How Much Does Tree Maintenance Cost?

To remove a single tree stump using a conventional removal method would cost about £160 to £190 if the stump covers an area of five inches or less or £230 to £320 if it covers more than five inches or there are several stumps to be removed.

If a grinding method is used to displace the stump(s), expect to pay £60 to £80 for a stump covering five inches or less or between £185 and £225 if you’d like to have several stumps or/and a stump covering more than five inches of space grinded down. As you can see the tree stump removal cost varies significantly.

For pruning, it would cost about £140 to £210 for pruning a plum tree or lilac tree, £190 to £260 to prune an apple, fig, or pear tree, £240 to £310 for a magnolia or olive tree, or £340 to £410 for bay or cherry tree pruning.

For crown lifting, you’ll need to budget for about £330 to £870 for a small tree or around £730 to £1420 for a large tree. Expect the cost of crown lifting to land about £280 to £370 for a small tree or £330 to £870 for a large tree. The average cost of dead wooding is £330 to £870 for a small tree or £730 to £1420 for a large tree.

Man cutting a tree

Crown reduction is a job with a much higher price tag. This type of work would feature a bill of approximately £2230 to £2870 if you have a small tree or £4030 to £5070 for a larger tree.

The size and type of tree are generally the main cost factors in determining the cost of tree maintenance, although the type/method of maintenance is very significant too. The cost will also be shaped by the number of gardeners or tree surgeons hired and ease of access.

In addition, where you are located is also important. Gardeners and tree surgeons charge different rates across the nation, as do contractors in general.

For instance, labourers charge more in the southeast of England (and London in particular) than the national average. In contrast, tradespeople in regions like the north of England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland tend to charge lower rates than the rest of the country.

Tree Stump Removal Prices

Details of Job Labour Supplies Waste Removal Total
Conventional removal of a single 5 inch stump £100 to £110 £30 to £40 £30 to £40 £160 to £190
Conventional removal of several stumps or one of 5+ inches £140 to £190 £45 to £65 £45 to £65 £230 to £320
Grinding a single 5 inch stump £30 to £40 £0 £30 to £40 £60 to £80
Grinding several stumps or one of 5+ inches £140 to £190 £0 £45 to £65 £185 to £255

Tree Trimming Prices

Details of Job Labour Supplies Waste Removal Total
Crown trimming of a small tree £300 to £800 £0 £30 to £70 £330 to £870
Crown trimming of a large tree £700 to £1350 £0 £30 to £70 £730 to £1420
Crown lifting of a small tree £250 to £300 £0 £30 to £70 £280 to £370
Crown lifting of a large tree £300 to £800 £0 £30 to £70 £330 to £870
Dead wooding of a small tree £300 to £800 £0 £30 to £70 £330 to £870
Dead wooding of a large tree £700 to £1350 £0 £30 to £70 £730 to £1420
Crown reduction for a small tree £600 to £1050 £1600 to £1750 £30 to £70 £2230 to £2870
Crown reduction for a large tree £1625 to £2500 £2375 to £2500 £30 to £70 £4030 to £5070

Tree Pruning Prices

Type of Tree Labour Supplies Waste Removal Total
Prune £110 to £140 £0 £30 to £70 £140 to £210
Lilac £110 to £140 £0 £30 to £70 £140 to £210
Apple £160 to £190 £0 £30 to £70 £190 to £260
Fig £160 to £190 £0 £30 to £70 £190 to £260
Pear £160 to £190 £0 £30 to £70 £190 to £260
Magnolia £210 to £240 £0 £30 to £70 £240 to £310
Olive £210 to £240 £0 £30 to £70 £240 to £310
Cherry £310 to £340 £0 £30 to £70 £340 to £410
Bay £310 to £340 £0 £30 to £70 £340 to £410
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What are the Supply Costs of Tree Stump Removal or Tree Pruning and Trimming?

