Tree Pruning Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

Maintaining healthy trees in your yard involves spending some money. You will need to invest in regular tree maintenance practices to keep your trees in shape, healthy, and to eliminate hazards. Focusing on removing dead branches, branches featuring the risk of falling, and limbs harboring pests or health complications, tree pruning is one of the most important tree care practices.

Tree pruning cost is a common concern for Houston residents. You need to understand the prices to expect for you to plan a successful pruning project. In this detailed guide, we will provide tree pruning cost estimates. We will also take a deeper look at the factors that often affect this cost.

Average Tree Pruning Cost in Houston

If you are planning a pruning project, expect to spend from $200 to $2000. On average, the tree pruning cost will hover around $460.

Spending this money on tree pruning helps you save a lot of money in the long run. Experts will make the pruning safe, eliminating the possibility of property damage, injuries, and irreparable tree damage. Compared to spending money on home repairs, hospital bills, and the removal plus replacement of a tree, spending some money on the tree pruning cost is a much wiser decision.

Factors Affecting Tree Pruning Cost in Houston

1. Tree Size

Featuring complicated shapes, bigger branches, and higher risk, taller trees will have a higher pruning cost compared to the shorter trees. It is not uncommon for tree pruning professionals to need special tools when working on taller trees – these tools are generally unnecessary for trees with a smaller height.

Below, we have the tree pruning cost estimates for trees of varying heights:

  • 30 feet and below– These trees will cost an average of $75 – $400 to prune.
  • 30 to 60 feet tall– Professional tree pruners will charge between $150 and $800 per tree to work on a pruning project involving middle-height trees.
  • Over 60 feet tall– For trees whose height exceeds 60 feet, you will be charged approximately $1,500.

2. Tree Health

If your trees are diseased or they are going through a pest infestation, they will pose more complications to the tree pruners. To give you an example, pests often compromise a tree’s structural stability – they can make the branches weak and susceptible to breaking. If a professional has to climb such a tree to prune the branches, he will need additional safety gear to minimize the chances of falling and getting injured. This often leads to increased tree pruning costs.

It is worth noting that trees with health issues often need additional services, other than the pruning. For example, the trees may need a pesticide spray or prescriptions to get rid of the disease. These services may be charged separately.

3. Tree Type

Trees of varying species will have different heights. They will also present varying complications in the tree pruning process. This means that these trees will have different tree pruning costs. Below, we have outlined the costs to expect for different types of trees:

Pine Tree

In Houston, the common pine tree species grows to a height of between 40 feet and 100 feet. The white pine, however, can reach over 150 feet. Compared to other tree species, pine trees often present more complications during the tree pruning process. On average, you will spend $100 to $1,500 on pine tree pruning.

Palm Tree

The shortest palm trees grow to a height of 20 feet while the tallest palms will grow to 80+ feet. The tree pruning cost to expect if you have palm trees in your home ranges from $100 to $1,500.

Fruit Trees

Most fruits in Houston grow to a maximum height of 30 feet. This means that they feature a lower tree pruning cost. Armed with $100 to $400, you should be able to work on pruning almost every fruit tree in your home.

Crepe Myrtle Trees

These have an average height of 3 to 30 feet, depending on the tree’s species. Because of their shorter height, the trees are extremely affordable to prune, with most Houston residents spending $75 to $400 on the tree pruning cost.

Hardwood Trees

It is worth noting that different types of trees feature different levels of hardness. Being extremely hard, hardwood trees take more time to prune. This means that softwood trees will have a lower tree pruning cost, unlike the hardwood trees. Oaktree is a good example of a hardwood tree.

4. Tree Accessibility

Trees standing in an open field cost less to prune. Trees growing in an area featuring minimal accessibility will force the tree pruners to spend additional time planning the pruning. Additionally, because of the caution needed when lowering the cut branches, more effort will be involved.

If a tree is sitting behind your house, the branches will have to be roped down to avoid property damage. If power lines are weaving through the tree branches, the tree pruners may need to work with a lineman to eliminate the possibility of electrical injury. In all cases, minimal tree accessibility means a higher tree pruning cost.

Large Tree Pruning Cost

From the factors outlined above, you have probably figured out that big trees have a higher tree pruning cost. The risk is bigger when pruning trees over 60 feet tall – this is why professionals will require you to spend between $800 and $1,800 on the pruning. For trees with a height of more than 100 feet, you should expect to spend over $2000 on the pruning. Other complicating factors will affect the amount you spend – for this reason, these prices may be slightly higher or lower.

Additional Tree Pruning Charges

The price included in the tree pruning cost quote does not cover every service that may be needed when pruning your tree. For example, if you have diseased trees, the quoted cost may not include the cost of the necessary prescriptions and arborist services. If your trees have pests, you may need to spend more money on the pesticides and other measures taken to increase the rate of recovery.

