How Much Does Shrub and Bush Removal Cost?
Shrub and bush removal cost depends on a variety of factors, such as plant type and size, geographic location, and accessibility. Overall, the cost ranges from $448 to $1,393, with a national average of $903.
- The typical cost to remove shrubs and bushes ranges from $448 to $1,393, with homeowners around the country paying an average of $903.
- There are several factors that can affect the total shrub or bush removal cost, including the size and height or length of the plant as well as the type, the complexity of the root system, the type of soil, the accessibility of the plant, and the cost of labor.
- A shrub or bush may need to be removed if a homeowner notices signs of damage, decay, or fungal disease; if the bush is an invasive species; or if it’s in an inconvenient or dangerous location.
- DIY bush removal is possible, but it’s a time-consuming project that many homeowners prefer to leave to a professional landscaper who has the tools and experience to remove the bush efficiently and properly.
Luscious landscaping—including attractive bushes, shrubs, and hedges—adds scenery and privacy to a yard, and so it may be surprising that there are times when this type of vegetation needs to be removed. Reasons for removal include plants with signs of damage, decay, or disease; species that are invasive; and plants that are located in dangerous or inconvenient areas on the property. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the typical cost range for bush or shrub removal is $448 to $1,393, with a national average of $903. The price of this service depends on various factors, such as the required tools for removing bushes, the bush size and type, the number of bushes to be removed, and the local cost of labor. The total cost to remove vegetation encompasses hauling it away, disposing of the waste, removing the roots, and performing any other necessary work like fixing the landscaping. To find out what bush removal costs locally, homeowners can call around to area landscaping companies for quotes.
Factors in Calculating Shrub and Bush Removal Cost
How much does it cost to remove bushes? To remove a bush or shrub, homeowners can expect to pay from $448 to $1,393, with the national average price to remove shrubs being $903. The price will depend on a number of critical factors, such as bush size and height, bush or hedge length, plant type, root system complexity, soil type, and accessibility of the bush that needs to be removed. Labor rates also vary and entail travel fees, minimum rates, and equipment costs.
One of the most obvious factors in removing bushes from yards is their size. The smaller the bush, the less expensive it is to remove. Because there is less volume and mass, and it has a less complex root system, it is easier to dig a small bush out. It costs between $15 and $300 to remove a bush, depending on its size. For example, honeysuckle, which reaches about 3 feet in height, would cost less money to remove than a camellia, which can grow between 6 and 12 feet tall. As a reference, the following table shows the typical costs per bush based on height.
|Bush Height||Cost Range for Removal|
|Small (1 foot to 2 feet)||$15 to $45|
|Medium (2 feet to 4 feet)||$40 to $85|
|Large (4 feet to 6 feet)||$75 to $150|
|Extra large (over 6 feet)||$150 to $320|
Homeowners will want to keep in mind that many contractors have a minimum callout fee, which means it makes more sense to have multiple bushes removed at once to save money.
Bush or Hedge Length
The cost to remove a bush or hedge ranges from $40 to $150, depending on the type of hedge, root structure, size, and location. Taking out a hedge is usually quoted by length as opposed to by number of individual plants. Contractors typically consider every 5 feet of hedge as one bush, with the average price at around $100 per bush. However, if the hedge is especially large or dense, then the contractor might charge based on every 2 to 3 feet as one bush.
The following table shows the cost ranges to remove a hedge based on length.
|Hedge Length||Cost Range for Removal|
|5 feet||$40 to $150|
|10 feet||$80 to $300|
|15 feet||$120 to $450|
|20 feet||$160 to $600|
|30 feet||$240 to $900|
|50 feet||$400 to $1,500|
|75 feet||$1,125 to $2,250|
|100 feet||$1,500 to $3,000|
The type of bush that needs to be removed can influence the price of the project. For starters, plant type dictates its maximum height, and size plays a role in removal price. Some types of plants are more challenging than others to remove and may require more labor and equipment. One key factor is whether the plant is dangerous. Pros will charge more to remove a poisonous oleander than a simple elder. And hawthorns have sharp, painful spines, which make them more difficult to remove. The most common types of bushes and shrubs and their average removal costs are described in a section below.
The complexity of a bush’s root system can affect the difficulty level in how to uproot a bush. Shrubs and bushes with deeper and more complex roots will require more time, effort, and, of course, money. Some bushes, for example, have wide but shallow roots, while others have deeply penetrating roots like a tree. Homeowners will want to make sure the pro removes the stump as well to avoid subsequent additional work and fees.
Another important factor in determining the price to remove a bush is the type of soil found on the property. Soil type can impact how easy or hard it is to remove. Homeowners living in regions with thick, dense clay or loam-based soil will be charged more for bush and shrub removal, since removal will be more difficult. Homeowners with light, sandy soil will probably pay less, since it is much easier to remove bushes in that environment. It is also less work to remove bushes from soil filled with stones and little organic matter. Homeowners will want to ask the pro to assess the soil before starting the removal process.
