Bushes and shrubs can add personality and privacy to your home and yard. But they can also be an extra home-maintenance chore and expense. If you’re ready to cross this yard work off your to-do list, you’re probably wondering about the removal costs. Most homeowners typically pay between $260 and $640 for a complete removal project. The national average price is $650 for shrub and bush removal. Professionals typically charge an hourly rate of $50 to $75.
This cost guide will give you information that will help you budget for your shrub and bush removal project:
- Average costs
- Cost estimator by size
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- Pro cost vs. DIY cost
- Cost by location
Average shrub and bush removal costs in 2023
|National average cost||$650|
|Typical price range||$260 – $640|
|Extreme low end cost||$100|
|Extreme high end cost||$1,550|
Removing shrubs and bushes includes hauling them away and disposing of them, root removal, and any other necessary work. The table reflects the typical costs for a professional to complete the total project.
Bush and shrub removal prices are impacted by the size of the shrubs, plant type, root structure, soil type, accessibility, trip fees, and repair.
You may be able to save money by doing some of the work yourself. Clearing the area surrounding the shrubs and bushes, eliminating any debris, and removing the top layer of soil will decrease a contractor’s time and effort. You could also bring in soil and plant or rejuvenate the area yourself after the shrubs and bushes are removed.
Having a professional remove shrubs during mid to late winter can save you money. Bushes have fewer or no leaves during this time, making them easier and safer to cut and remove.
Shrub and bush removal cost estimator by size
The cost to remove shrubs and bushes depends on the size and height of the plant and the plant’s root system. Taller shrubs and bushes are more expensive to remove than shorter ones. Also, smaller shrubs have less established roots than older shrubs, making them cheaper and easier to remove.
The honeysuckle, for example, would cost on the lower end to remove. It grows only to about 3 feet tall. Camellias can grow between 6 feet and 12 feet tall, and fall somewhere in the $80 to $300 range per bush to remove.
|Project size||Average cost per bush|
|Small (1 ft. – 2 ft.)||$20 – $45|
|Medium (2 ft. – 4 ft.)||$45 – $80|
|Large (4 ft. – 6 ft.)||$80 – $150|
|Extra large (over 6 ft.)||$150 – $300|
Other factors that affect cost
Some of us love surprises and some of us don’t. But no one likes a surprise that adds unexpected expenses to a project we’ve already budgeted for. Let’s take a look at some other price determinants.
Type of plant
As you can see from the above example, plant type can determine its maximum height. There are some other factors of a plant’s type that affect how difficult it is to abstract, which dictates how much labor and equipment will be needed. All of these factors impact removal costs.
An elder is fairly easy to uproot, while the sharp spines on a hawthorne make it more complicated to remove. Therefore, a hawthorne is more costly to abstract than an elder. On the other hand, shrubs and bushes like the oleander cost more than a hawthorne to remove for safety reasons. The oleander is poisonous and requires special handling.
Root structure, soil type, and stumps
Shrubs and bushes with deeper roots are more laborious to abstract, and therefore, their removal is more pricey.
Soil type also affects how complex the removal project will be. Shrubs in sand-based soil take less time and effort to remove than shrubs in dense clay or loam-based soil. So, if your bushes are in less thick and dense soil, it will reduce your total costs.
It is best to remove the stump, as a bush can grow back if the required amount of stump or roots are not removed. A stump with a more complex root system may cost more to remove.
Ease of access to your shrubs and bushes impacts shrub removal costs. For example, if service providers must park and walk a long way to your shrubs, or the area is obstructed in some way, the work will take longer to complete, increasing labor costs. Bushes positioned up against your house, on uneven ground, or near power lines can also drive up the price.
Contractors may charge more to drive to properties that are farther away. Many may even charge a minimum fee just to come out. So you may be charged for an hour or two even if it’s a very small job that doesn’t take much time or equipment.
Keeping a well-kept and attractive yard is a part of homeownership. Here are some other things you can do to maintain your lawn.
