Leaf Removal Near Me: How to Hire the Best Leaf Removal Service for Your Needs
Autumn leaves are a blazing display of nature’s bounty, right up until they fall off the trees and become a test of your arm and back strength. It’s easier—and more cost-effective than you may think—to hire someone else to do the hauling for you.
How to Hire the Best Service for Leaf Removal Near Me
When you envision the fall, do you see swaths of crimson and gold against a blue sky, pumpkins, kids in halloween costumes, Thanksgiving feasts, and football? Or do you see heaps of crunchy brown leaves in your yard, waiting to be raked, gathered, bagged, and hauled away, directly impeding your enjoyment of the bounties that fall has to offer? If your leaves stand in the way of your fall enjoyment, or if the task is simply too physically demanding for you to take on, you may be asking, “How can I find someone to do leaf removal near me?” It’s worth exploring hiring someone to do this job for you. The average cost of leaf removal nationally is about $355, with a typical range of $191 and $557, but this cost can vary based on a number of different variables.
Cost of a Leaf Removal Service Near Me
While the average range of leaf removal services falls between $191 and $557 for an average-size yard, this is a decidedly regional cost. Some areas of the country have more deciduous trees than others, and some regions lose leaves gradually, while others lose them all at one time. Also, different regulations and conventions for disposing of collected leaves can affect the cost. Leaves can be raked or blown, bagged or collected curbside to be collected and mulched, or blown into the woods nearby—your town’s ordinances will dictate which methods are permissible for you. In addition, costs will vary based on the size of your yard; leaf removal companies may charge a flat or per-bag fee for standard suburban yards, but large yards may be charged by the acre and can range much higher in cost—as much as $400 to $1,000 per acre.
Common Jobs for a Leaf Removal Service Near Me
Leaf removal services come in several different formats. Many landscapers include leaf removal as a component of their annual contract or offer yearly contracts specifically for leaf cleanup. Alternatively, there are businesses that operate exclusively for seasonal work, offering leaf cleanup in the fall, yard cleanup in the spring, and gutter cleaning or power washing in the summer. Regardless of the type of business you select, there will be several services offered to you under the heading of leaf cleanup, and adding these to your contract can save you time and energy but may ramp up your total cost.
Leaf Blowing vs. Leaf Bagging
Leaf blowing and leaf bagging are two separate services. Blowing simply refers to the act of using a high-powered leaf blower to force the leaves out of your gardens and grass and compiling them in one place. On average, this will cost around $30 per hour. Many companies require a minimum charge of $75 to make the trip to your home worthwhile. If you just need leaves blown to the curb for collection or blown into the woods behind your home, that may be your only charge. If, however, you need the leaves bagged and removed or bagged and carried to the curb, the extra labor will add to your total cost at a rate of $5 to $10 per bag, so don’t be surprised if you see this cost itemized separately from the blowing or raking service.
This is the most convenient way to dispose of your leaves: have them raked or blown to the curb or bagged, and schedule someone to pick them up. Many municipalities include this service as part of their regular garbage pickup, and some contracted garbage collection companies may include it as well. Cost for collection, if billed separately, averages between $50 and $100 per pickup, so you’ll want to schedule the pickup for the latest you think you’ll need to—otherwise you’ll risk having to pay for several pickups before your leaves are completely cleared.
Vacuuming and Mulching
Some leaf removal companies prefer to mechanically collect the leaves, rather than blowing them around or raking. Powerful machinery, either attached to a lawn tractor or pushed like a lawn mower, can suck the leaves up off the lawn and then transfer them into bags for collection. Expect to pay about $5 per bag for this service. Another option is mulching: A professional service will pull the leaves through a vacuum or draw them in through a mulching mower, where they’ll be chopped into small pieces. The mulch can be bagged for removal, spread on your gardens, or poured into compost (and your neighbors will likely be delighted if you share any that’s left if you have any left!). This option helps the environment and saves you some money, as the cost is usually similar to having the lawn mowed, or between $50 and $150.
As long as the leaf removal service will be in your yard, you may wish to have them perform a yard cleanup as well. Removing summer weeds from the gardens and any remaining dead plants and generally cleaning, and generally cleaning and preparing the yard for winter is a service that many leaf removal companies offer for $50 to $700.
Fall is an ideal time for landscaping: The landscaping professionals may be less busy and available to work, and your own work on your landscape and garden has slowed, allowing you to see the real shape of your garden and yard and identify areas where you want to add plantings or hardscapes. Depending on what options you choose, landscaping installation can run between $1,400 and $5,300 on average, and cleanup will be included as a part of those costs. Some additional landscape cleanup can be added on, regardless of whether it’s related to the installation you’ve selected, such as tree removal ($400 to $1,200) and lawn aeration ($75 to $200).
Over time, junk can accumulate in your yard—plastic pots and planters you’re not allowed to include in the municipal waste stream, a compost bin that’s cracked, old timbers that used to hold the garden back—and there’s no way to dispose of them, especially if you don’t have a truck. Many landscapers and removal companies offer yard waste cleanup and removal as a service. The cost will depend on how much you need removed and how accessible the yard is for the removal truck, but it should cost between $150 and $400.
