tree service melbourne

What Is an Arborist and How Much Cost to Hire One

An arborist is a person who cares for and knows about trees. They are experts in tree health, growth, and behaviour. Tree care can be complicated because there are so many variables to consider, including soil types, climate zones, the tree’s age, whether it’s deciduous or evergreen etc. 

In order to provide an expert opinion on how best to take care of your trees, you need someone trained as an arborist. Hiring an Arborist will ensure that you have access to all of the information necessary to keep your trees healthy and beautiful!

If you’re looking for a tree service company, an arborist is a person who can help you make that decision. Arborists study trees and know how to care for them, so they grow strong and healthy. 

They are also experts on identifying tree problems, such as insect infestations or fungus disease, so it’s important not to ignore any warning signs your tree may be exhibiting. If left untreated, these issues could result in the loss of your valuable asset! 

Why Hire an Arborist?

Healthy trees serve many purposes in your local community. A way for homeowners to ensure their trees stay healthy is by hiring an arborist. Professional, trained arborists know how to properly maintain trees for the public’s safety and the tree’s health.

Trees are an investment that requires proper tree care; however, pruning or removing trees, especially large trees, can be dangerous work. Tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees.

What is a Certified Arborist?

An ISA arborist certification is a nongovernmental, voluntary process by which individuals can document their knowledge base. Certification provides a measurable assessment of an individual’s knowledge in the competencies needed for proper tree care.

When a professional becomes an ISA Certified Arborist, they should be recognised by their peers and the public as a tree care professional who has attained a generally accepted level of knowledge in areas such as tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, safety, and other subject and practice areas within the tree care profession as identified through periodic job task analyses.

They must also continue their education to maintain their certification. Therefore, they are more likely to be up to date on the latest techniques in arboriculture.

Services An Arborist Can Provide

Arborists can help homeowners maintain their investment by:

  • Pruning. Pruning can be necessary for various reasons including, improvement of health, appearance and safety. An arborist can determine what type of pruning is necessary.
  • Tree removal. Tree removal can be expensive. Consider hiring an arborist when your tree is dead or dying, an unacceptable risk, causing an obstruction, crowding other trees, or located in an area where there’s new construction.
  • Emergency tree care. Removing or pruning storm-damaged trees can be dangerous, but a professional arborist can perform the job safely while reducing further risk of damage to people and property.
  • Planting. Getting your new tree off to a healthy start will help the tree mature to its full size and ensures it will provide environmental, economic, and social benefits throughout its lifetime. Some arborists plant trees and most recommend species that are appropriate for certain locations.
  • Other services. Plant health care or preventive maintenance.Cabling and bracing for added support to branches with weak attachments. Soil aeration to improve root growth.

Each of these jobs is a separate service and will come with a separate cost. For example, if you want to have a tree removed, it probably won’t include stump grinding or stump removal.

Root management includes cutting roots back or creating a barrier so a root cannot impede on a driveway or house slab. Log splitting can be done if you have a wood fireplace and want the timber for burning. 

Tree pruning and tree surgery are slightly different. Tree pruning can remove limbs that overhang the house or dead limbs, while tree surgery involves removing diseased limbs to keep the tree healthy.

In general, arborists charge around $70 per hour, but their hourly rate may not reflect the cost of the job. The cost will depend on other factors and the number of workers who need to be on the job. If other equipment is needed, such as a truck hoist to reach tree branches, it will cost extra. Truck hoists usually cost around $170 per hour, and the hoist may be needed for longer than one hour.

How Much Do Tree Consulting And Reports Cost?

Tree consulting and tree reports are two services an arborist can provide. A tree consultation will give information about a variety of things:

  • Is the tree diseased, and can the disease be cured?
  • Advice on what types of trees to plant.
  • Valuation reports tell how much a tree is worth.
  • Public liability and public safety reports can tell you if a tree poses a danger to the public or a neighbouring property.
  • Root mapping can find out if a tree’s roots pose a danger to underground pipes or a home’s foundation
  • Tree surveys help identify how to maintain trees best.

