If your bushes or shrubs are out of control, or if you want to put something a little different in their place, you may wonder, “How much will bush removal cost me?” The average homeowner will pay $45 – $150 per bush or $330 – $975 per project. The typical hourly rate for bush removal is $25 – $75 an hour.
Keep reading for other pricing variables that may affect your total cost.
In this cost guide:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Bush Removal Costs in 2023
|National Average Cost||$650|
|Typical Price Range||$330 – $975|
|Extreme Low End Cost||$125|
|Extreme High End Cost||$1,900|
The prices in the table above reflect the typical total project cost, including bush and shrub removal, disposal, root removal, and any other needed work.
Bush Removal Cost Estimator By Bush Size
Along with the other factors that we will discuss, the size of your bushes is a major pricing factor. Understandably, removing larger bushes may require more time or larger equipment, both of which will increase the cost.
|Bush Size||Typical Cost Per Bush|
|Small (1 – 2 ft.)||$40 – $45|
|Medium (2 – 4 ft.)||$45 – $85|
|Large (4 – 6 ft.)||$85 – $150|
|Extra Large (> 6 ft.)||$150 – $320|
Other Factors that Affect Cost
Consider the following factors when thinking about cost:
Accessibility and Difficulty
If your bushes are difficult to access or get out of the ground, your labor costs will increase. In addition, bushes that are up against your house, close to other root systems, or near power lines require extra care, time, and preparation from your landscaping company.
Root System and Stumps
Some root systems are more difficult to remove than others, affecting your time costs.
Make sure the bush removal team also removes the stump, so you don’t have to pay a tree service company for the cost of stump grinding or stump removal. In some cases, utility lines prevent you from digging stumps out of the ground.
There are a few options when it comes to service providers. Depending on the size of the shrubs to be removed, you may need to use:
- An arborist or tree service has specialized equipment and training to handle heavy jobs.
- Landscaping contractors typically charge less than an arborist and can often handle small and medium jobs.
- Handyman services can sometimes handle small bush removal jobs. If your handyman is a jack of all trades, he may even have equipment for medium-sized jobs.
It’s best to get at least three quotes before you decide on a provider. Then, have each pro itemize the estimate so you can compare labor, haul away, and equipment costs across the quotes.
The further a contractor travels to your property, the more the job will cost because business owners need compensation for time and gas. Often the best prices come from landscaping contractors who already have you on a regular maintenance route.
Bush removal will cost more if the removal is complex or dangerous. For example, the oleander is a beautiful Mediterranean bush that homeowners plant in hardiness zones 9 – 11. However, it is very poisonous and thus will cost a pretty penny to remove.
On the other hand, hawthorns are very simple to remove, and you can even use undiluted white vinegar to kill their stump and roots. Hence, hawthorn removal is much cheaper than oleander removal.
If you are in the market for bush removal, you may also be interested in the following services:
If your bushes are in a grassy area, you may want to install sod instead of replacing the bushes with flowers or other plants. Professionally installed new sod typically costs $0.87 to $1.76 per square foot.
The average homeowner pays about $630 for professional tree removal services, but the cost to remove trees varies by size, tree type, and accessibility.
|National Average Cost||$630|
|Typical Price Range||$385 – $1,070|
|Extreme Low End Cost||$150|
|Extreme High End Cost||$1,935|
The typical cost of bush trimming is $6 – $15 per bush, but the size of the bushes, number of bushes, and your location impacts the quotes you will receive.
|National Average Cost||$10 / Bush|
|Typical Price Range||$6 – $15 / Bush|
|Extreme Low End Cost||$4 / Bush|
|Extreme High End Cost||$20 / Bush|
Tree trimming usually costs $315 – $700. The size and health of your trees contribute to the project cost.
|National Average Cost||$475|
|Typical Price Range||$315 – $700|
|Extreme Low End Cost||$85|
|Extreme High End Cost||$1,267|
The cost of hedge trimming is normally priced by the hour. Expect to pay about $48 – $79 per hour for hedge trimming.
|National Average Cost||$63 / hour|
|Typical Price Range||$48 – $79 / hour|
|Extreme Low End Cost||$35 / hour|
|Extreme High End Cost||$100 / hour|
Cost of DIY Bush Removal
DIY is usually cheaper, and bush removal is no exception. If you already have a shed full of tools, you probably have everything you need. Even if you don’t have the necessary tools, you may have a friend who would loan them to you.
