How Much Does Hedge Maintenance Cost?

The average cost of removing a small hedge is £100 to £170, or £225 to £425 for a medium to large hedge. The hedge trimming cost is about £125 to £175 for a 10-metre hedge, £175 to £225 for a 20-metre hedge, £225 to £275 for a 30-metre hedge, or £275 to £325 for a 40-metre hedge.

As for hedge pruning, you can expect the price to be around £150 to £200 for a 10-metre hedge, £200 to £250 for a 20-metre hedge, £250 to £300 for a 30-metre hedge, and you'd need to set aside a budget of about £300 to £350 for a 40-metre hedge.



Costs can vary significantly depending on the size and type of hedge, the numbers of tradespeople on the job, ease of access, and whether the contractor(s)/company charges per hour or per metre. The latter would be more likely to apply for hedge trimming and pruning.

Your location is another important cost factor. Labourers tend to charge higher rates in certain parts of the country such as the southeast and London in particular. However, contractors usually offer lower rates in regions like Scotland, the north of England, and Northern Ireland.


Cost of Removing a Hedge

Hedge Size Labour Cost Waste Removal Cost Total Cost
Small £50 to £120 £50 £100 to £170
Medium to Large £175 to £375 £50 £225 to £425

Cost of Trimming a Hedge

Hedge Size Labour Cost Waste Removal Cost Total Cost
10 metre £75 to £125 £50 £125 to £175
20 metre £125 to £175 £50 £175 to £225
30 metre £175 to £225 £50 £225 to £275
40 metre £225 to £275 £50 £275 to £325

Cost of Pruning a Hedge

Hedge Size Labour Cost Waste Removal Cost Total Cost
10 metre £100 to £150 £50 £150 to £200
20 metre £150 to £200 £50 £200 to £250
30 metre £200 to £250 £50 £250 to £300
40 metre £250 to £300 £50 £300 to £350
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What are the Supply Costs of Removing or Trimming a Hedge?

There are limited and often no supply costs involved when hiring a professional to remove, trim, or prune a hedge, although it will depend on the methods used. In this section, we will instead focus on the cost of buying the necessary supplies if you were to go about removing, trimming, or pruning a hedge by yourself.

As a note, if you intend to undertake this work DIY, there are many laws related to hedge cutting and removal. Breaking these rules can result in up to a £5000 fine. You may require planning approval to perform hedge maintenance work.

Building regulations don't apply for trees or hedges, but they could apply indirectly if hedge maintenance has any impact on a property's foundations. We'll now examine the various hedge maintenance prices.

To remove a hedge by brute force, you could buy a spade for £10 to £30 and a crowbar for £10 to £25. However, this method could prove a little messy. Another approach is to use a stump grinder.

You can rent one out for a day or several days at a cost of about £100 to £200 although it would set you back a whopping £800 to £1200 if you were to buy one. In fact, some stump grinders can cost as much as £10,000.




Depending on what tools you'd prefer to use and the nature of the work, there are several common examples of what equipment may be needed to trim or prune a hedge. Let's look at their supply costs. Most pruning shears can be bought for £10 to £25 with ratchet shears tending to cost between £15 and £30. Hedge shears usually cost a bit more, approximately £25 to £45.

An electric hedge trimmer might set you back somewhere in the range of £40 to £100, and pruning poles are usually relatively expensive too, often costing between £40 and £120. It would cost about £70 to £280 to purchase a thermal chainsaw pruner, £80 to £170 for a regular chainsaw, or £115 to £200 for a pole saw.

There is a range of safety equipment that you might need, and regardless of the method employed, you should at least purchase protective gloves at the cost of about £10 to £30. You can expect to spend £10 to £25 for protective goggles, £10 to £25 for protective earmuffs, or £35 to £40 to buy safety shoes.

You could also buy a safety harness if you felt it were necessary for £25 to £50. As for waste removal, you'd likely pay £15 to £30 for a rake, £35 to £200 for a leaf blower, or £10 to £25 for a decent tarpaulin. A footstool, ladder, or even scaffolding may also be required, depending on the height you intend to work at.

Given that any necessary permission is granted, you may remove, trim, or prune a hedge by yourself. However, it's important that all the necessary safety steps are taken. If you have any doubts or concerns, you should hire a professional.

In most cases, maintaining a small hedge is a lot more suitable as a DIY project than maintaining a medium or large hedge. One way or another, if you choose to go about it DIY, you should proceed with caution.