Tree reports can be slightly different from a tree consultation, though the terms are often used interchangeably. Tree reports may be submitted to the council if you want to remove a tree from your property. Many trees in Australia are protected, but different councils protect different trees. A tree report can identify the tree and submit reasons for its removal to the council.

In general, an arborist consultation or report will cost:

  • $75 to $100 for one to five trees
  • $25 for each additional tree
  • $35 for a submission to council fee

The cost may vary depending on circumstances, but these are the basic costs for a consultation or report.

How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?

Tree removal will depend on a variety of factors:

  • The size of the tree
  • The condition of the tree
  • The location of the tree
  • Ease or difficulty of access
  • Needed safety precautions
  • Transportation and tipping fees

A large tree will cost more because it has to be cut from the top down. If the tree is in poor condition, extra steps will be needed to ensure safety. The tree’s location is an important factor because trees that hang over neighbouring properties or over a roof will need to be cut carefully, and branches cannot be allowed to fall. 


For instance, if a tree overhangs a roof, the branches will need to be secured to avoid falling on the roof. If any safety precautions are needed, they will factor into the cost.

Because of the complexity of tree removal, the cost can be anywhere from $300 for a simple job to $10,000 or even more. An arborist will have to inspect the tree before they can give a quote. While $10,000 can seem excessive, it can be necessary in some cases when a large tree must be removed from the top down, and branches cannot fall to the ground.

How Much Does Stump Removal Cost?

Like tree removal, stump removal will depend on the size of the job, access problems, and other factors. Special stump grinding equipment is used, but an extensive root system may also require some digging. 

Stump removal can cost up to $800 or more, depending on the project. On average, stump removalists charge around $35 per hour. A small job may only take two or three hours to complete. A larger job can take much longer, and if more than one stump needs to be removed, that will also factor into the cost. On average, stump removal costs between $350 and $800, but smaller jobs will cost less.

Keep in mind that stump removal is not usually included in the cost of tree removal. If you want both, ask for quotes for both tree removal and stump removal. It can save you money because the arborist will come with equipment for both jobs instead of having to return to do the stump removal.

Also, remember that stump grinding and root removal may be two different jobs. Stump grinding usually involves getting rid of the exposed stump, while root removal involves taking out the whole root system. Root removal can cost more than stump grinding, but an arborist will have to inspect the tree before they can give a quote.

How Much Do Tree Pruning And Tree Surgery Cost?

As with everything an arborist does, tree pruning and tree surgery will depend on the size of the tree. For smaller trees, they may charge an hourly rate of $35, but you will also need to pay for travel and setup time. 

For larger trees, the cost can be much higher, with costs between $500 and $2000. The reason for the high costs can be because the arborist will have to:

  • Climb the tree to remove branches
  • Take personal safety precautions
  • Remove branches without letting them drop to the ground

There may also be accessibility problems and other factors that affect the cost. If tree surgery is needed, you may also have to pay for an initial consultation.

Choosing an Arborist

Arborists do not require licensing, so you should be careful when choosing an arborist. Their job can be dangerous to the public and the arborist, so should carry public liability insurance and personal insurance. They should also hold a Certificate II or III in Horticulture (Arboriculture) and be a member of a recognised organisation such as Arboriculture Australia.

The arborist should be well established in the area and have a good safety record. They may be able to supply you with references. Check their references and find out if the arborist knows what they’re doing and has a good safety record. 

Choose the best arborist you can find, especially if you have large trees that need pruning or removing. An expert will be able to do the job safely and efficiently. Don’t trust any job to an amateur.

How much does an Arborist make a year in Australia?

Contrary to what you think, arborists in Australia charge by the job and not necessarily by the hour. This is occasioned by the workload, accessibility, equipment, size of the tree, which can all vary in hourly charges. The charges are also dependent on the tree company, how big or how small it is. 

A small company may charge less and take longer, whereas a large company may charge more for a quick turnaround. So it’s more about looking at the price range and size of the company instead of hourly costs.

The average salary an arborist in Australia will make is $58,500. This means a cost of $30 per hour. Entry-level arborist makes $48,750 per year while experienced arborist makes $90, 709 per year.

