The cost of leaf removal – hiring someone to clean up fall leaves from your lawn – depends on your specific needs and location, but prices typically range from $155 to $460. Depending on several factors, you could spend as little as $60 on the low end or as much as $740 on the high end.
In this article:
- Average costs
- Cost estimator by size
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- DIY cost
- Cost by location
Average leaf removal costs in 2023
|National Average Cost||$280|
|Typical Price Range||$155 – $460|
|Extreme Low End Cost||$60|
|Extreme High End Cost||$740|
Depending on the size of your lawn and the number of trees in your yard, you can expect to pay around $155 to $460 for leaf removal services. The national average cost of leaf removal, across projects of all sizes, is about $280.
Many factors can influence the cost of leaf cleanup, which we’ll cover below. You can expect to spend around $60 for a low-end project and around $740 for a high-end project. For example, if you have a smaller yard, you can expect your cost to be closer to the low end, but if you have a multi-acre property with lots of trees, your cost will probably be closer to the high end.
Leaf removal cost estimator by size
|Yard size||Potential price range of leaf removal|
|5,000 square feet||$100 – $500|
|10,000 square feet||$200 – $1,000|
|15,000 square feet||$300 – $1,500|
|20,000 square feet||$400 – $2,000|
On average, you should expect to pay about $0.02 to $0.10 per square foot of your yard for leaf removal, but various factors can raise or lower the price. For example, if you have a lot of trees on your property, it will take more time and labor to clear the leaves, which will raise the cost per square foot.
Though these prices can serve as a rule of thumb, you’ll have to get a leaf removal quote from a local lawn care company to find out your exact cost. Note that most companies will charge a minimum service fee, so even if your lawn is small, you may have to pay that minimum fee.
Other factors that affect cost
Aside from the size of your yard, here are the other factors that might raise or lower the cost of leaf removal for your property.
If you have more trees on your lawn, the time and labor for removing leaves will increase since there will be more to clean up. Because of this, you can expect the costs of leaf removal to increase.
Method of leaf removal
There are three common methods of leaf removal, each with its own pros, cons, and associated costs.
|Leaf removal method||Average cost of service (per hour)|
- Leaf blowing: Leaf blowing involves using a leaf blower to blow the leaves onto a tarp for easy disposal.
- Leaf raking: Raking up leaves takes a lot longer than blowing or vacuuming, so you can expect to spend more if your crew is being paid by the hour.
- Leaf vacuuming: Leaf vacuuming involves using a vacuum to remove leaves from your lawn without a tarp. This is usually more expensive than blowing or raking because of the equipment needed.
Leaf removal is only a small part of your overall lawn care needs. There are many different services that you might need a lawn care company to perform along with leaf removal.
Lawn dethatching costs
On average, you can expect lawn dethatching to cost between $160 and $225, with an average cost of $190.
Dethatching is the process of removing the built up layer of living and dead material (including decaying leaves) that accumulates where the grass touches the soil. While some thatch is good for your lawn, it’s important to remove it before the thatch begins to limit the amount of water and nutrients your lawn receives.
Lawn aeration costs
On average, you can expect lawn aeration to cost between $75 and $225, with an average cost of $145.
Lawn aeration is the process of creating holes in your lawn that allow air, water, and fertilizer to reach the roots. If you have a cool-season grass type, you should aerate your lawn in fall, right around the same time you’re having leaves removed.
Cost of removing leaves from your yard DIY
Of course, if you would like to clean up the leaves in your lawn on your own, you could save a lot of money. It’s a pretty easy and straightforward yard chore, although you might have to repeat it several times throughout the fall to keep your yard clear of leaves.
DIY cost breakdown
Your options for leaf removal, should you go the DIY route, are pretty much the same as what a professional lawn care service would use. You can clean up your leaves with a rake, leaf blower, or leaf vacuum.
|Equipment||Average Cost (one time)|
|Rake||$10 – $90|
|Leaf Blower||$40 – 640|
|Leaf Vacuum||$40 – 640|
A rake is the cheapest option for any homeowner who wants to save on cleanup costs. For large yards, a leaf blower or vacuum would be more efficient, but either of these tools would cost a lot more than a rake. While a rake will be cheaper, it will take more time and effort on your part.