The ease of access of the bush or shrub also plays a role in the cost of its removal. If contractors need to walk a long way to get to the bush, the access route is especially narrow, or the shrubbery is obstructed, then the removal process will take longer, and that will raise labor fees. Bushes sitting up against a house or shed or near power lines can also be difficult to access. In addition, if the terrain is steep, rocky, or marshy, the price tag for removal will be higher. Standalone bushes are less expensive to remove than those up against fences, landscape features, and other root systems.
Homeowners can call various types of professionals for bush and shrub removal, and each may have a different rate. A general handyman may be able to handle small-bush removal tasks, while landscaping contractors can often handle both small- and medium-bush removal jobs. Finally, an arborist or tree service has special equipment and can tackle the largest and most challenging jobs. However, arborists tend to cost the most out of these three options.
No matter which type of bush removal service a homeowner hires, the company will probably charge a trip fee if travel is required beyond a certain distance. Many also charge a minimum fee to come out to a property, such as charging a minimum of 1 or 2 hours in labor just to remove a single bush. Fees can also vary depending on the home’s geographic location. Finally, some services may tack on an extra cost to cover equipment use, which could run a few hundred dollars.
Additional Costs and Considerations
In addition to knowing the main factors that affect shrub and bush removal cost, a homeowner will want to be aware of some other fees that could add to their overall budget. These could include costs associated with trimming, waste removal, soil replacement, and landscape repair.
Trimming vs. Removal
Instead of removing bushes and shrubs, it might make more sense for a homeowner to just trim them. The cost for trimming trees and bushes depends on the number of plants being trimmed, their size, and the contractor’s charging method (per bush or per hour). Most pros charge $6 to $15 per bush or $50 to $75 per hour for trimming, plus debris removal fees of $25 to $100. The cost to have a hedge trimmed will be about $10 to $20 for every 5 feet of hedge or $50 to $75 per hour, depending on the hedge’s height. Homeowners can expect to pay an additional $25 to $50 fee for waste removal. Some services might offer a total price of $200 to $800 or charge hourly at $50 to $75 per hour to remove the hedge.
Lone Bushes vs. Clusters
It costs less money to remove a single bush than it does to remove clusters or hedges, because it is much easier to remove one bush at a time than a group with densely packed foliage.
Another potential cost is the replacement of soil or sod once the bushes or shrubs have been removed from the yard. A removal project could result in holes that need to be filled in. Topsoil costs $10 to as much as $180 per cubic yard. The price will depend on type and quality of the soil, the amount needed, and any delivery fees. Having new sod professionally installed by a landscaper will cost $0.87 to $1.76 per square foot.
One of the unexpected costs of bush removal is the landscape repair that may need to happen after the project is complete. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that pros often do not include landscape repair in their removal service rate, so it needs to be done either by one of the best landscaping companies or the homeowner. Landscapers charge in the range of $50 to $100 per hour, but it may be more helpful for a homeowner to explore rates based on the job at hand. The following table shows some price points for homeowners to keep in mind for landscape repair.
|Landscape Repair Type||Average Cost|
|Flower bed installation||$1,000 to $3,000|
|Lawn seeding||$0.04 to $0.18 per square foot|
|Fence installation||$13 to $50 per linear foot|
|Mulch installation||$70 to $120|
|Yard leveling or regrading||$0.40 to $1 per square foot|
|Lawn replacement (sod installation)||$1 to $2 per square foot|
After the plant removal project is complete, the remaining waste will need to be hauled off and disposed of properly. It costs between $25 and $100 per bush to remove and dispose of the waste. This total price will vary depending on geographic location, local dump fees, and contractor rates.
Types of Shrub and Bush Removal
Each type of shrub, bush, or tree removal process comes with its own challenges. This could involve plant size, accessibility, or potential toxicity. The price of each project depends on what is being removed. This section highlights some typical kinds of vegetation removal and what each will cost the homeowner.
|Project Type||Average Cost for Removal|
|Blackberry bush removal||$100 to $250|
|Bush stump removal||$50 to $100 (per hour)|
|Oleander removal||$50 to $200|
|Tree removal||$300 to $2,000|
|Tree stump removal||$12 to $24|
|Vine or poison ivy removal||$200 to $500|
Blackberry Bush Removal
To remove a blackberry bush, homeowners can expect to pay between $100 and $250 per bush on average or $50 to $125 per hour. Blackberry roots can spread up to 30 feet, so it is challenging to remove them. The best way to remove bushes of this species is to do it by hand or with a backhoe.