How To Find The Best-priced Arborists Near You

Even though the information in today’s age is at the click of a button, the internet may not give you the arborists there are. This is because a number of qualified and experienced arborists are small business owners or work for small companies.

Moreover, I talked about pruning in the winter, meaning fewer arborists are available as this is a peak season. Luckily there are a few credible places you can get an experienced arborist, and one of them is Tree Amigos

Here you connect with a local arborist based on your budget and wants. Even though the charges from tree pruning and removal very, an arborist’s report charges are fixed from between $300-$400 per tree. The reports evaluate the condition of the tree and the environment to make a decision on whether to remove a tree.

Reasons Why Should You Hire An Arborist

We start learning about the importance of trees before we are in grade school. Trees are so important that many people consider them the single most important thing on this planet, next to bees. Trees play a tremendously important role in the environment, so much so that most life forms, including humans, wouldn’t be able to survive on Earth without them.

Trees have a tremendous value when it comes to the overall ambience of your home. Most people who own a house with a yard or some property are going to have at least a few trees, if not many.

Trees not only make your whole property feel more whole and complete, but they also provide another level of privacy and security. They’re great when you’re living in a close-quarters neighbourhood, giving you something in between your neighbours nearby windows and your own.

That’s where the arborist comes in. What is an arborist, and why would we invest time in learning about them and or even bother to invest in one? We are sure that these questions are ones that many people would ask. It isn’t a common title that you hear in everyday conversation. We believe that it is important that you have a decent idea of what an arborist is and what they do before we can attempt to persuade you to hire one.

Arborists Are Trained in Proper Tree Care

The first and one of the most popular reasons we think you should hire an arborist is that they are trained in proper tree care.

There are so many reasons why having healthy trees is important for someone that has trees. How frustrating is it to invest time and energy into getting all of your trees planted just to have them die within the first year of having them planted?

This is a pretty common scenario for new homeowners that are having their first go at having a yard with trees and shrubs. Maybe they don’t use the right fertiliser that is necessary for the particular kind of tree. 

Or maybe they over trim their trees. Trees can live a lot longer than humans can, so how they are taken care of will be the factor that determines a tree’s quality of life. They can’t always take care of themselves, unfortunately. Proper tree care is an investment that can have substantial returns.

Arborists Can Work on Trees Safely

The second reason you should hire an arborist is that arborists can work on trees safely. Unless you really know what you’re doing, the typical household isn’t going to have the proper tools and equipment required for being able to handle tree care most safely.

Oftentimes, an arborist needs to get up in a tree to take care of the annoying branch scratching your top story bedroom window. When an arborist has to get up in your trees, they have the proper equipment necessary to ensure that the job is handled in the safest way possible.

tree pruning

Unless you know an arborist, then finding the proper harnessing equipment necessary to get up in your trees is not going to be easy to find. And even if you could find the right equipment, learning how to use it properly is a job that we suggest you leave to the professionals.

When performing a tree transplant of a tree that is a couple of stories high, an arborist can ensure that there won’t be any problems with safely transplanting and/or transporting the tree to its new destination (whether that’s into your yard or to a new destination).

Please don’t be the person who has to learn the hard way. There are plenty of cases where inexperienced people try to transport trees and end up losing control of the tree, only to have it fall into their house.

The investment needed to hire an arborist for these things is a lot cheaper than the potential cost from unnecessary accidents.

Arborists’ Expertise Can Protect Your Investment and Property Value

The third reason you should hire an arborist is that hiring an arborist can help protect your investment and property value.

An arborist can help protect your property value by ensuring that all of the money you spent on having the landscaping professionally done doesn’t go down the drain.

How could this happen? It is pretty simple and way too common, unfortunately. People spend all of this money on trees and shrubs and have no idea when to water, prune, fertilise or plant seed, and everything runs the risk of dying.

Having to replace dead shrubs and trees is another cost that is way more than hiring a professional would cost. You’re saving money by preventing unnecessary loss.

Plus, having a beautifully kept up property can not only prevent you from losing your property value, it can even increase your property value. Trees are often small, and when they are fully grown and in great health, your home can’t help but shine.