How to remove leaves DIY
Depending on the method of leaf removal you decide to use, the process can be more or less strenuous and time-consuming. Here are the best ways to remove leaves from your yard.
- Pick a proper stance and grip on your rake. Using a rake can be a labor-intensive process, so it is important to grip the rake with both hands and to regularly switch their positions to reduce strain on your body.
- Rake in one direction. Pick a spot and rake backwards towards it. This way, you reduce the chances of having to rake over the same spot multiple times.
- Have a sheet or tarp where you can put your leaves. This will make disposing of your leaves easier. Once you have your leaves on the tarp, you can fold it inward and transport the leaves easily to your trash can or curb.
- Bag your leaves. Using the sheet or tarp you have, place your leaves in bags. It’s helpful to use a trash can to hold the bag so you don’t have to hold both the bag and the tarp you’re using at the same time.
The important thing to remember here is to take plenty of breaks to avoid wearing yourself out, especially if you have a lot of ground to cover.
- Pick a corner and place a sheet or tarp there. Aiming the leaves towards one area will make this process faster and easier for you once you’ve cleaned all the leaves.
- Using your leaf blower, start from the opposite corner and blow your leaves towards the tarp. This way, you won’t have to worry about going back and forth between spots you may have missed.
- Bag your leaves. Once you have all the leaves on the sheet or tarp you use, place your leaves in bags.
- Have the proper safety equipment. Leaf vacuuming can be at times a more dangerous process than you would think, so be sure to have the following items on hand:
- Safety Goggles
- Hearing Protection
- Dust Respirators
- Make sure your bag is fully closed before beginning. A common mistake first time users make is to not fully close the bag.
- Remove or avoid any twigs or branches. Vacuuming twigs or branches, even if they are small, can cause internal damage to your leaf vacuum
- Begin vacuuming and replace bags as needed. Depending on the size of your vacuum, you will have to replace bags as they fill up.
DIY cost vs. professional cost
The DIY cost vs. the professional cost is dependent on which leaf removal option you end up using.
|Service||Avg. Cost of Equipment (DIY)||Avg. Cost of Service (Professional)|
|Raking||$20 (one time)||$35 (per service)|
|Blowing||$150 (one time)||$45 (per service)|
|Vacuuming||$185 (one time)||$55 (per service)|
If you decide to use a rake and clean up your yard by yourself, you will end up saving the most money possible. While the upfront cost of a leaf blower or vacuum might seem high, that’s a one-time cost you pay, and you can use the tool for many seasons to come.
On the other hand, hiring a lawn care service to clean up the leaves on your lawn will save you a lot of time and energy.
Cost of leaf removal by location
Depending on the region of the country you live in, the cost of leaf removal can vary. For example, if you live in a more arid environment like the Southwestern United States, you may not need to use leaf removal services as often as someone living in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country.
As soon as the leaves begin to fall from your trees, you should contact a lawn care service for leaf removal. You don’t want leaves to accumulate to the point of having large piles that can suffocate your grass and will be harder to clean up.
Keep in mind that leaves will continue to fall over the course of the season, so talk to your lawn care service provider about making leaf removal a regular part of your lawn care plan.
Some of the most common methods to dispose of leaves include:
*Many states have banned burning leaves due its effect on the environment.
First, leaving excessive amounts of leaves on your lawn can inhibit the growth of grass and hurt your lawn in the spring. It also creates a breeding ground for many insect pests. Unless you decide to mulch them so they can gradually break down into the soil, letting leaves remain on your lawn will hurt it in the long run.
Depending on the method your pro uses for leaf removal, you can expect the service to cost anywhere between $155 and $460 overall. These prices are dependent on the size of your lawn and the amount of trees on your property that drop leaves.
By hiring a lawn care professional to remove leaves for you, you might spend a little more money than you would on a good, old-fashioned rake, but you’ll save yourself hours of yard work (and a backache the next day).
Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.
Photo by Aditya Prabaswara on Unsplash