Maintaining your yard and general yard clean up can take a lot of work. The larger your yard is, the more time you’ll spend doing general yard clean up to make it look nice and boost your home’s curb appeal. Luckily, there are dozens of companies around that specialize in yard clean up if you’re simply too busy to take this task on yourself. They’re also a good fit if you don’t have the tools or knowledge required to keep all of your plants, bushes, or shrubs healthy throughout the growing season.
Cleaning your yard on a regular basis is essential if you live in a nice suburb because all of your neighbors take pride in their homes and yards. One unkept yard can ruin the whole block’s aesthetic. If you’re in a HOA neighborhood, you may be required to perform more strict yard clean up than you would if you live on a non-regulated street. Still, it’s a good idea to get a feel for what the usual yard clean up duties are and their associated costs.
Some of the most popular tasks included debris cleanup, leaf removal, trimming trees, pruning or removing shrubs, cutting grass, and weed maintenance. However, the exact service range you get will depend on what services that company offers, your location, and your landscaping. On average, your yard clean up costs start at $300 and go up to $700. The average homeowner finds themselves paying around $500 to clean up a ¼ acre yard with debris removal, leaf removal, and trimming shrubs.
If you’re curious as to what the different prices are for your various yard clean up projects, this is for you. We’re going to outline the most popular items people choose, maintenance costs, optional improvements or enhancements, and more below.
Routinely cleaning up your yard can help minimize the costs involved in bringing in professional companies. However, bigger yards require much more work than smaller spaces, so you may not have a choice if you find yourself having trouble keeping up with your tasks. Campus Clean Up Day 2010 by Siena College / CC BY 2.0
Cost to Clean up Your Garden
If you’re someone who has a vegetable garden, you’ll need to harvest it regularly and clean it up. These yard clean up services usually include trimming, watering, fertilizing, weeding, mulching, pruning, clearing out garden debris, and slashing. If you get a package of these services, you can expect your costs to range from $60.00 to $150. Professional garden planting services range from $75.00 to $150.
After you get your garden cleaned, it’s not usual to compost your garden to boost the soil’s fertility and encourage healthy vegetable growth. You can make your own brown or green compost or buy premade compost from your local garden center. Green compost contains food remains that you’d typically toss like vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds. Brown compost use lawn and garden remnants like plant or grass clippings, vegetable stalks, dry leaves, wood shavings, pine needles, straw, or paper. Buying your compost will run between $3.00 and $5.00 a bag.
Labor Costs to Clean up Your Yard
It is possible to perform your yard clean up by yourself, but a professional-grade company will know what needs to be done in your yard and where. They know which types of shrubs, trees, and plants you can grow in your yard, how to maintain them, and how to take good care of them. Since expertise levels and knowledge varies, your prices will too. If you want to hire a professional landscaper, you’ll usually pay between $15.00 and $30.00 an hour.
Since yard clean up is a very broad category, it usually encompasses removing weeds, leaves, and debris, trimming trees and shrubs, and general lawn maintenance. Each service you get has a separate charge to it, and the costs will fluctuate depending on the method the company uses and the yard structure. You can typically expect to pay between $200 and $1,000 for cleaning up a property that is between ½ and ¾ of an acre.
Common Yard Clean up Service Prices
There are several services you can have when you take on yard clean up, and your final price will depend heavily on which ones you need, how often you need them, and your location. The following are popular options many people choose:
Fall Yard Clean Up
During the fall months, a lot of grass, trees, and other plants will start to dry up in your yard, and the leaves will start to fall. If you don’t pick up the dried pieces, they can get stuck in your gutters and start to rot. The fall months are some of the busiest for companies, so you may find that your yard clean up prices start to jump due to them being so busy. You’ll pay between $200 and $500 for this service, on average.
Leaves can fall in your yard at any point during the year, but fall is the biggest season for this. You have to remove them once they fall to prevent problems in the spring. They can cause gutter issues, or they can cause your lawn to die. There are several yard clean up methods for leaves with different costs, including:
- Blowing – You can blow leaves into neat piles using a leaf blower. This is the most cost-efficient way to do it, and you’ll typically pay around $30.00 an hour at a minimum. This goes up to $75.00 an hour, and they can charge between $5.00 and $10.00 a bag to dispose of them.
