DIY or Hire a Pro? The Best Approach For Shrub Removal


The task of shrub removal is a common one for homeowners seeking to enhance their property’s appearance or make room for landscaping improvements. When confronted with this chore, a decision must be made – should you tackle it yourself (DIY) or bring in a professional?

Pros of Hiring a Professional

There are numerous benefits to hiring pros like those at Some of these benefits include the following.

  • Expertise and Efficiency: Professional landscapers or arborists possess the knowledge and experience needed to remove shrubs efficiently and safely. They can swiftly assess the situation, select the best approach, and execute the removal with precision.
  • Proper Equipment: Professionals come prepared with the right tools and machinery for the task, streamlining the process and reducing physical exertion. This can lead to a neater result and less damage to your property.
  • Safety: Safety is a paramount concern when removing shrubs, especially if they are large or situated near structures or utilities. Professionals are trained to manage these situations safely, reducing the risk of accidents or property damage.
  • Waste Removal Included: When you engage a professional, waste removal is typically part of the service. They will manage the disposal, saving you the inconvenience of dealing with the debris.

Cons of Hiring a Professional

Though there are benefits, there may also be cons associated with hiring a professional.

  • Cost: The principal drawback of hiring a professional for shrub removal is the associated cost. You need to allocate a budget for labor and equipment, which can be substantial depending on the size and complexity of the project.
  • Limited Control: While professionals provide expertise, you may have less influence over the process and decision-making. They will rely on their professional judgment, which might not align precisely with your preferences.
  • Scheduling: Securing professional services might necessitate waiting for an available time slot, potentially delaying your landscaping plans. Depending on their workload, advanced planning may be required.
  • Inability to Learn: Employing professionals means forgoing the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. If you are passionate about gardening and aspire to develop your landscaping skills, you won’t have the chance to do so with professional assistance.

Pros of DIY Shrub Removal

Doing the shrub removal on your own can be beneficial, too. Some of the top benefits include the following.

  • Cost-Effective: One of the primary benefits of managing shrub removal on your own is the potential for cost savings. You avoid labor costs and can select the most economical tools and techniques that align with your budget.
  • Hands-On Experience: Undertaking shrub removal by yourself can serve as a valuable learning experience. It allows you to acquire new skills and develop a deeper understanding of your landscape, which can be valuable for future gardening or landscaping projects.
  • Control Over the Process: When you handle the removal personally, you maintain complete control over every phase of the operation. You can work at your own pace, make immediate decisions, and ensure the task is completed to your satisfaction.

Cons of DIY Shrub Removal

While there are many benefits to DIY removal, there are downsides, too.

  • Physical Demands: Shrub removal can be physically strenuous, particularly when dealing with large or deeply rooted shrubs. It may entail digging, cutting, and heavy lifting, which can lead to exhaustion and the risk of injury if not handled with care.
  • Lack of Expertise: DIY shrub removal demands a level of gardening knowledge and the use of the appropriate tools. Without the right experience or equipment, there is a risk of damaging other plants, underground utilities, or your property.
  • Time-Consuming: The time required for DIY shrub removal can be considerable, depending on the size and complexity of the shrub. This may not be ideal for individuals with a busy schedule and limited time to dedicate to the project.
  • Waste Disposal: After the shrub is removed, you must figure out how to dispose of the debris. This can add an extra task that demands time and resources, such as renting a chipper or arranging for disposal.
  • Inconsistent Results: Without professional expertise, DIY shrub removal can result in inconsistent or suboptimal outcomes. This may impact the aesthetics and functionality of your landscape.

Making the Right Decision

The choice between DIY shrub removal and hiring a professional hinges on your particular circumstances, encompassing your financial means, available time, physical capabilities, and long-term landscaping objectives. The following guidelines can assist you in making an informed decision.

  • Assess the Shrub: Consider the shrub’s dimensions, age, and root system. If it’s a small, young shrub with shallow roots, DIY removal may be manageable. For larger, older shrubs with deep roots, engaging a professional is the safer and more practical option.
  • Budget: Determine your financial capacity for the project. If your resources are limited and you are prepared to invest the effort, DIY removal may be a viable choice. If your budget allows and you favor a hassle-free experience, contemplate hiring a professional.
  • Time Constraints: Evaluate your schedule and the urgency of the shrub removal. If you have the time and patience for a DIY project, it is a credible option. However, if you require the space promptly or face time constraints, a professional can expedite the task.
  • Safety and Complexity: If the shrub is positioned near structures, utilities, or other plants, safety becomes a primary consideration. Complex situations are best managed by professionals to mitigate potential hazards.
  • Long-Term Goals: Reflect on your long-term landscaping ambitions. If you wish to acquire knowledge and advance your gardening skills, managing the project yourself can provide a valuable learning experience. If your primary goal is to remove the shrub and you are less concerned about the process, hiring a professional may be the wiser choice.
  • Aesthetic Considerations: Consider the aesthetics of your landscape. If the shrub’s removal is a part of a broader landscaping project, a professional’s expertise may be beneficial in achieving a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing result.
  • Property Conditions: Assess the surrounding conditions on your property, including proximity to structures, utility lines, and other plants. If these factors present challenges, professional assistance is more advisable to prevent damage or accidents.

The decision between DIY shrub removal and hiring a professional hinges on various factors. Whether you choose to handle it yourself or enlist professional assistance, remember that the ultimate objective is to enhance the appeal and functionality of your outdoor space. Make a thoughtful assessment of your circumstances, considering budget, time, safety, and long-term goals, to determine the best approach for your shrub removal project. Whichever path you choose, remember that the ultimate goal is to enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space.