Ashburn, VA

How Much Does Tree Trimming Cost?

$250 – $500

Hiring a professional to trim just one tree can cost $80 to $1,000+, with $250 to $500 being the typical price. Expect to spend $80 for a small tree, $175 for a medium-sized tree, and $250 to $1,000 for a big tree over 50 feet or if that tree is diseased, hazardous, and full of pests. Get free instant estimates from tree trimming services near you.

Tree Trimming Cost

Hiring a professional to trim just one tree can cost $80 to $1,000+, with $250 to $500 being the typical price range for tree trimming. If the trimming is straightforward, you could be quoted $80 for a small tree under 25 feet tall, or $175 for a medium-sized tree 25 to 50 feet, and $300 to $1,000 for a big tree over 50 feet. Keep in mind that those prices cover a one-time service for just one tree. If you’ve got several trees around your house that need trimming, the bill will go up accordingly.

Average Tree Trimming Cost Chart

Tree Trimming Cost
National Average Cost $325
Minimum Cost $80
Maximum Cost $1,000
Average Range $250 to $500

This pricing guide covers:

  1. Tree Trimming Costs
  2. Average Tree Trimming Service Cost
  3. Tree Trimming Cost Calculator
  4. DIY Tree Trimming
  5. Tree Trimming Tips
  6. Tree Maintenance Tips
  7. Pruning vs. Trimming
  8. Selecting Your Tree Trimming Service
  9. Tree Trimming Near Me

Average Tree Trimming Service Cost

The average tree trimming service will usually cost $80 to $350 per tree. For a medium-sized tree, you might be quoted $150, in comparison to $250+ if that tree was diseased, hazardous, or full of pests. For big trees, such as pine or oak, expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 each. If a large tree needs to be cut by a climber vs. using a bucket truck, prices will increase by 30% to 40% more.

Here is a breakdown to help you better understand what a professional service may charge for trimming trees of varying sizes:

  • Smaller trees up to 25 feet in height typically cost between $80 and $350 to trim.
  • Medium-sized trees between 25 and 50 feet in height, like crab apple trees, cost between $150 and $800+ to trim.
  • Big Trees that are 50 feet or taller, such as pine or oak trees, can cost between $300 and $1,000+ when trimmed by a professional.

Palm Tree Trimming Cost

In general, the taller the palm tree, the higher the cost. Palm tree trimming costs $80 to $350 if they are 30 feet tall or less, and $250 to $1,200 if they are 60 feet or taller.

Arborist Working High Up Trimming Palm Tree Fronds

Pine Tree Trimming Cost

Large trees such as pine or oak trees will usually cost between $300 and $1,000 when you hire a professional tree trimming service. If the tree is not easily accessible, expect to spend up to 40% more.

Tree Trimming Cost Calculator

When calculating the costs of your tree trimming project, there are five essential things to keep in mind. Your tree trimming cost estimate will reflect the following factors:

  1. Size – The bigger a tree, the more branches that need trimming. That adds up to more labor and, therefore, more expense.
  2. Location – Is your tree in a hard-to-reach spot? Is it near a power line? If that’s the case, you’ll likely be charged more because of the extra labor involved.
  3. Accessibility – If a professional needs sufficient surrounding space to cut the tree, this will result in a higher cost.
  4. Number of Trees – How many trees you need to trim will also impact the overall cost. More trees = higher price.
  5. Health – Have diseases or pests caused the condition of the tree to deteriorate? If so, you’ll probably wind up paying more for tree-trimming service.

Tree Trimming and Sawing Big Oak Tree By A Man With a Chainsaw On a Mechanical Chair Lift

If you need an arborist and would like to obtain a more accurate quote, please be mindful of the following variables in regards to the total cost.

How tall is the tree?

As you'd expect, larger trees tend to cost more than smaller trees. Not only will the tree's size determine the number of branches, but larger trees also often require additional equipment. Be sure to discuss pricing upfront with your local arborist.

Where is the tree located?

The location of the tree also matters as some trimming jobs are much more time-consuming in comparison to others. Although tree trimming companies typically have a bucket truck that they use to reach the top of tall trees, this is not always an option. In some cases, a trimmer will need to physically climb the tree, driving up the cost.

Expect to pay 30% to 40% more if a tall tree needs to be cut by a climber vs. using a bucket truck.

