Tree Trimming Cost

by | Mar 11, 2023 | Tree Services

Trimming helps improve the aesthetic appeal of trees and shrubs. The tree care procedure gives tree crowns an attractive shape, removes dead branches, and snips overgrown limbs to size. When done correctly, trimming turns trees into ornaments capable of boosting a property’s value.

Hiring professional tree trimmers guarantees maximum benefits from tree trimming. As you would expect, professional tree service providers do charge for tree trimming. The tree trimming cost generally varies from tree to tree, with several factors affecting the cost. In this guide, we will look at the average tree trimming cost and how various factors affect this cost.

Average Atlanta, Georgia, Tree Trimming Cost

To work with professional tree trimmers in Atlanta, you will need $80 to $1000. If you have small trees in your home, you should expect a tree trimming cost of between $80 and $400. As the size of your trees increases from medium size to large, the tree trimming cost also increases, generally maxing out at $1000.

Tree Trimming Cost Factors in Atlanta, Georgia

1. Tree Size

To determine the ideal trimming cost for a specific tree, professional tree trimmers consider 2 size factors – tree height and the size of the crown. However, while there are smaller trees that often carry larger than average crowns, the size of the tree crown generally increases with tree height.

When using manual climbing to reach the tree crown, climbing a 150 feet tree is generally harder compared to climbing a 30 feet tree.

The risks associated with the 150 feet tree will be more compared to the 30-foot tree – if both trees are near your house, dropping branches from the taller tree will cause more damage compared to dropping branches from the 30-foot tree. The higher risks call for advanced safety plans for the larger trees.

All this, combined with the fact that taller trees have large crowns makes tall trees more expensive to trim. In Atlanta, you should expect the following tree trimming costs, depending on how tall your tree is:

  • Large tree trimming cost – For a tree to fit in this category, it has to be taller than 60 feet. Professionals charge $200 to $1000 to trim large trees.
  • Medium tree trimming cost – Medium trees have a height of 30 to 60 feet. To trim one of these trees, professionals will require you to pay between $150 and $875.
  • Small tree trimming cost – These trees have a height of below 30 feet. For these trees, professional trimming costs $80 to $400.

2. Proximity to Utilities

Trees that are standing next to houses and utility lines feature more complications compared to trees growing on open pieces of land. During trimming, professionals can let branches fly off to the ground if there is nothing near the tree.

However, when a building is standing under the tree crown, professional may need to use ropes to bring the cut branches down. This takes more time and often involves more work. For this reason, you should expect to pay a higher tree trimming cost for plants standing next to important structures and utilities.

3. Ability to Use a Bucket Truck

Instead of climbing trees manually, professional tree trimmers nowadays use bucket trucks. In addition to making work easier, bucket trucks are favored for boosting safety and increasing the rate at which professionals get their work done.

While bucket trucks can be used on trees standing in the front yard with a lot of parking space, they cannot be used on trees standing in the backyard, with minimal accessibility, and almost zero parking space.

In the cases where the bucket truck cannot be used, the professionals have to climb up the tree manually. In addition to being risky, manual climbing takes a lot of time. This generally increases the trimming cost by 30% to 40%. If professional tree trimmers can work on a tree for $500, the price may increase to $650 – $700 if the bucket truck cannot be used.

4. Tree Stability

If your tree is showing obvious signs of instability, the tree trimmers cannot climb up to its crown before stabilizing it. Climbing up an unstable tree increases the chances of the tree falling and causing a lot of damage. Stabilizing takes extra time – and this may force the tree trimmers to increase the tree trimming cost.

Some of the factors that impact tree stability include:

  • High winds – When winds get caught up in the tree’s crown, they can pull the tree to the point its roots become compromised.
  • Tree trunk cracks – These are signs that the tree may have a serious underlying problem. In addition to stabilizing the tree, the professionals may need to determine the underlying condition, and come up with treatment options.
  • Flooding – Flooding causes excessive soil wetness. This can compromise the root’s holding ground, making the tree unstable.
  • Heavy activities near the tree – These could include construction and other activities that use heavy machines. When heavy machines keep moving around the tree’s base, their weight can compromise the tree’s roots.

5. Tree Health

Pests and diseases are the leading causes of ill health on trees. When trimming an unhealthy tree, professional tree trimmers have to spend most of their time inspecting the branches to ensure they have removed all the diseased branches. This is essential to keep the disease from spreading.

Once the tree trimming is complete, an arborist may be needed to diagnose the tree. The arborist will also recommend the best treatment options for the tree. To purchase the recommended pesticides and/or medications and to pay for the arborist service, you may spend an extra $50 to $500.

6. Travel Fees

Sometimes, tree trimmers may need to cover a significant distance to get to the tree site. This happens when homeowners decide to work with a team that lives too far from their homes.

When professionals travel long distances to get to the worksite, they charge a travel fee at the rate of $0.5 per mile. Sometimes, they may charge a fixed cost of $50 to $500 depending on the distance or time spent on the road.

Tree owners, however, can avoid travel fees quite easily. All they have to do is look for a company closest to their homes. Such a company won’t add a travel fee to the quoted tree trimming cost.

7. Bulk Trimming

Tree owners who decide to trim a group of trees in one go do enjoy a bulk trimming discount. If one 40-foot tree costs $300 to trim, you may be charged $2500 to trim ten trees of the same size. This saves you $50 per tree.

When trimming a group of trees together, professionals receive a much bigger compensation, and the fixed costs they deal with – irrespective of whether they are working on one or more trees – stays the same. This allows them to charge a lower tree trimming cost per tree.

Hourly Tree Trimming Cost

Professional tree trimmers rarely charge an hourly tree trimming cost. This is because tree trimming is dependent on a wide range of factors – these include:

  • The number of workers
  • Tree trimming experience
  • How advanced the tree trimming tools are

While a company with advanced tools and a large number of experienced workers may take an hour on a tree, a different company may take eight hours on the same tree. If both companies charge a similar hourly rate, one will operate at a loss, while the other will take too much money from you.

While tree trimming companies do not charge the hourly price, they do figure in hourly costs in the amounts of $25 to $50 for each of their workers.

DIY Trimming Vs. Hiring Professionals

To determine whether to hire professionals or trim the trees yourself, you need to weigh the risks and costs of DIY trimming against the cost and benefits of professional tree trimming. Below, we will look at the risks and costs of DIY trimming.

Risks of DIY Trimming

  • You may fall from the tree crown and suffer injuries
  • The cutting tools may inflict cuts
  • If you do not have tree trimming experience, you may damage your tree
  • Dropping branches on nearby utilities could result in significant property repair costs

DIY Trimming Costs

To trim a tree, you will need to purchase the tools listed below:

  • A ladder for $150 to $500
  • Safety gear for $50 to $150
  • Rent a heavy-duty gas trimmer for $50 per day
  • Gas pole pruner for $150 to $300
  • Loppers and hand-held pruners for $30 to $50

In addition to the costs outlined above, you will need to pay for waste dumping. Dumping of the branches and foliage may cost $25 to $100.

If your goal is to trim non-risky trees and the cost of the tree trimming tools is affordable to you, DIY trimming may be a good option. However, if your trees are large, risky, and near important utilities, hiring professional tree trimmers can help you avoid expensive property repairs, injuries, and damaging your tree.

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