- Shrub and bush trimming
- Hedge trimming
- Hedge removal
- Tree trimming
- Tree removal
- Repair and rejuvenation
Shrub and bush trimming
Some factors that affect the cost to trim shrubs and bushes are how many you are trimming, their size, and whether the contractor charges per hour or per bush.
Bush and shrub trimming costs $6 to $15 per bush. Contractors usually charge $50 to $75 per hour. Shrub trimming is pretty easy, so you may opt to DIY it. If you already have the tools, DIY is free. If not, the equipment will cost, on the low end, about $345 to $365.
|Per hour||Per bush|
|National average cost||$60||$10|
|Typical price range||$50 – $75||$6 – $15|
|Extreme low end cost||$25||$5|
|Extreme high end cost||$90||$20|
What’s the difference between a hedge, shrub, and bush? Shrub and bush are used interchangeably, and they are very similar.
A shrub and bush are small woody plants with a height of less than 15 feet. Shrubs are usually pruned and shaped. Bushes, on the other hand, are left to grow wild. Hedges are bushes or shrubs growing closely together and are used as a privacy screen, border, or fence.
Since hedges have both practical and aesthetic uses, many choose to keep and maintain them. The table below gives the average hourly costs for trimming hedges.
|National average cost||$75|
|Typical price range||$65 to $90|
|Extreme low end cost||$35|
|Extreme high end cost||$105|
If you feel you must remove your hedges, removing them costs about the same as removing shrubs. Professionals charge by length or height. Every five feet of hedge equals one bush, but contractors may charge for every 2 to 3 feet of hedgerow if it is particularly dense or large.
Removing hedges is about $50 to $75 an hour. Homeowners pay an average of $390 to have hedges removed.
|Length||Typical Range||Average Cost|
|Small (5 ft)||$75 – $150||$110|
|Medium (30 ft)||$450 – $900||$675|
|Large (50 ft)||$750 – $1,500||$1,110|
|Extra Large (75 ft)||$1,125 – $2,250||$1,700|
|Ultra Large (100 ft)||$1,500 – $3,000||$2,250|
Some factors impacting tree trimming costs are the size of the tree, the necessary equipment for trimming, and the tree’s health. Heavy-duty equipment is needed for large trees, and large trees are also a safety risk to trim. Even if it is a small tree, if it has pests, it may mean the tree is rotting, which will make the job riskier. Tree trimming services charge more for riskier jobs.
|National average cost||$420|
|Typical price range||$255 – $655|
|Extreme low end cost||$75|
|Extreme high end cost||$1,600|
Tree removal is impacted by factors similar to those that affect removing shrubs and bushes. The type of tree, size of the tree, and accessibility are cost factors. Tree health also determines the cost of tree removal.
|National average cost||$850|
|Typical price range||$385 – $1,070|
|Extreme low end cost||$230|
|Extreme high end cost||$2,000|
Repair and rejuvenation
Now that your shrubs and bushes are gone, you’re left with a blank lawn as your canvas to do what you will. You have some options.
More grass: seed vs. sod
You could keep it simple by seeding your lawn. New grass will replace your missing shrubs. You can also replace the removed plants with grass by laying sod. Which is better? To seed or not to seed?
Laying sod will also replenish grass, but much faster than seeding. Sodding involves transplanting already-grown grass, whereas seeding involves planting seeds. As a result, sodding will give you a lawn full of grass faster. But the sodding process takes more time and effort and costs more. Seeding is less work and will save you money.
Seeding averages between $0.10 and $0.19 per square foot. It costs between $680 to $1815 to seed a lawn. Sodding typically costs between $0.30 to $0.83 per square foot. It costs about $0.87 to $1.76 per square foot to have sod professionally installed.
Seeding can run as little as $195 on the low end, while sodding costs about $780.