Arborists’ Can Help with Storm Damage

The fourth reason why you should hire an arborist is they can help with storm damage. They can also prevent any possible threat to your trees that only a professional is going to have the right training and knowledge to prevent.

Arborists are trained at being able to handle problems that are extremely overwhelming for the untrained person. Taking care of risks that could occur due to strong winds or hail is one way arborists help with storm damage.

Hazards are not usually obvious to an untrained eye, and correcting the hazard can pose a lot of dangerous risks. It is impossible to be able to protect the entire tree (and your property) from storm damage, but a certified arborist can inspect for problems that could predispose your trees and property to failure.

They can inspect for any decay that might be present in your trees’ limbs and branches. Having proper structural support for a tree that has minor decay can prevent a huge potential disaster. Different cables and braces can help support a tree that is taking on high-speed winds. An arborist can also inspect for dead limbs that could break and put your home at risk during a storm.

Arborists Have the Right Tools for The Job

The fifth reason why you should hire an arborist is that they have the right tools for the job. As mentioned already, the tree business is one that poses a high risk compared to most jobs out there. It requires specialised knowledge about the biology and physics of trees.

An arborist will know how to:

  • Safely climb a tree
  • Which type of climbing equipment is necessary
  • Which type of rigging to use
  • Which type of saw is needed to cut a branch safely
  • How to safely cut the branch to ensure that it lands in a safe location
  • How to operate a crane for efficient tree transplanting

There are several different types of equipment that are needed by an arborist. Rigging equipment is needed for climbing large trees, making sure huge limbs that have been cut make it to the ground safely, and transporting the right tools up and down a tree.

Rigging tools include pulleys, slings, carabiners, cable hoists, and a lot of rope. Cutting equipment is an obvious necessity for working arborists. Handsaws, prunes, pole saws, axes, wedges, and wood chippers are common examples for cutting equipment.

Trimming equipment is a common needed group of tools and is a little different than cutting equipment. If a tree crown reduction is needed, an arborist will trimming rather than cutting equipment.

The particular tools needed usually overlap with cutting equipment, while the way the tool is used is a lot different. Climbing gear is needed to ensure the safety of getting up and down a tree.

Arborists Handle Tree Removal

The sixth reason why we suggest hiring an arborist is that they handle tree removal. Tree removals are performed in order to eliminate dead and or dying trees, as well as to remove trees that have become hazardous to your property.

Tree removals can also be performed when other plants are being blocked off by the tree from receiving needed sunlight.

Tree removal can be the most hazardous task for an arborist. Tree removals require a level of expertise that only a professional can perform.

Plenty of people have created a lot of preventable damage by uprooting a tree without proper training.

Arborists Can Plant Shrubs and Trees

The seventh reason we think you should hire an arborist is to handle planting your trees and shrubs.

You have just moved into your new home and have the overwhelming task of providing your lawn with abundant trees and shrub life. If you have never planted a tree before, then get ready to do a lot of digging.

Not only is the work of digging holes for trees strenuous, but different trees also require different hole sizes, not to mention the fact that different breeds of shrubs require different hole sizes as well.

Planting your trees incorrectly can put you at risk of having your trees dying and then having to face the cost of removing the dead tree and replacing it with a new one.

For the normal working person, taking on this role is far too time-consuming and better to be left to a professional who has the efficient tools for getting your tree planting done right the first time.

Arborists will also make sure that your trees are planted in a way that will not pose a future threat to the safety of your home and property.

Arborists Handle Tree Threats

The eighth and final reason why we think you should hire an arborist is that they can handle all of the threats that pose a risk to your trees. All living organic life has the same list of threats that a person would have.

The world is filled with an assortment of pests and disease-causing bacteria that can kill every limb on a tree. Termites can get in your trees without you even being aware, and before you know it, it’s too late, and the tree is past the point of saving.

Arborists can make sure that any avoidable risk a tree might endure could be prevented. Rodents might be eating all of your apples that are needed for your fruit stand, and an arborist can even make sure that these kinds of threats are eliminated.

Many people who renovate their homes don’t properly prepare for the potential risk construction might pose to your trees’ safety. An arborist can ensure that your tree stays in the same physical condition before and after the construction process.

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