Tree Trimming Cost & Prices | How Much Does Tree Pruning Cost?
Trees are a valuable part of nature. Not only do they provide oxygen to the environment, but they add
value in many ways. For animals that need them for habitation to property owners that enjoy their
magnificence, the value of trees can be measured in different ways. But like any asset, the value will not
increase without proper care and attention, and caring for trees involves pruning .
Pruning for Tree Health
Pruning a tree will often be done for aesthetic purposes, but it is also completed for the benefit of the
tree. Damaged, diseased, or broken limbs can be safety risks for those nearby and for the health of the
tree. Removing these branches will also prevent further decay. Pruning can also reduce the amount of
leaf disease on a tree by increasing the flow of air through the tree canopy. This has benefits for lower
branches and for plants residing underneath the tree canopy, as well. Fruit trees, in particular, benefit
from pruning as it has shown to improve the size and quantity of the crop when proper pruning takes
Pruning for Human Benefit
Since trees are part of our everyday lives, humans and trees must coexist. But over time, one entity can
impede on the other, like on sidewalks and roadways. Pruning a tree can improve traffic or pedestrian
flow around or under a tree. The presence of dead or flailing branches can make walking or biking paths
difficult to navigate. Pruning these branches can free up traffic flow or improve the visibility of traffic-
related signage. Dead and diseased branches can create a major hazard for your home. The siding of
your home can be damaged from branches rubbing against it from harsh winds, and your roof can take a
hit from falling dead branches. Proper pruning can be a small investment for your property instead of
filing an insurance claim.
Pruning for Environmental Health
A tree with a large canopy can impede the growth of grass or shrubs at the base of the tree. Pruning can
give other plants and lower branches the rain and light they need to be healthy. Pruning away dead or
diseased branches will also impact pests and insects. Some insects colonize in dead or decaying
branches and eat the nearby foliage. If they aren’t a nuisance, they may be spreading diseases affecting
plant and tree growth and can become a nuisance in the future. And if trees overhang or brush up
against your home, these insects may have an easy access point to enter your home. Other common
reasons for pruning are to remove dead branches, to improve form, and to reduce risk. Trees may also
be pruned to increase light and air penetration to the inside of the tree’s crown or to the landscape
below. In most cases, mature trees are pruned as corrective or preventive measures, as routine thinning
does not necessarily improve the health of a tree
When it comes time to prune a tree, remember that not all trees are created equally, and not all pruning
methods work for all trees. Newly planted trees may need to be pruned every year to obtain proper
form and strength. Older mature trees may only need to be pruned every five years. There are also right
and wrong pruning techniques and using the wrong technique can damage a tree instead of helping it.
Pruning is the most common tree maintenance procedure. Although forest trees grow quite well with
only natures pruning, landscape trees require a higher level of care to maintain their structural integrity
and aesthetics. Pruning must be done with an understanding of tree biology. Improper pruning can
create lasting damage or even shorten the trees life.
Because each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree, no branch should be removed
without a reason.
If you have never pruned a tree, consider hiring an arborist who can provide professional insight and
The terms “trimming” and “pruning” are often used interchangeably though. They are actually two
different methods for keeping trees healthy.
Trimming is typically done for aesthetics and convenience and is performed when there are no concerns
of overgrowth, disease, pests or other hazards to the tree. Trimming tree branches keeps trees looking
great while removing long branches that can get in the way. Tree trimming can be done by a
professional in cases of large or multiple trees, or by a homeowner who just wants to tidy up the look of
Pruning is done to keep trees healthy and involves the selective removal of particular parts of a tree or
plant, such as buds, roots, and branches. In order to keep the tree healthy, pruning involves the targeted
removal of plant tissue that is diseased, damaged, dead or otherwise structurally unsound or unwanted.
Because of the specific nature of pruning, it is best left to a trained individual who can recognize
damaged and diseased tissue and make sure that only healthy buds, branches, and roots are left behind.