In either case, your total cost for bush removal will include only your time and a little elbow grease.
Please see a list of tools to consider in the table below.
|Hedge trimmers||$35 – $320|
|Loppers (1½” – 2”)||$20 – $112|
|Trenching shovel**||$29 – $45|
|Chainsaw||$75 – $350|
|Pickaxe||$25 – $50|
|Eye protection||$2 – $20|
|Ear protection||$3 – $50|
**A trenching shovel is much narrower than a regular shovel and helps to get underneath some plants much easier than a standard shovel would.
Time: Expect DIY bush removal to take 20 minutes to one hour per bush.
DIY Bush Removal in 8 Steps
If you have a few tools and are willing to put in some sweat equity, this job is well within the reach of almost anyone.
Call 811 before you dig. Then do the following:
Step 1: Wait until a good rain has softened the soil.
Step 2: Trim the leaves with a hedge trimmer or remove branches with loppers and a chainsaw (for larger bushes).
Step 3: Rake up the leaves and debris (or haul large branches to the street).
Step 4: Use the trenching shovel and pickaxe to dig around the plant and break up the roots near the top of the soil.
Step 5: Continue to dig around and under the bush to remove dirt and expose roots.
Step 6: After the roots are sufficiently loosened, you should be able to pull the bush from the ground.
Step 7: Remove excess leaves and roots from the hole and replace the dirt.
Step 8: You may need extra dirt to fill the hole after you’ve dug the bush. If so, grab a few bags from the store to fill in the hole.
There are other DIYers who have taken different approaches to this back-breaking job. If you consider yourself the titan of tools, you may have an engine hoist or a truck lying around. If so, DIYers have successfully used both of these pieces of equipment to make the job much easier. Wrap a chain around the stems and hoist it or pull it out of the ground with the truck.
DIY Cost vs. Professional Service
Remember, if you already have some of the necessary tools around the house or can borrow some from a friend, your cost for tools will be much less or zero. Other than that, expect to pay from $206 – $938 on tools if you do the work yourself. So, if you don’t have the tools you are better off hiring a professional.
Cost of Bush Removal By Location
Labor varies widely by location and from company to company. If you know labor prices are high in your area, factor this into your cost expectations.
Soil type also varies by location and some soil types are more difficult to break. For example, central Mississsipppi has clay soil, which is thick and dense, and thus takes longer to get through. The longer the bush removal job takes, the higher the cost.
FAQ About Bush Removal
One option is to trim all the branches and cut the stump at ground level. Then, plant new ornamentals around the stump, and let the stump decompose on its own.
Fall and winter are good times to remove shrubs and bushes, but here are a couple of things to note:
• Call your state wildlife society or extension service to see when nesting season is in your area. Birds generally nest in spring, but in some areas, birds are nesting throughout the summer and into early fall as well. Try not to cut bushes during this time.
• Another reason to consider the off-season is that landscapers are less busy and some may offer discounts to get your business.
• Overgrowth: In some cases, the “overgrown” bush is a type of bush that wasn’t a good fit for that space in the first place. Always check the expected size at maturity when considering plantings. It may also be the case that you don’t want to continue to trim the bushes back and are looking for something more low-maintenance.
• Disease: Disease is often a reason for removing bushes, plants, or trees. Consult with a professional if you have a bush that seems to be unhealthy.
• Other Landscaping Considerations: You may be removing bushes to update the look or functionality of your lawn. For example, you may want to plant edible blueberry bushes or fruit trees where your bushes were previously. Or maybe you’re looking to add seasonal color to your lawn. These are a few reasons you may consider replacing your bushes with other plants.
Bushes can be beautiful and beneficial, but if it’s time for your bushes to go, consider the costs, other pricing factors, and DIY options to make the best choice for bush removal and your budget.
If you’re tired of beating around the bushes in your lawn, hire a top-rated professional to get rid of them for you.
Michelle Selzer contributed to this article.
Main Photo by: Forest & Kim Starr / WikiMedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 US