Overgrown branches, broken limbs hanging from your tree, and dying limbs have one major effect – they make your home look unappealing and uncared for. Sawing off the unneeded branches and giving your trees that impressive look, tree trimmers can add beauty and ambiance to your home while improving the overall value of the entire property. Professional tree trimmers, however, cost money.
When planning a trimming project, understanding the tree trimming cost to expect may help you set aside enough money. Different trees have varying tree trimming costs. The good news, however, is that you can estimate the cost for a specific tree by considering various factors that often affect tree trimming. In this guide, we will take a look at these factors.
Average Tree Trimming Cost in Houston
Armed with $80 to $1000, you should be able to trim almost any tree in Houston. Since most properties in Houston have average-sized trees, most property owners spend an average of $250 to $500 on the tree trimming cost.
The tree trimming cost largely depends on the size of the tree. For example, small trees with a maximum height of 25 feet may cost $80. Trees with a height of 25 – 50 feet will cost you $175 while those above 50 feet will have a tree trimming cost of $300 to $1000.
These costs are charged on a per tree basis. To get the average cost for trimming several trees, simply multiply the price for a single tree with the number of trees you intend to trim.
Factors Affecting Tree Trimming Cost in Houston
1. Tree Size
Tall trees have thicker branches, complicated shapes, and they have a much higher risk of causing damage and injuries. To trim the trees safely, the tree trimmers are often forced to use special tree trimming tools and spend a lot of time planning. This often forces the tree trimming cost to increase.
Below, we have outlined the tree trimming costs often charged in Houston for trees of varying sizes:
- Under 30 feet– If your tree is shorter than 30 feet, prepare between $75 and $450 for the trimming cost. Trees that often fall in this height range include dogwood and the Russian olive.
- 30 to 60 feet– Trees taller than 30 feet but shorter than 60 feet fall in the middle price range. Houston residents will spend between $150 and $875 on the trimming cost. Crab apples have a height of between 30 and 60 feet.
- Over 60 feet– The tree trimming cost for these types of trees – examples being pine and red oak – is between $200 and $1000.
Trees standing on accessible locations make work easier – these have a lower tree trimming cost. Inaccessible trees – for example, trees sitting next to houses, trees with power lines going through their branches, and trees near public roads – take more planning time and are generally more complicated to trim.
Limited accessibility makes it possible for tree trimmers to use modern machinery for trimming. For example, if a tree is in a closed-off position, a bucket truck cannot be used. Reducing work, bucket trucks save tree owners a lot of money. For example, an 80-foot oak tree will cost $1,000 when trimmed with a bucket truck. The same tree will cost $1,400 if a bucket truck can’t be used and a tree trimmer will have to climb the tree manually.
3. Tree Stability
Unstable trees are riskier to work on. In most cases, the tree trimmers will have to come up with creative ways to stabilize the trees after the trimming process. Because of the complicated trimming process and the need to use stabilizing procedures to save the tree, unstable trees feature a higher tree trimming cost.
4. Tree Health
It is not uncommon for trees in Houston to have health problems and pests. These can compromise the tree’s structural integrity, making it riskier to work on. This often forces the tree trimmers to charge a higher price.
While tree trimming can help get rid of the infected branches, medications and pesticides are generally needed to encourage the trees to heal themselves. Getting the right prescriptions often involves working with arborists – these are professionals who have both formal training and field experience on tree health.
In most cases, the cost of arborist service, the necessary prescriptions, and pesticides won’t be included in the tree trimming cost quote. On average, the extra services needed to correct the health problems can add $50 to $500 or more to your bill.
5. Travel Distance
Professionals often have a work area for which they do not charge a travel fee. If your tree is located several miles outside this region, you will have to spend some money on the travel charges. Most Houston residents, however, can avoid this cost by hiring tree trimmers located nearest to the tree they intend to trim.
If you work with tree trimmers outside your area of residence, you should expect to spend about $0.5 per mile. Most trimming service providers, however, charge a flat rate of $50 to $200, depending on the amount of time they spend on the road.
6. Number of Trees
In most cases, Houston residents spend slightly less per tree if they need to trim many trees at once. For example, the tree trimmers may need you to pay $200 to trim a single 40-foot tree. If your goal is to trim 10 trees of the same size at once, you may be charged $1000 – this means that you will be spending $100 per tree.
Rates vary depending on the professional you intend to work with and your area of residence. The higher cost for 1 tree reflects the overhead cost and other fixed costs that the professional incurs, including, taxes, insurance, gas, and vehicle.
Hire Professionals or Do It Yourself?
