Tree Lopping Cost Guide: How much does tree removal cost?

View of a city maintenance worker cutting branches off a eucalyptus tree on a sunny day

View of a city maintenance worker cutting branches off a eucalyptus tree on a sunny day.

Trees are living organisms that change over time. Sometimes their growth gets out of hand. Other times, trees get sick or need to be maintained – especially during hard weather seasons when damaged limbs need to be removed.

To care for the trees on your property, you need to resort to tree lopping, which is the practice of cutting parts of a tree to reduce its size or alter its shape.

Tree lopping is also carried out to make a tree grow in a certain direction. Cutting off branches to stimulate growth may sound counterproductive, but this actually encourages new growth from the lopped areas.

In addition to aesthetic benefits, tree lopping is necessary for several reasons:

  • It keeps trees in good condition.
  • Branches should not touch or obstruct power lines for safety.
  • Twigs and fallen leaves can block gutters.
  • Overgrown or old branches are a falling hazard which may also damage your residence.
  • It allows smaller trees and plants to get sunlight as well.
  • Diseased branches need to be cut off to avoid harming the entire tree.

Factors that affect tree lopping costs

Tree lopping is certainly important if you have trees on your property, but the services are not cheap. Furthermore, tree lopping prices may vary because of several different variables.

Tree size

The larger the tree, the thicker its trunk, the longer it will take for arborists to climb, the more branches to remove, the more arborists you'll probably need, the more gear they'll use, the longer it will take to finish the job, and the more waste to dispose of.

Tree species

This can affect tree lopping's overall cost because the waste of certain species is not always recyclable. For instance, if the wood chips are not suitable as mulch, the arborist will have to spend more to get rid of the waste, and this cost will be passed onto the customer.

Accessibility

Lopping a tree that is difficult to get to will cost more and vice versa. Remember this rule: the closer and easier the arborist can get their truck and equipment to your tree, the lower the tree lopping cost. So lopping a tree at the back of a property with no rear access will cost more than a tree at the front of a house with no fence along a suburban street.

The most intricate projects are the most expensive. For instance, if the tree is at the back of an oceanfront property at the bottom of a steep incline along the coast, arborists will have difficulty bringing debris up to the roadside where their truck is parked.

To perform this kind of job, they can load their truck and woodchipper on a barge, navigate the barge to where the tree is closest, then load the debris onto the barge and straight to the woodchipper. Expect to spend upwards of $5,000 for similar projects.

Condition of the tree

For arborists to perform their job, they secure ropes to limbs and branches which need to be structurally solid. Sick trees with diseased branches, however, are more dangerous, so they need to use equipment like cranes or aerial work platforms to perform safely. Doing so will increase the quoted tree lopping cost.

Risk involved

Obviously, tree lopping is risky work. If the tree is near electrical cables or is structurally shaky, expect a higher quotation.

tree lopping costs-lower part of man cutting a log with chainsaw

Location

Tree lopping prices vary per state and territory. The most expensive tree lopping services are in Victoria, which costs an average of around $150 per hour. Next is Western Australia, which is at $145.

In Queensland, the cost of tree lopping is at $120 per hour on average. Meanwhile, it's $110 in New South Wales.

How much does tree lopping cost in Australia?

The average cost of removing a tree is about $871. This figure, however, applies only to trees of up to 100 feet. Let's break that down into a little more detail:

  • Small trees can be classified as those at 5 to 6 metres high. Lopping these trees will cost an average of about $250 to $950.
  • Medium trees are classified as those at 6 to 9 metres high. Tree lopping prices at this size usually cost an average of about $650 to $1,500.
  • Large trees are classified as those standing 3 stories high (10 to 12 metres). Tree lopping for this size will usually set you back at an average of about $1,000 to $2,500.
  • Extra-large trees taller than 50 metres exist. Lopping such trees will likely cost at least $7,000.


Why is tree lopping so expensive?

Tree lopping is costly because:

  1. It requires specialised skills (e.g. Certificate II in Arboriculture) and equipment (e.g. crane, woodchipper, aerial work platform).
  2. It's difficult, labour-intensive work. Tree lopping is a collaboration between arborists and a ground crew. Most of the time, it is performed in urban settings where there's minimal space to drop a tree or its debris. As a result, arborists use ropes and pulleys to safely bring down the debris one by one.
  3. It's risky work. This risk comes with related insurance costs.

How can I find the best tree lopping cost possible?

This is the easy part: iseekplant is Australia's trusted search site for hiring equipment and contracting services. Through our website's powerful search capabilities, you can find and compare many tree lopping services in just a few clicks.

Bonus tips:

  • When you do your search, get quotes from at least three arborists, then compare their rates to get competitive tree lopping prices.
  • Arborists and tree fellers do not require a license but make sure they have:
    1. Public liability insurance
    2. Relevant qualification such as a Certificate II or III in Arboriculture

But if you're busy and don't have the time to find a qualified arborist or tree lopping services yourself, you still have a couple of convenient ways to go about it:

Contact our expert team at 1300 691 912; or
Email our Projects Team with your specifications. They will then find you arborists who will meet your needs.

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