- Mulching – Some companies will have mulching services available at an extra cost. Depending on the property, you could pay between $100 and $500 for this service, but it can save you money in the long run that you would have spent purchasing and applying mulch to your flower beds.
- Raking – The company has heavy-duty rakes that allows the workers to collect fallen leaves into big piles throughout the yard. They’ll do this without digging up the grass and deposit the leaves into bags to throw away. You can pay a fixed rate per bag around $5.00, or a contractor will usually charge between $10.00 and $30.00 an hour.
- Vacuuming – One of the most effective and easiest ways to get rid of leaves is using a leaf vacuum. It sucks the leaves up into a bag instead of blowing them into piles, and you typically pay $5.00 a bag. You can pay the company to dispose of the leaves for $30.00, or you can leave them on the curb for trash pickup if your city takes them.
Leaf Removal Per Acre
Your yard clean up costs for leaf removal per acre ranges from $400 to $1,000. Since most homes come on a ¼-acre lot, the average cost range is between $100 and $250. The exact costs will depend on how many leaves you have, the size of your yard, and your removal method, but you can expect to pay:
- ⅙ Acre – $75.00 to $180
- ⅕ Acre – $80.00 to $200
- ¼ Acre – $100 to $250
- ½ Acre – $200 to $500
- ¾ Acre – $300 to $750
- 1 Acre – $400 to $1,000
You need to trim your shrubs on a regular basis to give them space for new growth to come through. If you don’t, they can start to get overgrown and dry out. Trimming your shrubs allows new, greener branches to grow. Most companies will usually take on this project for $25.00 to $75.00 an hour, but it could be possible to get a flat rate agreement, depending on how much yard clean up work you want done at one time.
Spring Yard Clean Up
After the snow recedes, your yard could have a host of fallen leaves and branches in it. Leaves, thatch, pinecones and other debris can lay over your lawn. You need to remove all of it so it doesn’t block the sunlight from shining down and hitting your grass and plants. You also need to mow the grass and tidy up any plants or flower boxes to encourage strong new growth. This service usually costs between $100a dn $300. It usually gets combined with other services like planting, fertilizing, or mowing, so the cost for your spring yard clean up can vary.
Tree Debris Removal
Trees can add a lot of structure to your yard, but they can also mean that you’ll need whole tree or debris removal. It’s not unusual to have to deal with falling bark or dead limbs. If you get a big storm in your area, you could have bigger pieces of debris or branches that you can’t remove on your own. To remove tree debris, your yard clean up cost will range from $50.00 to $100 on average. Tree removals have a higher price tag at $400 to $2,000. The average cost is between $8.00 and $15.00 a square foot.
Weeds are an ongoing problem because they’ll consistently grow on your lawn and in any flower beds or gardens you have. If you don’t take steps to remove them, the weeds can damage the plants and mar your landscaping.
You can remove them by using a hoe, your hands, or a chemical weed killer. You’ll pay around $30.00 an hour to remove the weeds, and the average time falls between four and five hours. So, your total costs range from $120 to $150. Chemical weed killers are another popular option, but they can cause damage to the surrounding plants. You’ll pay between $60.00 and $150 for a chemical weed killer.
Yard debris are the things that accumulate around your yard as the year goes on. The average cost to get rid of yard debris starts at $200 and goes up to $500, and this includes picking them up and disposing of them. You can also choose curbside pickup, and this has a cost range of $50.00 to $100, depending on how many bags of debris there are and your location.
Removing a tree is one of the more expensive yard clean up projects you can undertake, especially if you have multiple trees or if they’re on the bigger side. However, you could try to bundle this service with other ones for a better rate. Tree removal 16 Oct. 2018 by GP Witteveen / CC BY-NC 2.0
Costs to Maintain Your Yard
Most companies that perform yard clean up will also perform routine maintenance. The services are very similar, so you can usually get both done for the same prices. Yard maintenance usually encompasses clearing away branches, fallen leaves, or clutter. It can also include composting or hauling away any debris, cleaning flower beds or the garden, mowing the lawn, re-seeding and aerating the lawn, and trimming overgrown shrubs or trees.
