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What is the Cost of Trimming a Tree?

The cost of trimming a tree may vary according to various factors like its size and location. Here is a brief overview of the approximate expenditure involved.
Saptakee Sengupta
Get on-site estimates and compare them before hiring professional tree trimmers.
You must have heard the old saying, "Trim trees anytime your saw is sharp." This saying might be true to some extent, but not completely. You should know two things before trimming trees, viz., when to trim and how to trim.
Pruning small shrubs or herbs can be done by yourself, but big trees need to be trimmed by professionals. While certain trees need to be pruned at regular intervals, so as to maintain their appearance; some others may pose serious hazards that can be prevented with timely trimming.
Some may become unproductive without pruning. The cost involved in hiring a professional tree trimmer is not much when compared to the benefits of trimming the tree. Furthermore, it's also important to know why timely trimming is necessary.

Cost of Trimming Trees

Small trees can be trimmed using standard hand-held loppers or pruners that are available at a price range of $40 to $50. You may also opt for a gas pole pruner that costs around $180. In case of trees growing near high-voltage electrical lines, you must contact the local utilities department which is responsible for trimming such trees or branches.
If you plan to hire professionals, various factors are taken into consideration, while calculating the cost. They include the location, accessibility, size of the tree(s), nature and amount of trimming required, the health of the tree, time elapsed after the last pruning, risks involved, travel expenses, type of equipment used, time taken for the work, etc.
Additional utility costs are also considered. Given below is the cost of trimming a tree according to its size.
  • Trees that are more than 60 feet tall involve greater expenditures. American ash, red oak, locust, pine trees, bur oak, sugar maple, etc., can grow to such heights and the cost for trimming such a tree may range between $200 to more than $1,000.
  • Trees like black alder, crabapple, and black gum, grow to a height of 30 to 60 feet, and they may cost you around $150 to $900, excluding obstacle clearance charges.
  • Trimming a 25 to 30-feet-high tree would cost around $75 to $450, excluding the clearance cost. Mulberry, dogwood, and olive come under this category.
The entire process of trimming involves chipping small branches, grinding stumps, and chopping the trunk (optional). Wood splitters are required for chopping the trunk. This is followed by clearing the trimmed parts. Separate machines are used by trimmers to clean the debris.
Immense care is taken while pruning and cutting big trees so that they do not block open spaces or fall over electric wires. Sometimes, the branches have to be roped down carefully, so as to avoid damage to nearby structures.

Additional Costs

Grinding of stumps may cost anywhere from $60 to $350, based on location and size. Clearing debris and hauling huge wooden trunks cost $350 to $1,050 according to the size of the tree. You can expect to pay at least $70 an hour for chipping fallen branches. Emergency tree trimming can cost between $200 and $1,000 or more, if the tree is a huge one.
If hiring certified arborists, you will have to bear their travel expenses. Consulting agencies have experts analyzing condition of trees for the right trimming technique. They may charge around $125 per hour. The tree trimming cost varies based on location. You may find variations in the estimates of various companies. Choose the best, not the cheap option.

Importance of Tree Trimming

Trimming keeps trees strong and healthy. It increases their longevity and makes them disease free. Dead or broken branches may fall over the roof or power lines, and cause severe damage. This can be prevented with timely trimming.
Pruning is necessary for healthy growth of trees. It enhances foliage growth and productivity, with new growth of leaves, flowers, and fruits. Trimming helps to maintain the shape of trees and prevents uneven spreading of branches. With removal of damaged and diseased parts, trees gain vigor and stamina to sustain themselves for years.
The need to hire professionals arises only for pruning big trees. Small shrubs and ornamental plants can be pruned on your own, without much effort. Make it a point to trim the trees periodically, to prevent emergency conditions. It is always better to get an estimate of the entire cost of trimming, including the additional charges of chipping, removal, etc.
Please note that the figures mentioned are only cost estimates, and the actual prices may differ depending on various situational factors.