The cost of tree trimming varies depending on tree size, obstacles around the tree such as fences and
power lines as well as number and size of branches being removed.
The average cost for tree trimming is $438 .
Realistically you could pay anywhere between $120 and $1200 depending on your job. These are based
on national averages in 2018.
Asking how much tree trimming costs is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. They answer i: it
But this pricing guide is going to endeavour to do just that.
There are lots of factors like tree size, amount of foliage being removed, access to the tree and obstacles
around the tree like power lines, fences, sheds etc.
Tree trimming cost by tree size
Small tree trimming – 15 – 20 ft. tall.
Removing 10 – 20% of the branches/ foliage of a tree this size would cost you between $ 250 and $525.
It may cost a little more if it is a building clearance or a power line clearance trim, due to extra time
taken to not do damage.
Medium tree trimming – 20 – 30 feet tall.
Assuming again you are removing 10 – 20% foliage you could expect to pay between $390 and $720.
When you think about it, depending on the tree being trimmed, this could be between 1 and 10
branches that need removing, so again it all depends.
Large tree trimming – 30 – 50 ft. tall. Depending on the type of prune this will cost you between $500
and $1200. If you were to get a building clearance, you are only removing a branch or two, but if it’s a
total tree reduction there is more work involved and increased costs.
X Large tree trimming – 50 – 100 feet tall.
Such larger trees do come with a bigger price tag for maintenance. $740 would be the base line and
anything up to $2000 depending on the type of prune. Getting Crown thinning done will cost a lot more
than a canopy lift for example.
Also, it is pertinent to know that tree pruning services do not actually charge by the hour. They might
work out their prices that way, but they will give you a price based on a visual assessment of your tree
Pricing by the hour in this game is tricky. One company might charge 3 x more per hour than another
company, but do the job 3 x faster because they have a 6 man crew instead of a 2 man crew.
To get an accurate estimate on the cost of tree trimmer, you really do need to ask a local tree service
company for a price on your specific tree job.
Some of these process takes much longer than simply tossing down branches, resulting in a higher
overall cost. Below are some factors that can increase the cost and price of Tree trimming and pruning
Size and Location
It’s no surprise that larger trees typically cost more to trim than smaller trees. Larger trees have more
branches and may require additional equipment, depending on their height. Here’s a breakdown of
what you can expect to pay a professional to trim various sizes of trees:
30 feet and under – Trees of up to 30 feet (e.g. Russian olive or dogwood trees) cost between $75 and
$450 to trim.
30 to 60 feet –Trees in this range (e.g. crab apple trees) cost between $150 and $875 to trim.
60 feet and taller – Exceptionally large trees cost the most. Anticipate spending anywhere from $200 to
$1,000 or more to have large trees (i.e. red oak, pine) trimmed by a pro.
Trees that are near buildings or power lines require additional time and effort because crews cannot
simply toss the branches down as they work. Instead, each trimmed piece must be "roped down."
During this process, a climber ties a rope around the branch or section that is going to be cut off. After
the limb is cut, the section of wood is lowered slowly to the ground. This process takes much longer than
simply tossing down branches, resulting in a higher overall cost.
Number of Trees
The number of trees you need to trim will also naturally affect the overall cost of your tree trimming
project. Make sure to include the total number of trees and their types in your quote request, so that
you can make your decision based on a realistic estimate. You don’t want to surprise the tree removal
company when they show up by suddenly revealing that you have five trees that need trimming instead
Trees that have endured some sort of trauma, such as a lightning strike, are not as strong as healthy
trees and can become less stable over time. For this reason, unhealthy trees might need more than a
minor trim. For instance, an unstable tree might also need to be cabled if it is at risk of falling onto a
house or other property. While it may cost more for an arborist to trim and maintain a tree that has
some scarring or other issues, the result will be a safer and healthier tree.