Flower Bed Maintenance
Flowers can wither easily in the incorrect growing conditions, and this also includes perennials. Cold, lack of sunlight, too much water, not enough water, or a bug infestation can wreak havoc on your flower beds. Taking care of them requires a lot of effort and time, so a professional yard clean up company can come back several times throughout the year to keep them looking nice for you.
The flower bed maintenance cost has a large price range from $25.00 to $50.00 an hour. The cost will depend on the expertise level you need. If you want the company to plant new flowers, your hourly fee will range from $25.00 to $200. However, if you want them only to plant flowers, they usually have a flat fee that ranges from $100 to $150.
Once in a while, you’ll want to aerate your lawn using a manual aerator. This tool pokes holes into the grass to allow nutrients and oxygen to get down into the soil. In turn, it can boost fertilization and seeding while improving your lawn’s overall health. Your yard clean up costs will range from $40.00 to $50.00 an hour.
You’ll want to fertilize your lawn from time to time. Fertilizer will help your lawn grow faster and healthier during the spring rush. The type of fertilizer you use will dictate the cost. An organic fertilizer may range from $20.00 to $80.00 while a synthetic one can range from $12.00 to $80.00. To fertilize 5,500-square feet of lawn ranges from $40.00 to $140. THe topography, your lawn’s condition, and the grass type will all influence your yard clean up cost.
Each different company will have lawn mowing services priced differently. Some will charge you by the hour while other companies charge by the yard size. They can include additional costs based on the type of lawn you have. If they charge by square foot, prices usually range between $0.009 and $0.015 for a weekly mowing schedule.
For biweekly mowing, you’ll usually pay between $0.015 and $0.020 per square foot. Properties that have a lot of yard ornaments or structures can cost more because they’re more work. If the company charges by hour, expect to pay between $40.00 and $80.00 an hour.
What type of mulch do you want to use? This will determine how much you pay to have someone maintain it. You want to have a three-inch layer on hand to protect your soil, and mulching can cost between $10.00 and $110 a cubic foot. Installation costs for mulch range from $25.00 to $50.00, and there are delivery fees that range from $40.00 to $100.
The delivery fees will vary depending on how much mulch you need and the type. A landscaper will also usually charge $55.00 to $75.00 an hour to plan, apply, and install it. This is usually at least a two-hour job, so your costs start at $110 to $150 and go up.
Tree trimming costs also have a broad range associated with them. The biggest factor will be the type of tree you need trimmed, followed by the size and location. Most companies won’t charge per hour for this service, but they’ll charge a flat fee based on your tree’s size. The cost to trim a single tree fluctuates from $80.00 up to $1,000.
If the tree in question is 25-feet tall or less, the price usually falls around $80.00. If the tree is between 35-feet and 50-feet high, the prices go up to $175. Trees that reach 50-feet or higher can cost between $300 and $1,000 to trim. If you have more than one tree to trim, your prices can quickly jump even higher.
Yard maintenance is just as important as yard clean up, and many people choose to outsource it because there is so much you can do to your yard. More elaborate landscape setups will require more maintenance, so this can increase your costs. Service: Garden and yard clean up by cinonetwork / CC BY 2.0
Optional Yard Clean Up Services With Price Points
In addition to the services we outlined already, there are a few additional services you can consider when you put together your plan for your yard clean up. You might choose to opt out of all of these services, or you could find one or two that work well for your needs.
Deck Pressure Washing
Your deck can look grimy and dull after a few years, especially if it has exposure to sap from trees, bird droppings, or heavy foot traffic. Pressure washing the deck can add a nice touch to a beautifully landscaped garden or yard. It uses a very strong stream of water to break down and remove grease, dirt, and grime from your deck, patio, or siding. Using a pressure washer on a 500-square foot deck will cost around $175. The typical cost range starts at $150 and goes up to $200.