Supply Costs for Hedge Removal

Tool/Equipment Supply Cost
Spade £10 to £30
Crowbar £10 to £25
Stump Grinder (Rent) £100 to £200
Stump Grinder (Buy) £800 to £1200

Supply Costs for Hedge Trimming

Tool/Equipment Supply Cost
Pruning Shears £10 to £25
Ratchet Shears £15 to £30
Hedge Shears £25 to £45
Electric Hedge Trimmer £40 to £100
Pruning Poles £40 to £120
Thermal Chainsaw Pruner £70 to £280
Regular Chainsaw £80 to £170
Pole Saw £115 to £200

What are the Additional Costs of Hedge Maintenance?

When having a hedge removed, trimmed, or pruned, there are various added costs that you may incur. Let's take a closer look at some common examples.

Minimum Fee

Some hedge cutters will charge a minimum fee on top of the labour, supply, and waste removal expenses involved in hedge maintenance work. Therefore, this can prove an additional expense in terms of hedge cutting prices, depending on who you hire.

In some instances, a minimum fee will not be added to the total but rather will exist as a set labour charge. For example, some hedge cutters will charge per day, so even if the work lasts for one day and four hours, you'd still be charged for two working days.

Type of Hedge

Usually, the biggest pricing factor is hedge size. It goes without saying that the smaller the hedge, the less work will be needed. The less work required, the lower the labour cost would likely be and vice versa. This is the case whether the labour expense is based on an hourly or per metre rate.

Hedge size will not alter the labour cost; however, if you are paying a daily rate unless of course, the time required to maintain or remove a larger hedge carries the job into another working day.

Size of Hedge

Usually, the biggest pricing factor is hedge size. It goes without saying that the smaller the hedge, the less work will be needed. The less work required, the lower the labour cost would likely be and vice versa. This is the case whether the labour expense is based on an hourly or per metre rate.




Hedge size will not alter the labour cost; however, if you are paying a daily rate unless of course, the time required to maintain or remove a larger hedge carries the job into another working day.

Preparation

When it comes to trimming or pruning a hedge, it's possible that some preparation work will be required, such as if your hedge needs to be treated for disease or an infestation. Alternatively, if ease of access is a significant hindrance, time may be needed to clear the area and make the workspace more accessible. The latter can also apply for hedge removal.

Number of Tradespeople

More than likely, only one hedge cutter will be hired for the job. However, for larger jobs such as removing a very big hedge, it's possible that two or even three labourers will be on site. Your hourly labour cost would double or triple in these scenarios, depending on the number of contractors hired.

Of course, it would make the job quicker, but it's still feasible that this could prove to be an added expense overall, depending on how well the hedge cutters work as a team.

Duration

The time it takes to perform hedge maintenance will often determine the labour cost. If the size of the hedge determines the labour cost, then duration is not relevant. Duration may or may not matter if you are paying labour by the day.

Landscaping & Garden Design

Landscape and garden design could be another additional cost if you wanted to create a tidier and aesthetically pleasing out door space. The cost will depend on what you want to create and add to your garden, as there are so many options.

Tradesmen Costs for Pruning or Removing a Hedge

Let's now more closely examine the specific hedge maintenance costs for labour. With most hedge maintenance work involving no supply costs, the labour cost is distinct from the total cost only because of the waste removal expenses, usually about £40 to £70.

To remove a small hedge would come with a labour cost of roughly £50 to £120 and the labour expense would rise to £175 to £375 for a medium to large hedge. As for hedge trimming, expect a labour cost of £75 to £125 for a 10-metre hedge, £125 to £175 for a 20-metre hedge, £175 to £225 in the case of a 30-metre hedge, or £225 to £275 if you have a 40-metre hedge.




To have your hedge pruned, the labour costs rise from those of hedge trimming due to the more meticulous nature of pruning. For a 10 metre hedge, this process would cost about £100 to £150 in labour fees, or £150 to £200 for a 20-metre hedge, £200 to £250 for a 30-metre hedge, or £250 to 300 in the case of a 40-metre hedge.

The labour cost of hedge maintenance is about £20 to £40 per hour or £2.50 to £5 per metre. Among the factors that can shape the labour cost of hedge maintenance work is the ease of access, the number of hedge cutters hired, the time the work takes, and whether any additional work is needed before or after.

How Long Does Hedge Removal or Trimming Take?