Although beautiful with attractive flowers, oleander is toxic if ingested. This plant may suffer from diseases like leaf scorch. Therefore, some homeowners, especially those with children and pets, choose to have oleander removed for safety reasons. It costs $50 to $200 per bush to remove oleander that is 3 feet to 8 feet tall. Oleander has extensive root systems that produce new shoots if not taken out properly, so it is important to have an expert handle this type of removal.
Although a homeowner may be able to tackle a stump on their own by using one of the best stump killers, experts know how to remove bush stumps and tree stumps effectively. Tree stump removal cost depends on the stump diameter, though professionals will typically charge $12 to $24 per stump that is 3 feet to 6 feet wide. They also tack on a minimum service fee of $80 to $160 to complete the project. When charging by the hour, a pro will generally ask for $50 to $100 per hour to dig up a bush stump. Grinding up a tree stump costs about $100 to $250 per stump.
The best tree removal services typically charge between $300 and $2,000 per tree. The cost is higher than the cost for bush removal because this project needs heavier equipment and can take longer. The price varies depending on the size, type, and accessibility of the tree. Homeowners will want to check to see if the tree removal service provider includes cleanup, disposal, and stump removal in the fee.
Vine or Poison Ivy Removal
Overgrown vines and poison ivy can be a real nuisance to homeowners, prompting them to get rid of this type of foliage. Depending on the removal method and accessibility of the poison ivy or vines, professional removal services cost in the range of $200 to $500.
Do I Need Shrub and Bush Removal?
Just as there are clear signs when to remove a tree, there are certain characteristics to look for when homeowners are deciding if it is time to remove a bush or shrub. Some indicators include noticeable damage, decay, or fungal disease. Discovering that there is an invasive species in one’s yard can also trigger removal. Finally, sometimes a plant is located in an inconvenient or dangerous spot, making removal the best option.
Signs of Damage or Decay
Signs of damage or decay are a good reason to remove evergreen bushes and other types of bushes and shrubs from the yard. Homeowners will want to look for wood rot, which causes wood to decay in the plants. In addition to causing dead branches, wood rot can lead to brittle, stringy, and crumbling wood that weakens the plant. Dead or dying plants will need to be taken out and replaced with new vegetation when possible.
Unhealthy vegetation infested with disease is another reason for a homeowner to choose removal. The disease can easily spread to other plants on the property, leading to major problems and more costs. Spots on the plant are usually a sign that something is wrong. There are a few common diseases to keep an eye out for. Anthracnose is a very common fungus that causes lesions on leaves and twigs and between leaf veins. Leaf spots are a plant fungus that can weaken leaves and lead to leaf drop, which makes them vulnerable to insects and other pests. Phytophthora, typically found on woody plants, is a harmful disease that can cause root rot. Rust, which looks like orange spores and powder, is a fungus that attacks entire sections of a plant and can cause it to become deformed. When unsure about a plant’s health, a homeowner will want to contact a professional to come out and do an assessment.
Upon discovering that an invasive species is planted on their property, homeowners may decide to remove it. Exotic invasive shrubs pose a threat to natural areas and can quickly spread and end up damaging native plants. This is troublesome, since local wildlife depend on native species for survival. Although certain invasive shrubs add beauty to the landscape, they should be avoided and removed; these include some varieties of lantana, the Amur honeysuckle, beach vitex, common gorse, and European cranberrybush.
Inconvenient or Dangerous Location
Sometimes landscaping shrub removal is necessary because the plants are situated in a dangerous or inconvenient spot in the yard. Roots that are growing too close to the foundation of the house are one example. Another is overgrowth in which the shrubs or bushes grow too much and block other vegetation from getting adequate water and/or sunlight. Excessive growth can make it impossible to prune the plant without harming it, so in that case, it would be time to remove it.
Shrub and Bush Removal: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Homeowners can probably save money by removing shrubs and bushes themselves. However, this type of project is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and risky. Digging up bushes and shrubs requires a great deal of strength and skill to make sure it is done properly and safely. For example, the root system needs to be completely extracted so that the vegetation doesn’t grow back over time.
It will likely take about 20 minutes to remove each bush, but there are additional tasks like hauling out and disposing of waste as well as landscaping work to patch up the area where the bush was removed. Homeowners will also want to keep in mind that bush removal can be risky business. Besides the fact that removal can be hard on the body, some plants are toxic or spiky and could be harmful if not handled correctly during removal.
A final cost consideration is the long list of equipment required for bush removal. For homeowners who already have this equipment or can borrow it, the price of the DIY project will stay low. If the equipment is not on hand, however, then it is important for the homeowner to consider the cost of each piece required to get the job done right. DIY costs range from $206 to $955. Some of the equipment needed can include eye and ear protection, work gloves, a chainsaw, a hedge trimmer, hand pruning shears, a trenching shovel, steel-toe boots, and topsoil. Homeowners will want to evaluate the cost for all of this equipment, plus the time and labor it would take to DIY, before moving forward with the project on their own. It may make sense to hire a professional who already has the equipment and skillset to get the job done efficiently.
