Should you be in need of inspecting and assessing the risk of your trees, it is likely necessary to engage a consulting arborist. It is important to note that tree consultation and tree services are distinct from each other, and as such, are performed by different arborists.

Arborist consultation is not usually free. However, if you’re a quote for tree services such as trimming or removal, the arborist will be happy to inspect the tree and give you all the free information you need while they quote your job.

Because the inspection can lead to a job, the arborist will be happy to do the consultation for free.

If you want a paid tree inspection only a typical arborist will charge anywhere from $150 for a single tree to $500 for a full-blown written arborist report. 

Free Arborist Consultation

A consulting arborist is an advanced arborist with a higher skill set than a certified arborist. When it comes to other arboriculture-related tasks other than tree trimming, pruning, and removal, a consulting arborist may be the best bet.

Consulting Arborists are simply the authoritative experts on trees. They bring an objective and comprehensive viewpoint to their clients to ensure the safety, health, and preservation of trees.

They service a wide variety of clients, including property owners, municipalities, contractors, attorneys, insurance professionals, landscape architects, developers, engineers, and other arborists.

Do arborists provide free tree inspections?

There’s no direct answer to this. It really depends on what you hope to get out of the inspection. If you want an arborist to take time out of their busy day and give you free information on your tree, it’s like a doctor providing a free consultation service. Not a fair price.

If the inspection is going to be followed by a tree job such as pruning, trimming, or total removal, then it’s fine to first have the arborist provide a preliminary inspection and consultation. We’ll assume you’ll be billed the consultation fee together with the labor cost.

Not all arborists will normally charge you for tree inspections especially if it’s going to lead to more work. They’ll simply take a quick look and give you a professional opinion.

Other ways to get free tree advice

This is a nonprofit conservation and education organization network composed of community-based1 organizations dedicated to planting and caring for trees. They are dedicated to providing free tree consultation and service for citizens in the United States.

You can contact them in order to link up with civic groups or non-profit agencies available to assist with a range of tree-related issues and information. They can be contacted at 1-888-448-7337.

Cooperative Extension Service offices are conveniently located in courthouses, post offices, or other local government buildings to improve the quality of people’s lives by providing research-based knowledge to strengthen the social, economic, and environmental well-being of families, communities, and agriculture enterprises.

Extension experts are always available to provide professional advice regarding your trees.

Local departments of parks and recreation

Trees located in public spaces, such as parks and street rights-of-way, are typically the responsibility of the municipality. If you’re looking for a free consultation regarding those trees, you should consult with the local Department of Parks and Recreation or public works.

These departments often have an arborist (tree care professional) on staff or through contract who should be qualified to provide tree advice.

Utility service providers


If the tree in question is within or near a utility easement, you should consult with the utility service company. They also typically have tree care professionals which may either be their staff or a tree contracting company.

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