In this section, we’ll look at the material cost of removing a tree stump and pruning or trimming a tree. This would prove particularly helpful if you intend to undertake the work DIY and don’t have the necessary equipment. Though the supply costs and labour costs together will make up the bulk of your total bill should you hire a professional, some expense will relate to waste removal.

With the use of a conventional approach, to remove a small tree stump, the supply costs will end up around £30 to £40. To have several tree stumps removed or one tree stump that covers a space of more than five inches, the total will be about £45 to £65.

Should a grinding method be used, there may be no supply costs, depending on whether any additional work is required. However, if performing this work DIY, a garden stump grinder would cost you about £1000 to £2000, thus why it makes far more sense to hire a professional.

Man cutting tree leaves

When it comes to pruning, the costs will likely be limited to labour and waste removal expenses. Again, if undertaking this work DIY, pruning equipment could cost anywhere from £10 to £200 or more, depending on how advanced the equipment is.

In terms of tree trimming, supply costs will probably only appear for crown reduction if hiring a professional, in which case it would land about £1600 to £1750 for a small tree or between £2375 and 2500 for a large tree in supply costs.

Other popular tree maintenance equipment includes tree loppers, which cost about £10 to £35 and a pole pruner, a piece of equipment that would set you back anywhere from £50 to £250.

Tree Maintenance Prices for Supplies

Job Type Supply Costs
Remove a small tree stump £30 to £40
Remove several stumps or one of 5+ inches £45 to £65
Crown reduction of a small tree £1600 to £1750
Crown reduction of a large tree £2375 to £2500

Tree Maintenance Equipment Costs

Type of Equipment Supply Costs
Tree Pruner £10 to £200
Tree Loppers £10 to £35
Pole Pruner £50 to £250
Garden Stump Grinder £1000 to £2000

What are the Additional Costs of Tree Maintenance?

There are a range of extra costs that may apply when professionals are undertaking tree maintenance work. Let’s take a look at some common examples.

Minimum Fee

In many cases, gardeners or tree surgeons will set a minimum fee regardless of how short or long the work duration is. In other cases, a minimum fee (perhaps their hourly rate) will apply if the job is especially quick as a way to ensure that the work is worth their time financially speaking.

Type of Tree

When it comes to pruning in particular, the type of tree is a significant cost factor. This is directly linked to the time it will take to complete the work, which in turn will determine the labour cost.

While having a Lilac tree pruned will likely cost less than £150, pruning a bay or cherry tree will probably set you back by more than £300.

The tree type is relevant for other jobs too such as tree stump removal since the stumps of some trees may be more difficult to remove than others. The longer it takes to remove the stump, the higher the labour cost may be.

Size of Tree

How large the tree is will also shape the costs, regardless of the job. The bigger the tree, the more time it will talk to prune, trim or remove its stump.

Large trees

For example, crown lifting a small tree will likely take between three and five hours but crown lifting a large three will probably take a full working day. The difference in this case is roughly a factor of two which would mean approximately doubling the labour cost.

Preparation

If your garden has poor accessibility such as due to overgrowth or if there are other issues with your tree (e.g. a pest infestation or it is diseased) then specific preparations may be required before it can be trimmed, pruned, or have its stump removed. This would add to the labour cost and probably supply costs too.

Number of Tradespeople

Though many tree maintenance jobs can be performed by a single labourer, some companies/contractors may offer services whereby a team of two or three will take on a job. This may be for practical reasons or/and to save time. As some examples, pruning a tree is usually a one person job but dead wooding and crown trimming often require two labourers.

By saving time, it will bring down your labour expenses in that regard but the hourly labour cost would double or triple. Whether this would prove to be an added cost overall will depend on factors such as how well the gardeners or tree surgeons work together.

Duration

Of course regardless of the reasons, the timeframe of the tree maintenance job will significantly shape the labour cost in particular. Some jobs like dead wooding a small tree will last just a few hours but reducing the crown of a large tree usually takes between two and three days.

