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Are tree loppers expensive? How can I save money on tree removal?

Some people argue that tree loppers are expensive and that all tree-related work seems to be priced higher than it should be. In this article, we’re going to explore the issue a little deeper and see if there is anything that you can do to save some money on tree removal. 

Are tree loppers expensive?

It’s all relative to how much you earn. If you are on minimum wage, then perhaps having a tree removed from your property is going to feel like quite a blow to the bank. Otherwise, across the board, tree loppers aren’t ridiculously expensive. 

But then again, you have to ask yourself, how much would you want to earn for doing the job? Many people hire tree loppers to take care of the jobs they either can’t do themselves or simply don’t have time to. 

Hiring a tree lopper or any other tree-related expert to help you isn’t going to be cheap. But the cost is justified. Let’s take a closer look…

Why are tree loppers expensive?

First of all, any reputable tree lopper has to study and train for several years before they can be fully qualified. At a glance, you might see it as simply “chopping down a tree”, but a tree lopper sees so much more. 

Health & Safety

First of all, they will have been trained in health & safety and risk assessment. This is paramount when cutting down a tree, as when done incorrectly, or rushed, it can have devastating (and sometimes fatal) effects. 

Equipment Training

The same applies to their equipment training. Some trees may not only require a chainsaw (which are dangerous tools), but that they be operated at a great height as well. Thus, your tree lopper will need to understand the complexities of operating dangerous equipment, whilst strapped into a harness and some twenty feet of the ground. 

Personal Risk

In that case, the personal risk alone is justification enough to compensate them accordingly. 

Extensive Knowledge and Hands on Experience

And then there’s the knowledge that is picked up over time. Alright, you could argue that most information can be found online with a quick Google search. However, the internet can’t teach you things that can only be learned in practice. The muscle memory is acquired over years of experience. The far-reaching and comprehensive knowledge of the various tree species and their requirements. These are all things that make specialist tree loppers and arborists a worthwhile investment. 

Insurance for Your Financial Safety 

Again, cutting down a tree is dangerous! Tree lopping gone wrong can result in your roof being caved in, or your beloved car being crushed entirely. Whilst any reputable large tree removal specialists should have the necessary insurance to protect your assets financially, some cheaper ‘cash-in-hand’ tree loppers might not. That’s why you pay extra for the specialists who are going to protect you in any event. 

Sure, hiring your mate’s mate who has a chainsaw to do a quick cash-in-hand job and cut your tree down might seem like a good idea. You’ll be saving lots of money! But, what happens if it all goes tits up? You could end up having to fork out a considerable amount more! 

The same applies to licensing. Hiring the cheapest tree lopper, you can find might land you with an unlicensed tree lopper. Again, this is a risky investment as they will be tackling a dangerous job that they might not be entirely qualified to do. 

So, as you can see, tree loppers may be perceived as being expensive, but you’re also paying for insurance, in addition to their knowledge, expertise, practical experience, health, safety & risk assessment skills. 

How can I save money on tree removal?

Remember, going too cheap in order to save money can end up costing you a great deal more in the long run. So, rather than skimp on the quality of service, perhaps look for alternate ways to keep your costs down. Here are a few examples: 

Ask them to leave the stump or grind it yourself

The cost of stump-grinding from tree loppers costs an average of about $100 (or 2-3 AUD per inch of diameter). This can quickly add up to over $300! So, if you would rather save your money, you can simply ask them to leave the stump behind after removing the tree. 

You can leave it entirely provided you don’t find it an eyesore or worry that it is going to get in the way. However, if you are going to need to clear the way for a project of sorts, then you can hire a stump-grinding machine for the day for less than the cost of having your tree removal company do it. 

Then again, consider the fact that operating such machinery is dangerous. If you aren’t confident with the task, then it may be worth having the professionals do it. 

Get rid of the debris yourself 

You might be able to negotiate a cheaper price with your tree loppers if you offer to dispose of all of the branches and cut limbs by yourself. Just remember, there will be quite a lot of work involved. 

The good thing about this approach, however, is by keeping the leftover wood from the tree as firewood. 

Try and get bids from smaller companies 

Generally speaking, most reputable tree lopping companies do not charge a whole lot more. It all really boils down to their experience and the complexity of the job itself. In any case, if you are really tight on cash, you could try and have multiple smaller companies (licenced and insured, of course) to bid on the job. In this case, you might be able to save some cash. 

Ask about multiple-tree discounts 

Many tree companies often offer discounts for jobs that require the removal of several trees. If you have more than one tree that needs removing from your property, then it will be cheaper to have them done in one go, rather than one at a time, as and when. If you have them removed at once and you may secure yourself a cheaper rate. 


If you are interested in exploring tree lopping further and would like to find a local, reputable business that charges fair and affordable rates? If so, LakesideTreesandStumps.com.au is a great place to start your research