Let's take a closer look at the durations involved in hedge maintenance work. The time the job lasts, as discussed, often determines the labour cost and is therefore highly relevant to the overall cost of such work.

On average, it takes half a day to one day to remove a small hedge. However, it will probably take between three quarters of a day and two days to have a medium to large hedge removed.




As for hedge trimming, to have a 10-metre hedge trimmed will take about three hours. You can expect the work to last about six hours for a 20-metre hedge or one working day for a 30-metre hedge. It will probably take a day and a quarter for a 40-metre hedge to be trimmed.

In the case of hedge pruning, you can expect the duration to reach roughly four hours for a 10-metre hedge, seven hours for a 20-metre hedge, a working day or a little more for a 30-metre hedge or a day and a half when it comes to a 40-metre hedge.

Types of Hedge Maintenance

We'll now discuss the three common types of hedge maintenance in more detail. Let's take a look at the pros & cons and average costs of hedge pruning, trimming, and removal.

Hedge Removal Cost

Removing a hedge generally involves the entire removal of a hedge and its roots. Alternatively, a hedge may be grubbed up and destroyed. Hedge removal can apply to dwarf hedges or those that are full-sized. Hedge removal is usually achieved with a mechanical excavator. A wood chipping system may be required for removing a large hedge.




There are many hedge laws in place that need to be considered before you can remove a hedge, however. This job usually costs somewhere between £100 and £425, depending on the hedge's size.

Pros:

  • Can be removed relatively easily with heavy-duty equipment
  • Opens up space and makes for better accessibility on your property

Cons:

  • May reduce the aesthetics of your property
  • Removing hedges can be a downside for the environment
  • Not always well suited as a DIY job

Hedge Pruning Cost

Pruning is the practice of selectively removing parts of a plant, in this case, a hedge, including its branches, buds, or/and roots. Hedge pruning involves specifically targeting diseased, damaged, or dead parts of the hedge.

The person pruning the hedge may also choose to remove unstable, non-productive or/and unsightly hedge parts. The selective nature of pruning differentiates it from trimming, which is why it often takes a little longer.




Many hedge trimming jobs will naturally include pruning. To keep pruning costs to a minimal, it is wise to plant a low maintenance hedge, if you intend to grow a new one. On average, the hedge pruning cost is between £150 and £350.

Pros:

  • Removes unwanted parts of the hedge
  • More selective than trimming
  • Can make for a healthier hedge

Cons:

  • May be expensive
  • Can be time-consuming for medium or large hedges

Hedge Trimming Cost

Hedge cutting or hedge trimming involves cutting off overgrown shrubs and parts of a hedge to give it a neater look. Hedge trimming can also make your hedge healthier as it can prevent harm caused by overgrowth such as the hedge becoming misshapen or not benefiting sufficiently from photosynthesis.




Before trimming, overgrowth can conceal many parts of the hedge with regards to the latter point, depriving it of sunlight exposure. Hedge trimming generally costs somewhere in the range of £125 and £325.

Pros:

  • Promotes healthy hedge growth
  • Can spread photosynthesis more evenly

Cons:

  • Not as selective as hedge pruning on its own
  • Can be expensive
  • Sometimes time-consuming for medium or large hedges

FAQs

Q: When is the best time to trim a hedge?

A: You should trim a hedge in late winter or early spring. Maintenance trimming can be performed between spring and summer, though you'll want to perform a full trim of an informal hedge once a year or a formal hedge two to three times a year.

Q: What does hedge pruning involve?

A: First, cut the lowest and heaviest branches back to the trunk if they appear to be overgrown. Pruning low on the shrub is the best approach. You'll want to remove dead, damaged, diseased, unstable, or/and unsightly parts of the hedge. However, make sure not to overdo it either.

Q: When is the best time to prune a hedge?

A: Formative pruning should take place in winter or early spring.

Q: How long does it take to remove a hedge?

A: In most cases, somewhere between half a day and two days, depending on the size of the hedge.

Q: Am I allowed to remove a hedge?

A: It will depend on many different factors as there are various hedge laws to contend with. If in doubt, contact your local council.

Author: Dean M

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Digital Media, I'm a freelance writer and I've worked for clients such as the British Blockchain Association and I have experience in writing articles, YouTube video scripts, online guides and newsletters. I have written and produced many short films as well as a web series and feature film. I am also currently working on a novel.