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What is the cost for tree trimming? Average Cost for Tree Trimming

We’ve talked earlier about how to properly execute a DIY tree trimming project. However, there are a lot of trees that simply require the work of a professional tree trimming service. And when this happens, knowing how much tree trimming costs is important. The average cost of tree trimming can vary depending on the size and type of tree you need trimmed, and ranges anywhere from $75–$1,500. Here are the main factors that can help you determine how much tree trimming will cost near you.

The Average Costs for Tree Trimming

Like we said, there is a range of prices associated with tree trimming. In general, though, you can expect to see prices somewhere in the following range.

National Average: $475

Average Range: $315–$700

Least Expensive: $75

Most Expensive: $1,500

The average cost of tree trimming is around $475. Not cheap, we know. Still, the cost of having your trees professionally serviced outweighs the potential danger of trying to service them yourself. While this is the ballpark for the average cost of having a tree trimmed, there are a lot of individual factors that will drive this price up or down.

How Tree Trimming Cost is Calculated

There are a huge range of factors that will determine the final quote you are given by a tree trimming professional. From size, to health of the tree, to location, being aware of how different factors will affect your bottom line will help you accurately estimate how much tree trimming services will cost you.

Tree Size

The most important factor that determines the overall cost of tree trimming is the size of the tree(s) in question. Trees standing under 30 ft tall will typically be the least expensive, ranging from $100 to $400 on average. Once you are looking at trees over 30 ft tall, prices start to rise considerably because additional time and equipment is now required for the job.

Trees between 30 and 60 ft typically cost a little more, between $200 and $600 for a complete service. When you start to consider very large trees, over 60 ft tall, you can expect to start shelling out some serious cash. Very large trees can easily cost over $1,000 to have serviced.

Tree Location/Accessibility

Aside from the size of the tree, the next more important factor in determining the cost of tree trimming is location. Where a tree is located can impact the cost of the service in two ways–how a tree’s location impacts its environment, and how a tree's location impacts its accessibility. Let us explain.

Consider, for a moment, that the tree you want cut down is standing in a large, open backyard. There are no many obstacles or potential hazards around, and there is plenty of breathing room for work to take place. In these situations, trimming a tree is far less risky, and easier, driving the price down.

However, if the same tree was in an urban setting, positioned within a range of multiple roofs, powerlines, and other structures, then the risk and complexity of the job has immediately increased. When a tree is located near a large quantity of potential collateral, the price to service it inherently rises.

The same thinking can be applied to a tree's accessibility. A tree that is hard to get to with the appropriate equipment will take more time and energy to service. This time and energy isn’t free and will be reflected in your final service bill.

Tree Type

You know tree size affects the cost of tree trimming, but what about tree type? Yep, the type of tree you need trimmed can definitely drive the cost of your project up or down. This is because some types of trees are more easily cut than others. For example, multi-trunk trees will be harder to trim, as will hardwood varieties such as maples. The more difficult your tree is to cut through, the more expensive it will be to have serviced.

Season/Time of Year

Like many services, there is an on and an off season for tree trimming. In the busy season, costs will rise notably in response to the rise in demand. The best time to have your trees trimmed is actually late winter, when growing has paused. The lack of foliage gives workers a better visual and can make trimming jobs safer and easier to complete.

Health of Tree

Another critical factor in determining the cost of tree trimming is the health of your tree. A healthy tree is going to cost less than an unhealthy or damaged tree to trim. Why? Well a tree in poor health can put tree trimming crews at risk. But what makes your tree unhealthy?

Trees that have endured significant damage from weather or lightning strikes, or disease from fungus or pests would be considered unhealthy trees. When a tree is significantly damaged by any of these conditions, it becomes riskier to service. The risk of unplanned breakage, unstable limbs, and overall hazards increases. This means crews will need to tread carefully and take more time completing the job, raising your overall bill.

Pests

Like we just noted, an unhealthy tree costs more than a healthy tree to service. This means that pests will drive up a tree trimming bill quickly. What qualifies as a pest? Well, invasive bug species and beetles, termites, fungus, and even woodpeckers can all be classified as pests due to the damage they do to neighborhood trees.

Some invasive pests may require your tree to come down to protect surrounding plant life and other trees. However, you can expect to pay a bit more for the safe trimming and removal of a tree impacted by pests.

Money Saving Strategies

There’s no if, ands, or buts–you will pay for a professional tree trimming service if it is needed. However, there are a few things you can do to try and lower the cost for yourself. The following tips can help you lower your overall tree trimming costs:

  1. Shop Around. Don’t go with the first service you contact. Know the market in your area and make sure you check all vendors for quotes so you are confident that you are getting the best deal.

  2. DIY clean up. You may not have been able to trim the tree yourself, but you can probably provide clean up. Tree trimming services will cost more when they are doing all parts of the job for you. Offer to roll up your sleeves and pick up the remaining debris once the tree has been trimmed.

  3. Group discounts. If you have more than one tree that needs attention, try grouping them. You will pay less per tree when they are grouped than having them individually serviced over the course of a few years.

  4. Take advantage of the Off Season. Tree trimming costs more in busy summer and spring months. To avoid surges in pricing, try to get tree services done in fall or winter. Bonus points because it is usually better for your trees, as well!

When to Trim a Tree

All of this said, you should have a pretty good idea of where your tree falls on the cost spectrum for tree trimming. However, the next step is determining whether or not your tree needs to be trimmed in the first place. To be honest, not all trees will need trimming every year. Thankfully, there are good rules of thumb you can follow to determine whether or not the trees on your property should be professionally serviced.

On average, a tree should be trimmed every 3 to 5 years. Younger trees can also benefit from pruning. Some trees, like fruiting trees, should be trimmed every year. On the opposite end of the spectrum are evergreen varieties, which may never need to be trimmed if they do not pose a risk to their surrounding environment.

Trees that are damaged or impacted by high winds or lightning should be attended to immediately. Cracked or hanging branches can fall and harm structures and people below. It is important to trim trees that are showing signs of rot or fungus. Removed the affected areas can help protect the health of the rest of the tree.

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