How Much Does Tree Trimming Cost?

Typical Range:

$75 - $1,500

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated May 19, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Professional tree trimming costs between $75 and $1,500, or an average of $787, depending on the tree's size and the parameters of the job. Smaller tree trimming jobs—particularly for trees under 30 feet tall—can cost as little as $75. Trees reaching over 60 feet, on the other hand, can cost over $1,500 to trim. 

Let's break down how to determine your approximate tree trimming costs, tree trimming add-ons, and the key differences between tree trimming and pruning.

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National Average $787
Typical Range $75 - $1,500
Low End - High End $75 - $1,500

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Tree Trimming Cost Factors

Since every tree is unique, no two tree trimming jobs are quite the same. Trimming can improve the overall look and health of your tree, protect local power lines, and keep branches from impeding on your home. Tree trimming even increases direct sunlight in your backyard for better gardening.

Your tree trimming estimate will take several factors into account:

  • The number of trees you need trimmed

  • The type of the tree

  • The size of the tree

  • Tree health issues

  • Accessibility of branches

  • Location of the tree

  • The time of year

Number of Trees

Arborists and tree trimming specialists may offer discounts for larger jobs that include more than one tree. For example, if the cost to trim a single, mid-size tree costs $300, professionals may quote you $1,000 for five trees—or just $200 a tree. It is typically less expensive for experts to cut more trees at once since you've already covered the cost of travel and tools.

Type and Size

The tree variety and its size both play a large role in tree trimming costs. Even though trimming is more about aesthetics than pruning, you still need professional knowledge to remove branches without harming the health of the tree.

Tree type also dictates the height of a tree and the reach of its branches. The larger the tree, the more expensive it is to access, trim, and haul away debris. Pros may require specialty climbing and bracing equipment to safely remove and lower branches. 

Health

Call a local tree trimmer or certified arborist if you're concerned about the health or stability of a tree on your lawn. Recent storms, disease, or pest problems can threaten its structure and ability to flourish. Trimming can even preserve the tree without having to remove it. Between inspection, pest control, and disease control, add an extra $30 to $300 to rule out and address health issues when trimming.

Accessibility

The height, variety, and relation to other structures on your property affect the accessibility of the job. You'll pay higher prices, for example, if tree trimmers need to bring in a professional climber to trim the tree. Bucket trucks are much easier and less expensive to use, but if the tree's branches in question are too difficult to reach or in the way of a major structure—more on this below—you'll pay a bit more.

If your tree overlaps with power lines, you'll need to contact the utility company for additional assistance. Tree trimmers may also charge more if the three sit close to your house, shed, or another tree. 

Location

The cost of living and standard contractor prices in your area will sway your bottom line. If you live in a less expensive region with small, easy-to-trim trees, expect lower costs. Densely forested areas with tall oaks and pines, however, will push prices higher. Some average costs of tree trimming in major cities include:

  • Dallas: $500

  • Denver: $200

  • Los Angeles: $450

  • Miami: $350

  • Phoenix: $600

Season

Homeowners trim their trees once a year depending on the tree's variety and placement in their yard. If you call a tree trimmer during the high season—late fall through early spring—you may end up paying a premium to fit into their schedules. 

The high season exists for a reason, however. Arborists recommend trimming or pruning most tree species during their dormant seasons to encourage spring growth, so there is naturally more demand for trimmers during these months. 

Calling a tree trimmer off-season is common if it was damaged in a storm or growing dangerously into a power line.

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Tree Trimming Cost per Hour

Hourly rates for tree trimmers fall between $25 to $50 per employee, but you'll rarely see them listed on your estimate. Tree trimmers may use the hourly rate to calculate your flat fee, but details like tree size, accessibility, and requested services will play a larger role. The company will use these details to build a rate that encompasses all the related fees, including the number of employees and the approximate length of the job.

Trimming Cost by Tree Type

Arborists in your region should specialize in how to trim your local trees, particularly since each species requires a different trimming tactic and schedule. Each tree's height, trunk and branch thickness, and even environmental protection laws affect the price to trim them.

Palm

Palm trees across the U.S. significantly vary in height depending on their species. Southern California fan palms can reach over 80 feet while palms in the southeast are much shorter. Trimming palms will cost between $100 to $1,500 for this reason. Many homeowners like to remove the dead fronds from the tops of palm trees for aesthetic purposes. Call a local palm tree trimming service for expert advice on how to scale them back safely.

Oak

From Northern Reds to Willow Oaks, oak trees are some of the most common landscape trees across the country. They can also grow over 80 feet tall with a spread of over 40 feet at maturity. You'll pay between $180 and $1,500 on average for oak tree trimming costs. More specifically, Trimming an 80-foot oak tree will cost about $1,000 if it's accessible by bucket truck or $1,400 if you need a climber.

Pine 

Much like oaks, pine trees can grow anywhere from 50 to 150 feet tall. Their denser branches can make them trickier to climb as well. Pine tree trimming costs between $200 and $1,800 on average for this reason.

Crepe Myrtle

Hardy to zones six through 10, crepe myrtle trees are common flowering trees with dense, shrub-like branches. Since the trees only grow up to about 30 feet tall, they're a bit easier and cheaper to trim. Expect to pay between $80 and $400 depending on its size, health issues, and the time of the year.