If a large tree is close to your home or power lines, branches cannot be tossed down with ease. Instead, they are often lowered using ropes. Since this process takes longer, a higher cost often results.

Travel distance can also drive up the cost of the job, as many tree companies will charge for their travel time. That is why you should hire a local tree services company to stay within your budget.

How many trees need to be trimmed?

How many trees you need to trim will also impact the overall cost. That is why it's important to disclose this information when you request a quote, as you will then obtain a more accurate estimate.

If you only mention one tree and the tree removal company finds out that there are actually four trees on-site, you can imagine how that would impact the job itself – both in terms of time and money.

What is the tree's health?

Many variables would cause a tree to weaken over time. For example, if a tree was struck by lightning, or if it's unhealthy, it will no longer be as stable as it once was. In this case, a minor trim may not be sufficient. If there is a risk that the tree could fall on your home or someone else's, more significant measures may need to be taken. An unstable tree, for instance, may need to be cabled. While this may cost more, the end result will be a much healthier and safer tree.

Similarly, a tree may have a disease or illness that will impact its overall health. In turn, this can influence the total cost to trim and adequately maintain your tree(s). Here are a few examples:

  • Fungi – Many different fungi can quickly destroy trees. As they deplete vital nutrients, a tree's structural stability is often compromised.
  • Large cracks – If you notice a moist crack in the trunk of your tree, this could mean that there's internal decay. In this case, the tree's life may be in jeopardy. For example, Tree Pros LLC recommends you contact a pro quickly if a crack extends deeply, a crack is in contact with another defect, or a large branch is cracked.
  • Weather damage – This type of damage is caused by weather variables, such as hail, frost, dry spells, and strong winds. If you notice dried leaves or cracked limbs, it is important to tend to the area as soon as possible. If you ignore the problem, parasites could attack the damage and eventually kill the tree.

Have pests infested the tree?

Many insects and animals live in trees without causing any harm. However, those that do can quickly damage or even kill your trees. In some cases, pests infest a tree and in doing so, cause an illness to develop. Be aware of these common pests so that you can better communicate the potential issue to a tree services company.

  • Ants – If you have noticed ants on your tree, it is important to keep watch. This may be an indication that your tree is rotting of that damage has occurred. If you see a prevalence of ants, particularly near the base of the tree's trunk, along with sawdust, it is best to call an expert.
  • Mites – They may be small, but mites can do a lot of damage, especially to tree leaves and buds. Shield-lice are another tiny insect that can quickly cause damage.
  • Woodpeckers – When woodpeckers take residence in a tree, they often do so because the tree is already rotting. If a woodpecker has made your tree its new home, you should seek the advice of a professional to see if fungal decay is an issue.
  • Other wood-destroying pests – There are many pests and depending on your area, you may experience a unique situation. Since the larva of many other insects can breed in your tree, this will often increase the risk of damage, allowing fungi to move in.

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DIY Tree Trimming

Trimming a tree may seem like a potential DIY project, and in select cases, it is reasonable and safe to perform the work yourself. However, if you do not have the correct knowledge or equipment, this task can quickly turn into a hazardous, even deadly experience. If you have no prior experience in this field and want to ensure that your tree remains healthy, a professional is highly recommended.

Tree trimming companies own the type of heavy-duty equipment required to safely and successfully complete this type of task. Unless you have trimmed trees in the past, you would need to invest in expensive tools to begin your project. From loppers to pruners, safety equipment to heavy-duty gas tree trimmers, the list can quickly add up.

When trimming trees, there are some serious safety concerns that you need to know. Even the most experienced tree trimmers need to be cautious of falling limbs and branches. After all, they can fall in unexpected directions. In addition, if your tree is anywhere near a power line, do not proceed without a professional.

Also, regardless of your skill set, if you need to trim a very large tree (i.e., over 50 feet), there should be no question about whether or not to hire a professional.

