trees, while landscapers are more focused on lawns, shrubbery, trimming, and the aesthetics of an outdoor space as a whole.

How do arborists tell if a tree is healthy or not?

The biggest things arborists look at when determining the health of a tree are the soil and root collar, to check for fungi or anything else that would compromise the structure, and the trunk, for any loose bark, cracks, or hollow spaces.

Is an arborist a tree surgeon?

In a sense, yes. Arborists are types of tree surgeons, but not all tree surgeons are arborists. While they often overlap, they’re different professions.

Can you hire an arborist in winter?

Absolutely. Winter is one of the busiest times of year for arborists, so while you might have trouble booking one, an arborist can and will work in the winter. Winter is actually better for performing many tree-related tasks than other seasons.

What is a master arborist?

A master arborist is the highest level of arborist possible. To become a master arborist, arborists have to be certified by the ISA, or the International Society of Arboriculture.

Where do I find an arborist?

The best place to look for an arborist is online. You should be able to find plenty that can take care of your tree needs. You can also ask for recommendations if someone you know has used an arborist in the past.

Final thoughts

Planting, pruning, pest control–– keeping your trees healthy can seem like a daunting task. But that’s where tree care professionals come in. Professional arborists can help you with just about anything you need involving trees. 

If you have issues with trees or shrubbery and are completely lost as to what to do next, reach out to your local landscaping professionals for help or to put you in touch with a local arborist.

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo by: TreeMinion15 | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Austin Geiger

Austin Geiger is a lover of all things nature. He enjoys writing comprehensive, easy-to-swallow articles about pest management solutions, landscaping tips, and ways for people to help their local pollinators.