Mangrove

Mangrove trees—particularly those in Florida—are often heavily regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection. You'll need a specialist to determine if it is legal to trim a mangrove and how much you're allowed to remove—typically no more than 25% a year depending on its height. You should avoid trimming a mangrove tree yourself, as improper removal or trimming comes with a hefty fine.

Cypress 

The thick density of cypress branches can make these trees a little hard to trim. And since they range from 15 to 100 feet tall on average, you'll pay between $150 to $1,200 for tree trimming services. Professionals should know how to properly trim a cypress tree's round shape for safety.

Large Trees

Large and extra-large trees—we're talking over 60 or 150 feet—require more complex climbing equipment and tools for cutting the thick branches. You'll pay between $800 and $1,800 for large tree trimming, but the price will vary even further depending on access, its exact size, and its species.

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Additional Tree Trimming Costs

If you're concerned about the stability of a tree on your property, it's important to have an arborist check it out for potential issues. Pests, decay, disease, or abiotic damage—damage from the weather—can all affect its overall health. Professionals may recommend pairing tree trimming services for fertilization, deep root injections, or disease control.

Inspections

Begin by inviting an arborist to your home to sign off on the health of your trees. They will check for signs of rot, pests, structural issues, and local soil health. A tree inspection will cost between $30 and $150 for the visit.

Pests and Disease

While many types of fungi, insects, and animals play a role in a healthy tree's ecosystem, they become pests when they damage the structure or health of the tree. Tree pest control costs significantly vary depending on the species, but average between $50 and $250

You may require monthly pest control treatments to save the tree as well as an inspection of whether they've threatened its stability. A few pests to look out for include:

  • Ants

  • Aphids

  • Emerald Ash Borers

  • Mites

  • Oak Wilt

  • Root Rot

  • Shield Lice

  • Termites

  • Woodpeckers

Cleanup 

Check if your tree trimming estimate includes the cost of hauling branches and cleaning up your yard. If not, dumping costs add an extra $25 to $100. A more thorough yard cleanup that includes pruning, leaf removal, and raking may cost from $200 to $500.

Deep Root Fertilization

Struggling trees can benefit from spikes that send fertilizer deep into the ground to reach its lower roots. A certified arborist will charge between $50 and $300 for this service, but it is also a DIY-able project.

Tree or Trunk Injection

One common method to fight tree pests and disease is trunk injection. Arborists inject a tree with treatments right to the trunk’s core for more thorough care. The process will add $50 to $100 to your bill.

Tree Trimming Add-Ons 

Working with an expert tree trimmer or certified arborist opens the doors to even further tree care for a healthier backyard ecosystem. They may recommend additional services or a better or stronger tree.

Pruning

Pruning costs between $400 and $800 a tree, similar to trimming costs. While pruning and trimming overlap, pruning specifically prepares dormant shrubs and trees to bloom next season. It removes dead or wilted areas of branches to promote growth. 

Topping

Topping a tree costs between $400 and $800 since it follows similar steps as traditional trimming. But this process—which removes the top section of the branches to round off the end of its branches—can threaten a tree's long-term health and even invite rot. A certified arborist may recommend topping a tree as the first step to removing it altogether.

Branch Removal

Tree branch removal is the same as tree trimming and therefore also costs between $200 and $800 on average. You may need individual branches removed after a storm or if one interferes with the roof or chimney on your home.

Tree Removal 

Removing a tree costs between $400 and $1,200, depending on many of the same factors for tree trimming. Its size, health, and placement will all play a role. It's important to always trust full tree removal to a professional, as you'll need local permits to remove certain tree species.

Stump Grinding and Stump Removal 

Expect to pay an average of $3 per diameter inch for the cost of stump grinding and removal. The whole project will cost between $150 and $500.

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DIY Tree Trimming vs. Hiring a Pro

Tree trimming is not a straightforward DIY project, nor is it necessarily cost-effective. The price of pruners, tree trimmers, safety equipment, ladders, and dumping costs can cost over $1,100—more than the average cost to call in a professional. 

Attempting to trim a tall tree on your own can also result in:

  • Falling from the tree or ladder.

  • Harming the structure of the tree.

  • Interfering with power lines.

  • Injuries from sharp and complex pruners.

  • Trimming an environmentally protected tree.

FAQs

What's the difference between tree pruning and trimming?

In many cases, trimming and pruning will serve similar purposes. Pruning removes old foliage and a section of branches to encourage longer growth and blooms in the spring. Arborists often prune trees in the dormant season to prepare them for the next season.

Tree trimming more commonly refers to removing the ends of branches for aesthetic purposes. Unstable branches or branches that impede on homes and electrical lines also get trimmed each year.

When should trees be trimmed? 

Check your trees at least once a year for the following signs that they need to be trimmed:

  • Branches are growing too close to your home or nearby structure

  • Branches threaten electrical wires

  • Signs of structural damage

  • Signs of pests or disease

Homeowners may also choose to trim some trees for aesthetic purposes at least once a year. Otherwise, wait every three to five years to trim them for optimate health.

Do I need an arborist for tree trimming? 

Both trained tree trimmers and certified arborists can safely trim or remove trees from your yard. Tree trimmers can remove unsightly branches, protect your home and wires from the tree's growth, and make recommendations about removing trees without the arborist certification. Call an arborist when you have questions about the tree's long-term health and recommendations for care.

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