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Tree Trimming Tips

If you do decide to go ahead and trim your tree(s) yourself, it is important to keep these key techniques and tips in mind:

  • Look for V-shaped angles – If branches have a strong U-shaped angle, this typically means that they're strong and should be left alone. In comparison, branches with a V-shaped angle are generally weak.
  • Consider the size of the branch – Generally, if a branch is 5 centimeters or less in diameter, it's safe to remove. However, as branches increase in size, you need to consider your options. Any branch that is over 10 centimeters in diameter should only be removed if absolutely necessary.
  • Trim your tree while it's dormant – Although you can technically trim a tree during any season when the tree is dormant, it's easier to see. Although this will support the remaining buds, there is one exception to this rule. If your tree is growing too quickly and you'd like to slow down its growth rate, prune the tree in its active growth cycle.
  • How much you trim matters – Do not cut your branches too short or leave them too long. In terms of the overall ratio, when you are finished trimming, the ratio of living crown to tree height should be roughly two-thirds.
  • Do not paint or tar cuts – This is an outdated, ineffective practice that does not provide any benefit.

Tree Trimming Service Cutting Branches

How to properly trim trees:

  1. Before you begin cutting, you must locate the branch collar. This grows from the stem tissue, located at the branch's bottom base. Find the branch ridge (found on the upper surface) first.
  2. When you are ready to make the cut, do so outside the branch bark ridge. Stay away from the stem and keep your cut angled downwards. The key here is not damaging the branch collar. You can use this technique for pruning both living and dead branches.
  3. When stems are too long, you need to make an initial notch on the side of the stem that is facing away from the branch that you plan to keep intact. The second cut will be inside the crotch of the branch (just above the branch ridge), followed by the third cut – which will remove the stub as you cut parallel to the branch bark ridge.

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Tree Maintenance Tips

There are some keys ways that you can save money but taking good care of your trees. Routine maintenance can make all the difference. Annual trimming can help prevent disease or pest infestation, reducing long-term costs. When an issue does arise, take action immediately so that the problem does not worsen over time.

Also, don't forget to water your trees regularly. Once again, this will help ensure a healthy tree and in turn, fewer issues in the future. To preserve moisture around a tree's roots during the hotter months, mulch around the base.

Who do you call when a tree falls on power lines?

Call your township or utility company if a tree has fallen on power lines. Since this is a safety issue, this tree trimming job is often completed for free.

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Pruning vs. Trimming

What is tree pruning?

Pruning means that you selectively remove specific parts of a tree, including its roots, branches, or buds. The goal here is to keep a tree healthy by actively removing any diseased, damaged, or dead plant tissue. This process is often best completed by someone who can recognize which areas need to be addressed.

What is tree trimming?

In comparison, tree trimming is performed to improve the tree's aesthetics. If there are no issues in regards to pests, diseases, or hazards, you can successfully trim or remove branches to obtain a particular shape (or to remove branches that are in the way). Just remember, if you trim too much without any prior knowledge, you could negatively impact your tree. If your tree is large or you have multiple trees to trim, a professional is recommended.

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Selecting Your Tree Trimming Service

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests getting quotes from three different tree trimmers. HomeGuide makes this part easy by instantly connecting you to nearby pros with excellent reviews. This will allow you to compare prices quickly and make an educated decision.

What to check for:

  • References & Reviews – A tree-trimming business should be able to provide references for three recent jobs, the BBB says. If the business hesitates, it’s probably wise not to hire that tree trimmer.
  • Licensing & Credentials – Ask for proof that a tree-trimming business is properly licensed to perform services in your area. Not all states require formal licensing, but city or county agencies might require it.
  • Verify Insurance Coverage – Inquire whether the company has the required insurance coverage, including a personal liability policy, a property damage liability and a workers’ compensation policy, the BBB recommends. If something goes wrong, a tree-trimming business that lacks insurance could lead to added expenses on your end.
  • Ask for a Contract – Never allow work to begin until you’ve got a signed contract that lists the start date, finish date, exact costs and work to be completed, the BBB warns. As always, read the fine print.
  • Payment Security – Will the work be done in stages? If so, you should stagger payments across those stages and not make a final payment until the job is finished, the BBB says. Also, don’t make a hefty deposit upfront.

Look out for red flags

According to the BBB, these are four of the warning signs that the tree-trimming business might be shady:

  1. A discount is given, but only if you sign a contract on the spot.
  2. Someone is going from door to door to offer tree-trimming services.
  3. Someone is demanding a decision be made right away.
  4. Cash is the only accepted method of payment.

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Author: Daniel W.
Millions of people ask HomeGuide for cost estimates every year. We track the estimates they get from local companies, then we share those prices with you.

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