The cost to remove shrubs and bushes is $900 on average
Whether you're tired of trying to tame those overgrown monster shrubs taking up half your yard or, if you're fed up with having to delve deep into the undergrowth every time your kid loses their ball, it could be time to call in the pros and have those pesky shrubs and bushes removed.
For professional bush and shrub removal costs, you’ll typically pay between $450 and $1,375, depending on the size of the plants and the complexity of the job. Most people pay around $900.
|National Average Cost||Minimum Cost||Maximum Cost|
Shrub, Hedge, and Bush Removal Cost Factors
Costs for removing shrubs, hedges, and bushes can vary depending on the size, density, root system, soil type, and accessibility. Here’s a breakdown of the different shrub removal cost factors that impact the price of your project.
The cost to remove shrubs and bushes is primarily based on the height of the plants, as well as the complexity of the job. Remember, too, that most contractors have a minimum call-out fee, so even if you only want one or two small bushes removed, they'll likely still bill you for an hour or two of their time to make the job worth their while.
Take a look at typical costs per bush based on height.
|Height||Cost Range||Average Cost|
|Small (1 ft. – 2 ft.)||$15 – $40||$25|
|Medium (2 ft. – 4 ft.)||$40 – $75||$60|
|Large (4 ft. – 6 ft.)||$75 – $150||$110|
|Extra large (over 6 ft.)||$150 – $300||$225|
What About Hedges?
Depending on what type of hedge you have and how large it is, it will most likely count as shrub or bush removal. Contractors typically class every 5 feet of hedges as one bush, with the average price of around $100 per bush. The height of the hedge will determine which size category it falls into.
Lone Bushes vs. Clusters
Lone bushes cost less to remove than clusters and hedges, for example, because single, disparate plants are considerably easier to remove than dense clusters.
If you’ve ever bent down and given a shrub a good tug to pull it free from the ground, you may have been surprised by how challenging—or easy—it is to remove the plant. The complexity of this part of the job all comes down to the root system. Some species of plants have a deeper root system than others and will take longer and cost more to remove than shrubs with a shallow root system.
The type of soil you have also plays a role in how easy it is to remove shrubs from your property. Thicker and denser soil, like clay, can prove to be more challenging to pull roots free than lighter soil, like sand. Rocky soil may be easier for shrub removal, or it can prove to be more difficult depending on the size of the rocks and whether or not an established root system is hard to dig out. A pro can assess your soil and give you recommendations for the best removal method.
A flatter terrain close to the road makes for a simpler and less costly price tag than a rocky, steep, or marshy terrain far away from access points. Lugging shrubs and root systems back and forth from a long distance adds time to the job, which means you’ll often end up paying a professional more to remove such plants.
Along with labor (which makes up the bulk of the cost for bush removal), you'll also need to account for removal and disposal of the waste, which costs between $25 and $100 per bush, depending on the volume of waste and how far the contractor has to haul it.
With large removals, you'll be left with significant holes, so you'll also need to pay for soil replacement. Screened topsoil costs around $20 per cubic yard, but you can pay as much as $180 per cubic yard for soil replacement. How much you'll pay depends on the type and quality of the soil, how much you need, and whether you have to pay extra for delivery.
"Before removing old shrubs, it’s smart to have a plan in place for new plantings or decide if it’s an area that can just be re-established to turfgrass,” says Tara Dudley, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Plant Life Designs.
You may also want to hire a landscaper to help rejuvenate your garden at this point.
DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
You can make big savings by removing shrubs and bushes yourself, but there are a few caveats. The first is the labor involved. Digging up and removing shrubs and bushes, even small ones, is really hard work. It's labor-intensive, time-consuming, and involves a lot of strength. If that's not your forte, you may decide the cost of hiring professional gardeners is well worth it.
"Many times, old and established shrubs require the use of equipment such as skid loaders to do the job,” says Dudley.
There's a certain amount of skill involved, too. You've got to do a thorough job and make sure you get as much of the root system out as possible; otherwise, the plant you worked so diligently to get rid of could grow back in a year or two.
Remember that you'll need to dispose of the waste, which requires you to either run it through a shredder and use it as mulch or take it to a yard waste disposal facility.
If removing the bushes has left some craters in your yard, and you're doing the job entirely by yourself, you'll also need to haul in topsoil. So, unless you already have a large vehicle capable of hauling big volumes of soil, you'd need to hire one or pay for the soil to be delivered. Either way, once it arrives, you'll have to move it to fill in the bush craters by hand, which is even more toil.
So yes, the monetary cost to remove shrubs and bushes yourself is much less, but there's a high cost in terms of physical labor and time.
Cost to Remove Shrubs Yourself vs. Hiring a Pro
Hiring a landscaping company near you may cost you $50 to $75 more per hour of work than if you were to do it yourself. Some landscaping professionals will charge by the bush, which can cost anywhere from $6 to $15 each. Keep in mind that you’ll also want to factor in local hauling and dump services, which can tack on $25 to $100 extra to take all of those shrubs far, far away.
However, this cost can be worth it, especially if you don’t know where to start or if you’re dealing with very large bushes and shrubs.
How to Save Money on Bush or Shrub Removal
If you don't want to tackle the whole job by yourself, but you want to save money where you can, there are some things you can do to reduce the project cost.
Clear the area around the bushes yourself.
Prepare the ground by removing the top layer of turf and debris. You can also finish the project yourself by bringing in soil and planting the area.
While hauling soil is labor-intensive, sowing grass seed is fairly easy. If you're a keen gardener and often use mulch, you can save money in multiple ways by shredding the bushes yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
The easiest way to remove bushes is first to cut the bush down. You may need to use a handsaw, pruning shears, or a chainsaw for thicker branches. Once you’ve removed most of the branches, you can then cut the base of the shrub as low to the ground as you can get. Then, with a shovel, dig around until you expose the roots. Dig out the roots, being careful not to leave any roots in the soil.
A bush is similar to a shrub and a hedge, but the difference between these plants is that bushes have branches at ground level. A shrub is a small woody plant. A hedge is a line of bushes or shrubs that are trimmed to look like one long continuous row of plants that are usually designed for privacy.
While you can leave roots in the ground, if you don’t want the shrub to regrow again over time, it’s best not to leave any roots behind. Ensure you remove as much of the shrub as possible, including the root ball and any main roots you can see, to prevent new growth. Some gardeners opt for using a chemical treatment to prevent the stump from growing back, but this can kill beneficial microorganisms living in your soil.