Flower bed installation
What better way to add personality, beauty, and color to your yard than by adding flowers? Contractors charge between $1,000 and $3,000 to install a standard 5 by 12-foot flower bed. Hiring a professional will ensure your bed is the correct size, and that you have the right border type and proper soil for a beautiful, blossoming flower garden.
Pro cost vs. DIY cost
If you already have the tools and protective gear, DIY shrub removal is free. But keep in mind that large bushes or bushes from dense clusters will be more difficult to remove. And some plants are toxic and require special care to handle, like oleander.
Make sure you gather the proper tools and protective gear for this project. Wearing long pants and long sleeves will help protect you from scratches, insect bites, and other things that can pose a problem if your legs and arms are unnecessarily exposed. Protective boots are recommended. Steel-toe boots cost about $100. You may also want to wear a face screen.
|DIY equipment||Average cost|
|Eye protection||$2 – $20|
|Ear protection||$3 – $50|
|Chainsaw||$75 – $350|
|Chainsaw (full-day rental)||$55|
|Hedge trimmer||$50 – $150|
|Bypass loppers||$20 – $110|
|Hand pruning shears||$15|
|Trenching shovel||$30 – $45|
|Topsoil (to fill the hole)||$10 – $55 per cubic yard|
|Total DIY Cost with renting a chainsaw||$345 – $660|
|Total DIY Cost with buying a chainsaw||$365 – $955|
A chainsaw is needed to cut out the inside branches of large shrubs. If you don’t have a chainsaw, you can use a pruning or reciprocating saw. If you only need the chainsaw for this one-day project, it would be cheaper to rent one at only $55 a day.
Homeowners typically pay between $260 to $640 for shrub and bush removal. DIY costs range from $345 to $955. Of course, if you already have most or some of this equipment, it will be a lot less. You could also borrow what you don’t have.
If you think you are up for the job and already have most of the equipment, learn how to remove bushes the right way so you can complete the project yourself.
Cost of shrub and bush removal by location
Not all soil is created equal, and different regions have different soil structures. Soil is classified into six types, and most soils are made up of more than one soil texture. Shrubs in dense clay or loam-based soil are more difficult to remove than shrubs or bushes in light, sandy soil. So, if you live in an area with dense clay or loam-based soil, you may pay more.
The area you live in and the contractor or company you choose also dictate labor prices. If you live in a location where labor rates are high, be sure to consider this when budgeting for this project.
FAQ about shrub and bush removal
Overgrown shrubs and bushes
Plants need sunlight to stay healthy. When shrubs and bushes have grown so much they are blocking the sunlight from other plants, you may want to consider shrub removal.
Unhealthy shrubs and bushes
If your shrubs are infested with pests and diseases, they can spread to other plants. Also, a plant in poor health can reduce soil quality and your land value.
Removing plants will give you a clean terrain for new planting ideas if you want to re-landscape your yard.
You can call your local certified arborist or tree service company, a landscaping contractor, or a handyworker.
An arborist handles heavy jobs. A landscaper usually charges less than an arborist and is ideal for small and medium projects. It depends on the handyworker’s skills and the equipment they have, but he or she may be able to handle small, medium, and large jobs.
Get three itemized quotes to compare and determine your best option.
Yes. The best time to remove shrubs is before their foliage grows, which is in the spring, or when the leaves shed in autumn. A bare bush is easier and faster to remove.
You may want to transplant your shrubs to another area of your yard. This is doable. It’s best to prune the roots in the fall to prepare the shrub to be moved in the spring. For larger plants, it’s recommended that you root prune a year or more before you transplant. Be sure to water the shrub before you move it and after you plant it.
Shrub and bush removal can be fairly easy depending on their size, plant type, and how many need to be removed. But if you do not have the equipment on hand, or do not feel like investing the time, calling a professional is your best option. When you factor in that you will still have to clean up debris, dispose of the bushes, and repair the holes left by shrub removal, you may just decide it’s worth it to find a pro near you.
Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.