A complete fall cleanup, which includes leaf collection and removal, yard and some garden cleanup, lawn care and winterizing, and waste removal all in one contract, can cost between $200 and $500 (and up, depending on the size of the yard). Hourly labor costs are higher in the fall than at other times of year, because professionals are limited by weather and under pressure to get leaf cleanup completed before winter weather sets in, so it may be less expensive to pay for leaf removal alone in the fall and save bigger cleanup jobs for the spring, when rates are lower.
Do I Need a Leaf Removal Service Near Me?
Paying for leaf removal may seem like an extravagance, but there are a number of reasons you may want to hire a service.
- Efficiency. Professional leaf removal teams have the expertise and equipment to collect and remove leaves efficiently and completely, allowing your lawn to breathe and build deeper roots before the winter begins.
- Time. Again, professional teams can expertly perform work that would be backbreaking for the average homeowner. Hauling leaves around isn’t light work, especially if they’re wet, and blisters and thrown-out backs can happen quickly. And professionals can do it much, much more quickly than you’ll be able to carve out time for, especially as the days grow shorter in late fall.
- Safety. You don’t know what’s nesting in your leaves, nor do you necessarily want to. Snakes, spiders, and other potentially dangerous pests are tucking into your warm leaves for the winter, and ticks are still active in the fall. Letting a leaf removal service handle your yard protects you from bites and scratches, and it doesn’t endanger the pros, who have heavyweight gear to protect their feet, legs, and hands.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional: Leaf Removal Near Me
Some people relish the opportunity to spend time outside as the air grows crisp, raking in the sunshine and enjoying the physical activity of tending to their lawn. For those homeowners, full-service leaf removal isn’t necessary—although having someone else haul away the bagged leaves might be a nice luxury. For others, though, finding the time to dedicate to the project, threading it between work, school, and inclement weather, is just too difficult. And for others it isn’t physically possible—bad backs, bad knees, bad balance, and painful hands can make the work of collecting and hauling leaves painful, dangerous, or impossible. Still others want to enjoy the fall weather in other ways, such as attending harvest festivals or spending time by a fire pit. For those who don’t enjoy the process or can’t do it, hiring a professional is an easy way to hand the task to someone else who can accomplish it in short order.
How to Find a Reputable Leaf Removal Service Near Me
As with any contractor, hiring a leaf removal service requires that you do some due diligence to protect yourself from disreputable workers. If you’re looking for basic raking and bagging, the teenager next door could be a great option. Otherwise, you’ll need to do a little research to make sure the work gets done well and completely and that you get what you’ve paid for.
- Talk to neighbors and friends about which service they use, and find out what they’re pleased and displeased about.
- Check local online discussion groups and referral pages.
- Contact several recommended companies, ask questions, and ask for a quote for the work you’d like completed.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints: Take these with a grain of salt, and remember many complaints are made because people were upset or misunderstood a contract, but look for complaints about work not being completed after payment was made.
- Ask if the company uses written contracts, and ask to see one before you make your decision.
Questions to Ask Your Local Leaf Removal Service
Once you’ve identified a couple of good options, you’ll need answers to some questions before you hire a leaf removal service. Too often these matters are discussed casually while standing outdoors, but consider asking for some documentation to protect yourself.
- What is included in the leaf removal service you’ll perform?
- Who does the actual work? Are your employees regular or new hires each year? Do you perform a background check on your workers?
- What is the payment structure for the work? Will I pay a retainer and then the balance when the work is completed?
- Is this price per visit, or is it for all the visits it takes until the leaves are fully down and removed?
- What’s the time frame in which you expect to do the work? If the leaf collection isn’t complete by the time my city stops collecting leaves, will you haul them to the dump? Is there an extra fee for that?
- If you’re in a northern climate, ask what happens if it snows or freezes before the leaves are fully removed. The answers may vary—some professionals will add another visit in the spring to finish clearing the leaves, and others will come to complete the job after the snow melts.
Leaf removal companies offer far more services than they used to and have more tools and methods to accomplish the work; this job doesn’t just involve a rake and a tarp. These are some of the questions we’re often asked by those just starting to search for a leaf removal professional and their answers to help you get started.
Q. How much does leaf clean up cost?
For an average-size yard, leaf cleanup will range between $191 and $557, or about $355 on average.
Q. What is the best way to get rid of leaves?
There are several options, depending on your town’s ordinances. You can have a waste service haul them away bagged or vacuumed at the curb, you can bag them and take them to the local dump, you can blow them into the woods, or you can hire a landscape company to handle the whole process for you. One method that has fallen out of favor (and is illegal in many areas) is burning them. While many people fondly recall the smell of burning leaves in the autumn, the danger of an errant spark igniting a pile of dry leaves is too great, and burning the leaves pollutes the air. Nostalgia for the scent aside, it’s better to pick a different method.
Q. Do landscapers pick up leaves?
This is a regional distinction. In some areas of the country it is standard procedure for landscapers to dispose of leaves, while in other areas leaf collection is an add-on service to a contract. In some cases it may be included, while in others it may be less expensive to add on to an existing contract with a landscaper than to hire separately for the job. Check with a few local landscapers to see how they have the service listed to determine what’s normal for your area.