It’s important that you regularly clean and inspect your gutters to remove any leaves, yard debris, or other tree debris. If you don’t, this can lead to issues with clogs and water won’t be able to drain properly. It could even result in flooding or water damage to your roof or walls. The gutter cleaning price usually depends on how many linear feet of gutters you have and your home’s height. For a single-story house with 150 linear feet of gutters, the average cost is $190, and it has a cost range of $150 to $225. You’ll pay an average of $1.00 to $3.15 per linear foot for this yard clean up service.
Hauling Away Debris
Once you finish with the cleanup portion of this project, it’s important that you consider how to dispose of the bags of debris. You don’t want to burn them, and some cities don’t take yard debris in the normal trash or recycling unless it’s a special cleanup day. The typical cost to haul away your debris starts at $200 and goes up to $550. Per load, you’ll pay an average of $50.00 to $100. You can call your local town or city hall and see what their rules are regarding yard debris hauling away.
Having mulch installed in your flower beds or even in parts of your garden acts like a natural weed barrier. Additionally, it also does wonders for water retention, and it can help keep the soil cool around your plants on hot days. Typically, you’ll have the contractors come in in the early spring months and put the mulch down in a three-inch layer. Per cubic yard, your costs will range from $10.00 to $110. The type of mulch you want and how much you need will drive the price.
Maybe you have a large dogwood tree in your yard that is in the way, bothersome, or dead or dying. If so, it’s a good idea to get it removed, and you want a professional company to come in and do this for you. Dead and dying trees present a hazard for anyone around them, and they’re also magnets for pests that can spread to your other trees or plants.
The average yard cleanup cost for tree removal starts at $450 and goes up to $900, but it can easily exceed $2,000 if it’s a complex project. On average, most people pay around $650 to remove a tree, but your exact price will depend on the diameter, height, condition, and the branch complexity.
Do you Need a Permit for Yard Clean Up?
Whether or not you need a permit to perform your yard clean up projects depends on the project. For most smaller items like putting in flower beds, mowing your lawn, or trimming shrubs, you won’t need a permit. However, for bigger things like removing a tree, you will need one. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to ask whichever company you’re working with on your yard clean up project. Some companies will include permit costs in their estimates if you need one. You can also contact your local town or city hall and ask.
If you do need a permit, you want to give yourself 7 to 10 days for the permit application to process. You should also be prepared to add the permit fee to your yard clean up costs. This can range in price depending on the project.
Where to Find Yard Clean Up Companies Near You
If you’re looking for a professional company to come in and perform all of your yard clean up tasks for you, it’s a good idea to go with a local one. They’ll have in-depth knowledge on what does and doesn’t work in your landscaping, and they can work with you to give you a good deal on one-time or ongoing services. You can start looking here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing which questions to ask when you contact your local companies can ensure you get close estimates for the work you want done. They’ll also give you a better understanding of the scope of the project at hand. Clean-up after Irene by Klara Palotai / CC BY 2.0
1. What is the average landscaping maintenance cost?
Any homeowner can expect to pay between $100 and $300 a month for their landscaping maintenance costs. The total price will depend on what you want the company to do, the complexity of the project, and the size of the yard.
2. Can you burn leaves to dispose of them?
You can, but it’s generally not considered a good idea. Starting a fire to burn leaves that aren’t contained can get out of hand very quickly and spread. If you really want to burn the leaves to get rid of them, you should contact your local fire department ahead of time and find out if there are any restrictions or regulations you have to follow. Sometimes, burning under a burn ban can earn you fines.
3. How much does it cost to fix a yard?
Maybe your yard is in really bad shape. If it is, yoru yard clean up will be much more intense. Your starting costs are usually right around $500, but they can easily go up to $1,000.
Yard clean up is something everyone has to do sooner or later, especially if you purchase your own home. If you don’t have the time to take on this project yourself, you could hire a professional company to come in and do it for you. We outlined the biggest yard clean up costs for you, and you can use it to get a rough estimate before you contact local companies and turn your yard into the envy of the neighborhood.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.