Tradesmen Costs for Trimming, Pruning or Removing a Stump

In most cases, the labour expense will make up the bulk of your bill when having tree maintenance work undertaken. This is whether it is done by a contractor or tree trimming service.

In this section, we’ll consider what the average hourly and daily rates of hiring a gardener and tree surgeon are, as well as considering the labour costs for the jobs we’ve discussed already.

Tree surgeons charge about £40 an hour per person. As discussed, some tree maintenance work will require one person but some will be a two or even three person job.

Tradesperson cutting a tree

The labour costs of tree stump removal usually range from £30 to £190 depending on the complexity of the job and method used. The labour cost of crown trimming could be anywhere from £300 to £1350.

The same cost range applies to dead wooding. Expect to pay a labour cost of somewhere between £250 and £800 for crown lifting, or £600 and £2500 for crown reduction.

How Long Does Tree Stump Removal or Pruning/Trimming Take?

As discussed, the timeframe of tree maintenance work will play a significant role in determining the overall cost. The time it takes for a gardener/tree surgeon to perform a task will depend on a range of different factors.

To have a tree stump removed will likely take between 30 minutes and two hours for a small tree or two to four hours in the case of a large tree. Tree pruning generally takes two to eight hours depending on the size and type of tree.

It may take half a day or less to have a fig or plum tree pruned for instance but up to a working day and possibly more if a cherry or bay tree is being pruned.

Man cutting tree branches

Dead wooding a small tree generally takes half a day. One day jobs include crown lifting a small tree, crown trimming a small tree, reducing the crown of a small tree, and dead wooding a large tree.

It will probably take two days to crown lift a large tree and about 2-3 days if you’d like to have the crown of a large tree trimmed or reduced.

Other time factors worth considering are the number of tradespeople involved, the weather, and ease of access.

Types of Tree Maintenance

We’ll now look closer at the various forms of tree maintenance, namely, stump removal, pruning, and trimming.

Stump Removal Cost

As the name suggests, this is the process of removing a tree stump from a garden. Often the attached roots are removed too. There are plenty of methods that can be used to remove a tree stump, including grinding, burning, and with the use of chemicals.

Many homeowners choose to have tree stumps removed for a wide range of reasons such as because the stump is ruining the aesthetic of the garden, or is making garden maintenance in general more challenging.

Tree stumps can also catch different diseases over time if left unchecked. Tree stump removal may cost anywhere from £60 to £320 depending on the extent of the job and the method used.

PROS

  • Reduces risk of a tree stump spreading disease
  • Tree stumps can be unsightly
  • Tree stumps may get in the way of future construction
  • Can be inexpensive, particularly if grinding is used

CONS

  • May prove time consuming depending on the particular tree stump
  • Less suitable as a DIY job than most garden maintenance

Pruning Cost

One of the most common types of tree maintenance is tree pruning. It is the practice of removing certain parts of a tree including its buds, roots, and branches but in a selective manner. For instance, the person pruning will be able to identify and cut off tree parts that are damaged, diseased, dead, unstable or even just unsightly.

Tree pruning

Deciduous trees should be pruned in autumn or winter while it is best to prune evergreen trees in mid to late summer. It’s important to note that certain issues can arise from pruning such as silver leaf, coral spot and bleeding. Pruning costs vary significantly depending on the type of tree. It may cost as little as £140 to as much as £410.

PROS

  • Can improve structural integrity
  • Reduces the risk of falling branches
  • Can positively influence how a tree grows
  • Tree pruning cost not often too high
  • Removes damaged and diseased tree parts

CONS

  • Risks of bleeding from prune cuts
  • Can cause silver leaf
  • May lead to coral spot

Trimming Cost

This is the act of cutting branches, stems and buds off of a tree. In most cases, small secateurs can be used to trim a tree. However, if the branches are thick enough, then a saw will be required and in rare cases, if the tree is large enough, a chainsaw will be needed.

Trimming a tree can improve its health and appearance, reduce the risk of it causing damage to your property, and make visible any disease or other issues that may otherwise be concealed.