Other health issues can affect the amount of work that needs to be done to the tree, driving the price up
Diseases and Illnesses
There are myriad diseases and illnesses that can decrease the overall health of your tree. Here are some
examples of the types of diseases that can affect your tree and lead to an increase in the cost of
trimming and maintenance:
Abiotic Damage — This is damage caused by strong winds, hail, frost or dry spells and can appear in
different manners. Dried leaves and cracked or broken limbs are some of the signs of abiotic damage.
This type of damage needs to be resolved because parasites may attack the damaged areas of the tree.
Fungi/Mushrooms — Wood-destroying fungi diminish structural stability and deplete trees of vital
Moist Crack — A moist crack in a tree trunk signals internal decay and needs to be evaluated to
determine if the tree’s life is in danger.
Pests While trees are often home to a variety of harmless or even beneficial insects and other animals, some
pests can damage and endanger your trees. This kind of infestation can lead to illnesses in the tree, such
as rotting or fungal growth. Here are some common pests that can affect the health of your tree:
Emerald ash borer — This invasive, wood-boring beetle is killing ash trees across the United States at an
alarming rate, making it a serious hazard to homes and landscapes. If you see emerald ash borers, you
need to treat them with specific methods created by researchers and best applied by an arborist.
Ants – If you have noticed ants on your tree, it is important to keep watch. This may be an indication
that your tree is rotting of that damage has occurred. If you see a prevalence of ants, particularly near
the base of the trees trunk, along with sawdust, it is best to call an expert.
Mites – They may be small, but mites can do a lot of damage, especially to tree leaves and buds. Shield-
lice are another tiny insect that can quickly cause damage.
Woodpeckers – When woodpeckers take residence in a tree, they often do so because the tree is
already rotting. If a woodpecker has made your tree its new home, you should seek the advice of a
professional to see if fungal decay is an issue.
Other wood-destroying pests – There are many pests and depending on your area, you may experience
a unique situation. Since the larva of many other insects can breed in your tree, this will often increase
the risk of damage, allowing fungi to move in.
Tree companies often charge for drive-time, and that cost goes up if they are traveling from a distance.
To keep costs down, hire a local company to avoid paying a premium for driving time.
Companies that are accustomed to trimming and removing large trees typically have a bucket truck that
allows them to easily reach the top of even the tallest tree. However, if the tree lacks sufficient
surrounding space for the truck, the trimmer will need to climb to the top, resulting in a higher cost. For
example, clearing dead wood from an 80-foot oak costs about $1,050 with the use of a bucket truck, but
the cost to clear the same tree is closer to $1,400 if it has to be cut by a climber.
These, and many more, influence the cots and prices of tree Trimming. But in as much as some
Trimming services can be costly, there are certain things you can do to save money on trimming.
How to Save Money on Trimming
Hiring a professional team to come out and trim your trees costs more than doing it yourself, but it is
the safest option. There are some ways to save money on your tree trimming service:
Power Lines — Utility companies will generally come out and trim trees that are near power lines for
free, since it is a safety issue. Utility companies are also better equipped and trained to deal with
electrical lines than tree trimming companies are.
Routine Maintenance — As with most home improvement projects, routine maintenance can fend off
expensive repairs down the road. Annual tree trimming, for instance, can prevent diseases, growth and
pests that can require more intensive and expensive repairs later on if left untreated.
Quick Action — Having someone come out to remove dead, overhanging limbs and/or take care of older
trees now instead of waiting for further damage will save you money in the long run. Don’t wait for a
problem to get worse before you get it resolved.
Water Trees — It seems basic, but making sure your trees are getting enough water is essential for their
overall health and longevity. Adding mulch around the base will help to preserve root moisture around
Tree trimming is very important but pruning is the most common tree maintenance procedure.
Although forest trees grow quite well with only natures pruning, landscape trees require a higher level
of care to maintain their structural integrity and aesthetics. Pruning must be done with an
understanding of tree biology. Improper pruning can create lasting damage or even shorten the trees
Pruning Trees – Trees Are Good
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