If the tree service company you decide to work with is located a significant distance from your home, you may incur a travel fee. In Houston, the average fee is $0.5 per mile. In some cases, however, you may be charged a flat rate of between $50 and $200.

Factors That Affect the Timing for Tree Pruning

When planning a tree pruning, there are several factors that you need to consider. The main factors include:

1. Safety

If your tree is harboring safety risks – for example, dead branches and broken limbs – you will need to schedule a tree pruning as soon as possible. Ignoring the tree will put you at the risk of suffering property damage or injuries.

2. Health

If your tree is infested with pests or its branches have health complications, tree pruning should be done as soon as possible. Waiting or a long time could give the health problem enough time to spread throughout the tree, increasing the possibility of tree death.

3. Aesthetics

Tree pruning is sometimes conducted to improve the look of a tee. This adds value to a property. If you would like your home to have an added value within a specific period – for example, when you are planning to rent it out or sell it – you can schedule the tree pruning accordingly.

How Seasonal Factors Affect Tree Pruning

You should wait for a tree’s dormant stage before pruning it – this ensures that you are cutting the right branches. Trees in Houston don’t enter their dormant stage at the same time – this means that you may need to observe different trees separately to figure out when each tree stops growing actively.

Through years of observing different tree species in Houston, tree care professionals have managed to come up with a simple seasonal pattern that tree owners can follow. We have outlined the pattern below:


The spring season is the active growth period for most trees in Houston. For this reason, try and avoid pruning your trees. If you have to prune trees in this season, let it be because you are trying to eliminate safety hazards or save the tree from a health complication.


Most trees are still growing actively in the summer season. Hence, you shouldn’t prune the trees. if the weather is unusually dry in your region, consider watering your trees.


This is the best season for pruning trees. Most trees enter their dormant stage in this season. All pruning operations – especially those involving significant cuts – should be conducted in this season.


Some trees will stop growing actively in the winter season. If your trees enter the dormant stage in the winter, you should invest in their pruning – this will allow you to enjoy competitive prices since a large number of tree service providers have less work.

Strong and healthy trees that are not in their dormant stage shouldn’t be touched. Protect the weaker trees from the cold weather.

DIY Tree Pruning

If you have some tree pruning experience, the right tools, and you are confident you won’t cause damage to your property or injure yourself, DIY pruning can help you avoid tree pruning costs. If, however, your trees are tall, next to your house or utility lines, and you have never pruned trees before, you should let professionals help you with tree pruning.

In the following section, we will look at the tips you can use to make the tree pruning safer and more effective:

Choosing the Branches to Cut

You will need to consider branch size and the angle formed by the branch on its attachment to the tree trunk. Branches with a diameter of less than 5 cm can be removed from the tree. Arborists recommend caution when considering branches with a diameter of between 5 cm and 10 cm – if possible, retain these branches on your tree. Branches with a diameter of more than 10 cm should only be removed to save the tree from a health complication or to eliminate a safety risk.

Tree height to Crown Ratio

When pruning a tree, you must avoid removing more than 25% of the tree crown. You should make sure that your tree has a ratio of 2:3 between the crown and the height of the tree trunk.

Cutting a Tree Branch

When cutting a branch, you will need to follow a structured procedure to avoid damaging your tree:

Step 1: Start by finding the branch collar.

Step 2: Locate the ridge of the branch.

Step 3: Carefully, cut the tree branch between the collar and the ridge.

Types of Tree Pruning

There are 3 major types of pruning. These are described below:

  • Crown thinning– Removing excess branches from the top of a tree and outer edges, this pruning method gives the remaining branches room to grow stronger.
  • Crown raising– This helps reduce the possibility of accidents on pathways, roads, and driveways by removing the branches that often block visibility.
  • Crown reduction– This method is rarely used. It involves the removal of foliage and branches from the top of a tree. It is generally applied to improve safety and the tree’s health.

Tree Pruning Tools

To prune your trees properly, you will need to invest in the following tools:

  • Looping shears– These will help you remove large branches from your tree.
  • Bypass pruner– Perfect for the narrow-angled branches, these make your pruning process smooth.
  • Pruning saws– You will need fine-toothed saws to saw off limbs with a diameter of 2 inches and below. Coarse-toothed saws are ideal for branches with a diameter of more than 3 inches.
  • Hedge clippers– You will need these if you are working on small hedges.

When pruning multiple trees, you should sanitize your tools when moving from one tree to the other. An alcohol-based sanitizer or cleaner – with an alcohol percentage of at least 70% – should have effective sanitizing capabilities. Sanitizing your tools minimizes the possibility of transmitting diseases from one tree to the other.

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