How to Save Money on Bush and Shrub Removal Cost
Homeowners have several options when looking to save some money on bush and shrub removal. The number one way to save money is to tackle some of the work ahead of time before the pros arrive. Tasks include clearing the area around the bushes, preparing the ground by removing the top layer of lawn and soil, and getting rid of any debris in the work area. Tasks toward the end of the project include handling the woodcutting, cleaning up the area, hauling out debris, bringing soil back in the area, and planting new vegetation. The following are some other ways to save money.
- Plan in the off-season. Schedule removal in the off-season when pros are not as busy and may lower their prices.
- Check for discounts. Look for and ask about sales and discounts throughout the year.
- Look for local professionals. Instead of hiring a chain, consider a local company, since it probably has lower overhead costs and may be more willing to work with customers on price.
- Shop around. Get multiple bids to compare estimates.
- Keep up with maintenance. Properly maintain shrubbery throughout the year to prevent problems that could require eventual removal.
- Band together with neighbors. Ask about bulk discounts, such as if a neighbor also needs bush removal service at the same time.
- Wait until the leaves fall off. Remove bushes in the winter when branches are bare and the plant is easier to access.
Questions to Ask About Shrub and Bush Removal
Before homeowners hire a professional service for shrub removal, it is helpful for them to collect as much information as possible about the company and project. Knowing the right questions to ask during the vetting process will help save time, money, and frustration. Besides making sure the pro is licensed, insured, and highly rated, homeowners will want to find out key points like how long they have been in business, when they can start, what equipment they use, and what happens in case of damage or an accident on the property. Homeowners may want to ask some or all of the following questions as well.
- How many years of experience do you and your crew have?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Can you provide some references and/or a portfolio of your work?
- Do you provide a free estimate?
- What equipment do you use to remove bushes?
- How will you protect my surrounding landscaping while working?
- What happens if you damage my property during bush removal?
- Does this price include debris disposal?
- Are stump removal and grinding costs in your estimate?
- Can you chip the wood into mulch for me?
- Will it cost less if I trim the shrubs before you arrive?
- How much room do you need for your equipment?
- Will you remove all roots?
- Will you fill the remaining hole with topsoil, and does it cost extra?
- When can you start, and how long will it take?
- Will you give any guarantees or follow-up services if my bushes or shrubs grow back?
Determining how much it costs to remove bushes or shrubs and when the best time is to move forward with such a project may be confusing to some, since vegetation typically adds beauty to a yard. It is helpful for homeowners to ask the right questions and to understand what they will pay for their specific project before they DIY or hire a pro. Total cost will depend on numerous factors, such as plant size, plant type, number of plants to be removed, location, accessibility, and more. For those who have never had this type of service before, it is helpful to consider the types of questions that may come up.
Q. Who should I call to remove bushes?
A homeowner can typically call three kinds of professionals to handle bush and shrub removal, and each may have a different rate. A general handyman may cover small-bush removal tasks. Landscaping contractors can often handle both small- and medium-bush removal jobs. Finally, an arborist or tree service has special equipment and can tackle the largest and most challenging jobs. However, arborists tend to cost the most out of these three options. Homeowners will want to consider the type of professional they need for their project and get a quote to determine the best fit for their budget.
Q. What do I do if I have utility lines running underneath my large bush?
If there are utility lines running underneath a large bush, a homeowner doing a DIY removal will want to trim back all the branches and cut the stump at ground level. Then they can plant new vegetation around the stump and let it decompose on its own over time.
Q. Can I leave roots in the ground?
Yes, roots can be left in the ground; however, leaving roots means the bush will likely grow back. If a homeowner wants to permanently remove a bush, it’s important to get rid of as much of the shrub as possible, including the root ball and all the main roots.
Q. Is there a best time of year to remove bushes?
The opportune time to remove bushes is before their foliage grows. This is usually in the spring or in the autumn when leaves fall off. In general, a bare bush without leaves is easier and quicker to remove.
Q. What are some of the reasons I may want to remove my bushes?
It is time to remove foliage when a homeowner notices overgrown shrubs and bushes in their yard, dead branches, damage or decay, and disease. Another time removal makes sense is when a homeowner realizes the bushes are invasive to their area.
Q. What’s the difference between a bush and a shrub?
Many people wonder what the difference is between a bush and a shrub. Bushes have branches at ground level and are usually left to grow wild. Shrubs are small woody plants that are usually pruned and shaped. Great for privacy, a hedge is a row of bushes or shrubs that is trimmed to look like a long, continuous line of plants.
Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, HomeGuide, LawnStarter, LawnLove