Tree trimming does not just involve cutting a branch here and two branches there. You need to focus on removing the right branches and using the correct procedure when removing these branches.
When trimming trees, you will most likely have to climb them – this will place you at the risk of falling and getting injured. It is worth noting that some people have lost their lives by falling from trees.
If you have some tree trimming experience, however, you may be able to trim your trees and hence eliminate the tree trimming cost. Generally, it is recommended that homeowners only work on small trees that pose a minimal risk – this will help you reduce the possibility of home and property damage.
When working on trimming your trees, you will need to keep the following in mind:
You Will Need Tree Trimming Tools
To trim your trees, you will need some basic tree trimming tools. While it may be impossible for you to invest in heavy equipment – for example, a bucket truck – you should at least have the following tools:
- Loppers and hand-held pruners– These will cost between $30 and $50.
- Gas pole pruner– You will spend between $150 and $300 on this tool.
- Heavy-duty gas trimmer– This is pretty pricey to purchase. You may, therefore, have to rent it for $50+ per day.
- Safety gear– You will need a helmet, safety harness, safety goggles, etc. to avoid injury. These will have an average cost of $50 to $150.
- Ladder– To get to the top branches, you will need to climb the tree. A ladder – costing between $150 and $500 – may be necessary to facilitate the climb.
The total cost of the above tools may be more than the needed tree trimming cost. If this is the case, working with professionals may be an ideal way to save some money.
Risks Will be Involved
If the tree you intend to trim is standing next to a building or some utility lines, the possibility of property damage and causing power outages in your area will be very high. When working alone, you won’t have much control over where the branches fall.
This means that they could end up landing on your roofing, glass windows, or your outdoor shed, causing damages that may cost thousands to repair. If your trees are next to a power line, the falling tree branches could damage the connections causing outages.
Tree trimming tools are generally sharp – this is so that they can minimize the time needed to saw off a branch. If you make a mistake and your pruning tool lands on your body, you could end up with a deep cut. If you climb your tree without safety tools – that is, gear to keep you on the tree when cutting branches – you could lose your attachment to the tree and then end up falling. If the tree is tall enough, you may end up in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.
If you fail to cut the branches correctly, you will probably end up damaging your tree. If you are lucky, professionals can fix the damage. However, in extreme cases, you may need to remove your tree and replace it.
All these risks can be avoided. Working with professionals is the most ideal way to keep your home safe, avoid injuries, and avoid damaging your tree. Compared to the amount that these risks might cost you, the amount you spend on the tree trimming cost is much lower.
Follow the Tree Trimming Tips Outlined Below
To reduce the chances of destroying your tree, you will need to be careful with your trimming. The following tips should help you out.
Trim the Trees in Their Dormant Stage
This is the period when your trees will not be growing actively. This will help you reduce the chances of cutting the wrong branches.
Remove Branches of the Right Size
Arborists recommend removing branches with a diameter of 5cm and below. Branches whose diameter is more than 5 centimeters should be considered more carefully before removal. Allow branches with a diameter of more than 10 cm to remain on the tree – only remove these branches if you feel like they are a safety risk or when they appear to be carrying health complications.
Check the Branch Angle
A weak V-shaped angle at the point where the branch connects with the tree trunk is an indicator that the branch can be removed. Branches forming a strong U-shaped angle should be left on the tree.
Avoid Trimming More Than 25% of the Crown
The most you should remove from your tree crown is a quarter of the branches on it. Removing more than 25% of your tree crown will amount to tree damage. Ensure you have a ratio of 2:3 between your tree crown and the tree trunk.
Remove Young Branches
The younger the branch, the easier it is to manage. Additionally, young branches have a lower risk of scarring. For these reasons, avoid sawing off older branches unless it is necessary.
How to Cut the Branches
When cutting a branch, start by finding the branch’s collar. Once this part is identified, look for the branch ridge. Next, make your cut in between the branch ridge and the collar, taking care to avoid leaving a huge stub on your tree trunk.
How to Save Money on Tree Trimming
While it is impossible to completely avoid tree trimming cost, it is possible to reduce this cost. The following tips will show you how to pay minimal tree trimming costs:
- If your trees are sitting next to power lines, leave the trimming work to the power company. The utility company will trim your tree every once in a while, to improve safety.
- Fertilize and water your trees to improve their health. Compared to unhealthy trees, healthy trees feature a lower tree trimming cost.
- Carry tree maintenance practices regularly. If your tree is overly out of shape, the tree trimming cost will be incredibly high.
- Spray pests as soon as you notice them to keep them from compromising your tree. Compromised trees cost more to trim than stable trees.