Clearing a garden is a necessary part of garden maintenance. That’s true whether you stay on top of it and regularly prune and clear your garden or if it’s a bit overgrown. You’ll always eventually have garden waste to get rid of – and that can involve quite a bit of time to clear up.
Depending on the garden, that may be leaves and cut grass, overgrowth from bushes, or even remodelling waste from your home. This means that actual costs can vary quite a bit.
However, on average, you can expect the cost of garden clearance to be £50-£240. On the other hand, if you’re removing a lot of waste from your home, are cutting back a whole garden, or want soil removal, you’ll also need a skip – which typically costs from about £250.
Plus, debris removal can vary per location, so you can expect to pay £0-£150 in waste disposal fees on top of your gardener’s hourly rate.
How Much Does Garden Clearance Cost?*
The largest factor in garden clearance is the cost of labour. Here, you can normally expect your gardener to take about 2-4 hours to clear the garden. However, depending on the job at hand, it could take much more.
|Cutting Overgrown Trees||£55-£285|
|Cut Grass & Leaf Removal||£45-£360|
|Broken Fences and Furniture||£45-£360|
*Please keep in mind that these costs are based on quotes at the time of writing in May 2023. Actual costs are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
Here, costs will significantly depend on what you need. For example:
- Cutting back overgrown trees and vines and clearing debris – £80-£360
- Removing old fencing and garden furniture – £120-£360
- Removing weeds and tidying up beds – £80-£200
- Disposing of builder’s rubbish and appliances collecting in the garden – £250+
7 Garden Clearing Price Factors
The cost of a garden clearance project will depend on several factors like the state of your garden, how much you locally pay for labour, and even whether or not you have to hire a skip.
1. Condition of the Garden
If you’re performing routine maintenance and have to dispose of branches, leaves, and cut grass, you can expect the cost of garden clearance to be relatively low. In fact, you can probably have your gardener perform a routine prune and trim of your garden plus waste disposal for less than £100.
On the other hand, your garden might be severely overgrown. For example, if you’ve left it alone for several years. Or, if you’ve just moved into a new house.
Or, if you’re a landlord and the previous tenant didn’t take care of the garden. In this case, garden clearance may take several hours for a team of two technicians.
You’ll also have a lot more in the way of green waste to dispose of. Here, you’ll likely expect costs to be over £200 but up to £500 depending on location and how large the garden is.
If you’re landscaping your garden, soil removal is often necessary. However, that can be costly. For example, you normally have to rent a skip, which costs an average of £250.
In addition, if your skip has to go in the street, you’ll have to get a skip permit (average cost of £39). And, those costs come before any labour costs of excavating or moving dirt.
Finally, your garden might actually have trash and debris in it. For example, builders may have done work and dumped old brick and tile.
You might have old appliances, broken garden furniture, collapsed fences, old gardening equipment, etc., that you want to dispose of. That kind of garden clearance will cost much more, because it will require more work to move and costs more per load to haul away. Here, costs are likely to be around £300 or more.
2. Hourly Rate
Most gardeners charge an hourly rate of about £30 per hour. However, those rates can be as low as £12 or as high as £60 depending on where you live. In addition, many gardeners will offer day rates – so it’s usually cheaper to hire for the full day.
Garden clearance projects also often benefit from having two people on the job. That’s true if you’re disposing of large or heavy debris. It’s also true if you want to prune trees or clean gutters. Having a second person improves safety and efficiency of the job. So, you’ll pay £60- £100 per hour for every hour on the job.
Most garden clearance projects take 2 or more hours. So, you can estimate that garden clearance should cost at least £120 – unless it’s a light job – such as picking up grass cuttings and leaves.
3. Type of Waste
Waste disposal rates normally depend on the type of waste. For example, disposing of green waste is typically more affordable than disposing of old electronics and furniture.
Why? Most council programs allow you to drop off green waste for a very low fee. In addition, green waste is normally lighter and safer to handle.
- Grass clippings
- Fallen leaves
- Hedge or bramble cuttings
- Tree branches
- Old mulch
You can often simply have this waste bagged and delivered to the council. However, rates for a load of green waste disposal are normally £50- £70.
- Old furniture
- Broken or rotting fences
- Brick or tile
- Old appliances
These materials are heavier, more dangerous to handle, and may require special disposal. Therefore, you can expect rates to range between £70-£200 for a load of rubbish disposal.
Soil disposal can be even more costly. That’s because soil is extremely heavy and typically requires special equipment to haul it away.
4. Amount of Waste
The more waste you have, the more you’ll pay for the total job. That’s both because it takes longer to pick it up and because you’ll have to pay for more loads during disposal.
For example, if you assume that it takes two gardeners an average of 3 hours to fill a trailer full of green waste from your garden, you can assume that you’re paying an average of £235 per load of green waste, including labour.
Most garden clearance companies won’t directly charge based on access, so it’s not something you can see on your quote. However, the less accessible your garden is, the more time it will take the company to do the work.
For example, if you need a skip to remove waste and don’t have a back garden entrance, you might have to remove fencing to facilitate that.
Or, if you want to prune trees and your technicians have to go onto the roof or hire a lift to access those trees – it will cost much more than if they could do the work with a simple ladder. So, accessibility will always impact costs.
That’s also true in cases where your garden is so overgrown that it’s difficult to get started. If there’s not an easy place to get started on clearing growth, the work could take longer until that happens.
The more urban your location, the more you’ll pay for garden clearance. For example, London has the highest garden clearance costs in the country, despite having the smallest gardens. However, on average, you’ll pay about £40 per hour and about £235 per load of waste to clear your garden.
