Can I remove my own tree in Sydney?

Can I remove my own tree in Sydney?

If you have a small tree on your property (5 metres tall or less) it’s typically considered safe to remove it yourself (or by non-professional means) as there is little danger to anything surrounding it. For any tree taller than a single storey building, you will need to hire a qualified arborist to remove the tree or do any trimming or cutting back on your behalf.

While hiring an arborist is an expense, it’s an important one to take on. Completing your own tree work is not only a safety hazard, you can also get fines if you do not complete the correct permissions, take down an endangered tree or cause damage to your property, or neighbouring properties, or block traffic due to incompetence.

What an arborist does

It’s important to hire a professional arborist who will have the training to complete your tree work safely. Your arborist work includes a full range of services required to do the job at hand, all within your local council laws for lopping and felling trees including:
  • Council reports for tree removal permissions
  • Onsite safety check
  • Pruning
  • Felling
  • Waste removal
  • Wood chipping
  • Stump removal

An arborist is careful to remove tree limbs individually and target each fall to prevent damage to property and surrounding trees.

The cost of hiring an arborist

The cost of hiring an arborist for tree and tree stump removal, lopping and pruning can vary between companies and will depend on the work you need to complete.

When it comes to factoring in how much it costs to hire an arborist you need to consider:
  • The tree size, location and type
  • Access to your property
  • Work crew size
  • Any expensive equipment they might need to complete the work
  • Council permission fees and reports
  • How much you can take on yourself

Average cost per service

Tree Health Assessment
It’s well worth getting some professional advice on your tree condition and safety requirements as well as a quote for the work needed. This can be free for some companies or come with a small cost of $30- $150 for risky assessments where climbing is required

Yes, you can prune your own trees but a professional arborist has the skills to maintain the health of your trees as well as make your view beautiful. They can safely attend to high canopies and will clean up the mess as part of the price.
  • 1 – 10 metres = $200 to $500
  • 10 – 20 metres = $300 to $800
  • 20 metres + = $500 to $3,000
Tree Removal
If a tree is not unhealthy or causing damage or threat of damage you may not be able to have it removed. Your local council will assess the situation by way of a professional report to see if it is beneficial to remove the tree or not. The permission and report will come at your expense so you will need to budget accordingly for:
  • Arborists Report - usually around $450, an arborist report details the tree condition, safety, and the work required for council to assess.
  • Council permission - if the council approves your tree removal they will provide permission for a fee somewhere between $50 - $150.

The tree removal itself will be determined by the height of the tree, any dangers with location, any difficulty with access as well as how healthy the tree is.

While the average is $700 across the Sydney area, you are looking at prices for removal anywhere from $150 to 1,500.

Stump Removal
Removing a stump yourself is not only hard work, it can cause accidents through either using the wrong equipment or not understanding how to use the proper equipment effectively. It’s a big undertaking and is best handled by a skilled professional. It’s not an especially expensive job, with most stump removals costing between $250 and $350. The size, condition and tree species will all affect how long it takes to complete the work.

While you will need to employ a professional for tree felling services, you can help cut professional costs by reducing the time workers are required to be on site. If you can remove portions of a fence to give workers more direct access, clear a path by moving outdoor settings, or sell your hardwood as firewood online.