If a tree has weak branches, dangerous branch growth, excessive growth, bark cracks, dead or diseased limbs, or/and it has become misshapen, these are all signs that it is a good time to have your tree trimmed.

Among the different types of tree trimming are crown trimming, dead wooding, and crown lifting. The tree trimming cost could be anywhere from £330 to £5070 depending on the type(s) of trimming, size and type of tree, and the extent of the work required. Most forms of tree trimming will cost several hundred pounds, however.

PROS

  • Enhances tree health
  • Improves appearance
  • Reduces the chances of property damage
  • Can make it easier to spot disease
  • Can make a range of other issues more visible

CONS

  • The cost of trimming a tree can be substantial
  • May not always be suitable for a DIY job

Benefits of Tree Maintenance

Regardless of the type(s) of tree maintenance you choose, there are a range of benefits worth considering. Let’s break down some of the clearest advantages of tree maintenance.

Enhances Tree Health

One of the biggest benefits of maintaining a tree is that it can make it healthier and increase the odds of it having a long lifespan. Pruning and trimming can remove disease, infested tree parts, or elements that are damaged or unstable.

There are many other ways in which a tree’s health can benefit from maintenance such as by cutting away over-sized branches, and therefore allowing more nutrients to reach the rest of the tree.

Improved Sunlight Exposure

If your tree is overgrown, many leaves can be obscured from sunlight and this will mean that photosynthesis will not be evenly spread throughout the tree. By maintaining a tree, more of it can be left exposed to the sun and this will make for a healthier, sturdier, and more vibrant tree.

Damaged tree

Better Appearance

If your tree is not looked after properly, it can appear overgrown and messy. In addition, branches can become damaged and the tree itself may lose shape. By pruning and trimming a tree, it will help to achieve the opposite and not only improve its appearance in the present but prevent the tree from becoming unsightly over time.

Reduced Risk of Damage

A tree that is well maintained is less likely to cause damage to your property. This might happen if tree parts fall straight to the ground or even if tree elements are blown toward your home during adverse weather. Pruning and trimming can rid a tree of unstable and damaged parts and make the tree more stable all round.

FAQs

How do you prune an apple tree?

Apple tree pruning involves first evaluating your tree to see what needs to be pruned (e.g. dead branches, crowded areas, and over-sized branches). Next, remove dead, damaged, and diseased branches. To improve the overall shape of the tree, remove out of place and over-sized branches.

Remove more branches to allow sunlight to reach more of the tree effectively (i.e. reduce overcrowding and concealed tree parts). Lastly, prune off the head growth of tree branches down to just over a lateral bud. You want to basically give your tree a haircut but make sure not to overdo it either.

Can you kill a tree stump?

Yes, Epsom salts can be used to kill tree stumps. If you buy an Epsom salt product, ensure that you follow the instructions of the manufacturer and follow any safety guidance correctly.

What is the cost of removing a tree?

For an average tree, the removal cost will likely be between £250 and £750 but the cost could range from as little as £150 to as much as £2500 depending on the size of the tree.

Can I remove a tree stump DIY?

Yes, but it could be prove very difficult, unless you have the right skills and knowledge. In most cases, it’s best to hire a professional.

When should I prune a cherry tree?

Early to mid summer, since it is a deciduous tree.

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Sources

  1. https://www.uaex.edu/environment-nature/forestry/health/disease-problems.aspx
  2. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=233
  3. https://www.vintagetreecare.com/why-is-pruning-important
  4. https://skiphirecomparison.co.uk/best-skip-hire-prices/
  5. https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/tree-care/how-when-why-to-prune-an-apple-tree/
  6. https://treesurveyexpert.co.uk/how-to-kill-a-tree-stump/
Author: Heather B

I am a seasoned copywriter from Liverpool - who after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in English Media and Cultural Studies - went on to specialise in the creation of business and lifestyle copy for a wide range of industries across the UK and USA.