If you live in an urban area, plan to pay the higher rates listed in the chart above. If you live in a rural area, you can probably have the work done much more cheaply – however, you’re also likely to have a larger garden, which will also take more time.
7. Extra Services
Clearing your garden is just one service that a gardener may provide. You might also want to landscape, plant new grass, replace shrubs and bushes, or even replant gardening beds for you. That will add to costs.
However, it’s a common part of readying your garden for spring or winter – so you might want to calculate those costs from the start.
What’s Involved In Garden Waste Clearance?
Garden waste clearance can mean a lot of different things. For example, there are many types of garden waste removal. In addition, garden clearance often involves pruning, trimming, and cutting away overgrowth.
Clearing overgrowth means pruning and cutting back plants to where you want them. That can take anywhere from under an hour to a whole day depending on how bad your garden is.
Here, many gardeners offer a standard garden clearing service including clearance of up to 120 litres of waste for £120-£200. That flat rate price means costs are predictable. However, costs will go up if you end up having additional complications. In addition, those costs don’t include disposal of non-organic waste.
If you’re excavating soil or you have old beds you don’t want anymore, soil removal is part of garden clearance.
Here, you can expect to pay for an excavator unless you only have a small amount of soil plus a tipper or a skip. This means you’ll pay about £250 plus labour costs – or an average of over £350.
Green Waste Removal
Green waste removal is normally about £55 per load of 120 litres. This may include mulching and bagging waste to bring to the council.
It may also include simply placing waste on a trailer and hauling it away. Green waste removal also involves collection which may mean:
- Leaf blowing
- Raking grass and fallen sticks
- Collecting hedge and tree cuttings
- Pulling or removing dead plants and trees
This means you’ll also normally pay for 1-2 hours of labour as part of green waste removal.
Other Waste Removal
Furniture, old electronics, old grills, fences, gates, and other non-green waste in the garden cost more to dispose of. However, total costs depend on their size and weight.
In most cases, you can plan to either pay for normal removal for about £70-£200 per load or pay for a skip and plan to fill it.
Cleaning gutters is a normal part of garden clearance. However, it will vary in time based on how accessible your gutters are.
In most cases, you can expect a technician to take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to clear the gutters depending on the size of the property. This means you’ll pay anywhere from £30-£200+ for the work.
Pruning and Trimming
Pruning and trimming hedges normally take about 1-4 hours for most gardens. However, depending on accessibility, the height of trees, and the size of your garden, it could take more.
Therefore, costs normally start at around £60 and go to over £200.
A skip costs about £250 plus a £39 council permit.
A tipper normally costs from about £150 per day – although you’ll have to pay separately for dumping whatever you put in it.
How To Save Money On Garden Clearance
Garden clearance is normally relatively cost effective; however, you can use the following tips to save money.
- Compare quotes from different gardeners.
- Pay for a full day of labour at once to reduce total costs.
- Make sure the quote includes waste disposal.
- Ensure accessibility before the technicians arrive.
- Keep up with garden maintenance. You’ll pay more often, but the total costs will be lower.
- Choose local technicians to reduce travel and transport costs.
- Arrange for waste disposal with your council, which may reduce costs.
In most cases, any steps you take to reduce costs will only have a slight impact.
Hiring A Pro vs DIY
You can always choose to do garden clearance yourself if you have the time and the mobility. However, it may not necessarily be the best way to go.
For example, if you hire a professional gardener, they may show up with a truck, trailer, mulcher, and all the tools they need. In a few hours, a team of 2 can clear your garden, prune back overgrowth, mulch it, and bag it along with leaves, weeds, and grass cuttings.
If you do the same work yourself, you’ll have to buy the tools. You also won’t have the mulcher, meaning you might not be able to bag the waste. And, you’ll almost certainly take longer doing it. That can be absolutely fine, especially if you like working in the garden.
If you have a vehicle, disposing of waste with the council can be relatively simple and affordable. You can also rent a skip and fill it yourself, although costs can be quite high.
Therefore, choosing between pro and DIY garden clearance mostly depends on:
- Whether you like the work or not
- How much free time you have
- If you want to spend your free time working in the garden
If the answer is no to any of that, then the professional gardener is the way to go.
In most cases, if you average out waste disposal costs and the hourly rate you earn at work versus what you’re paying to save yourself time, you might find that it’s actually cheaper to hire the pro.
Garden clearing services are everywhere, but most are simple gardeners offering clearing services. Here, you can look for:
- Clear quotes, with waste disposal, transportation, and tools listed
- The amount of waste per litre or kilogram included in the quote
- At least two people on the team
- Workers compensation insurance
- Liability insurance
- A history of business including good online reviews
- Relevant qualifications such as ROLO, an LISS /CSCS SmartCard, CIBT, BALI, APL< or Gardener’s Guild Horticultural Qualification 1 or 2
- Timelines that align with yours
In most cases, you should be able to discuss your garden clearing project, get a quote, and then have a team out to do the work. You might also want to look for a team that can schedule follow-up visits immediately for maintenance.
Garden clearance normally costs between £70 and £200. However, costs can vary significantly depending on the factors impacting your job. Simple pruning and leaf blowing will be affordable. Cutting back a very overgrown garden may cost much more. And, if you need a tipper or a skip, you can expect to add on at least £250 in costs.
The best way to get started is to request quotes from your local gardeners. Use the form at the top of the page to have those technicians send quotes to you.