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How much does it cost to have a tree branch removed?
Last updated: 15 April 2020
The cost of having a tree branch removed can vary in price based on the size of the branch, the height of the branch and a number of other factors.
The average cost of branch removal is $129. A low estimate for branch removal is $59 and a high estimate would be $750.
Let’s explore a few of the different factors that could make branch removal more or less expensive.
Factors to consider
The following are the top things to consider about your own branch removal job. The below factors can add to the cost of branch removal. Doing your best to mitigate any of these factors where possible will reduce the cost of removal.
Is the branch you want removed extended out over power lines? Does it extend out over your home, a shed or your fence? When the tree service views your branch removal job for quoting, the difficulty in removing the branch is the first thing they will take into consideration.
Having a branch directly over something if value that is easily broken will certainly add to the cost of the branch being removed.
This will mean a lot more care will need to be take, rigging up lowering points on the tree with ropes and using the assistance of machinery or ground crew.
Size/Height of branch
Obviously the size of the branch is going to play a big role in how much it will cost to remove. Not only the raw size of the branch, but also how high up on the tree it is.
You could have a branch that is 5m long, but only 1m off the ground or could have a 2m branch that is 10m up off the ground. A smaller branch higher up will cost more to remove.
Number of branches
It really goes without saying that if you increase the number of branches that you would like to have removed from your tree, you will be charged more. That doesn’t mean if you have two branches you’ll be charged double and three branches you’ll be charge triple. Tree services price this type of work on a job by job basis and if they’re removing 1 branch and just have to do one or two more, the cost will increase, but not dramatically.
Do tree trimming services charge by the hour?
The short answer is no. Tree trimming services charge by the job and not be the hour. It is possible that an individual tree service has their own unique way of working out how many hours a job is going to take and what they charge per hour, but this certainly is not an industry standard hourly rate.
They will give you a set price for the job whether it’s for a single branch removal or complete tree removal.
This is because every tree business is different. They have a different number of employees, different overheads, different equipment and the cost of the running their businesses varies greatly. One tree business might do the same job in half the time, but charged twice as much per hour. The job would cost the same amount of money, but again it just depends on the business.
Will I need a permit from the city?
This very much depends on the city you are in and the particular tree ordinance that governs laws for tree trimming. Most cities do allow the routine maintenance of trees without having to go through the process of getting a permit.
Things like building clearance power, line clearances and general tree reductions can usually be done without getting a permit. That being said it does depend on the city you are in and the tree preservation ordinance. I do suggest you visit your local council/city’s website and do a quick search for “tree removal laws” as they pertain to trees on your property.
If you did need a permit, it will either be free or less than $25 and should not take more than a week to get approved.
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Is it worth trimming more than one branch?
If you just have one branch that is causing an issue, maybe his rubbing on your roof, or just for ascetical appeal, but in my opinion it is worth investigating getting at least an inspection of the other branches on your tree or having a few others trimmed where needed/ advised by local tree cutting services.
Trimming trees can be costly so it’s practical to get any other potentially problematic branches attended to at the same time. Things like removing deadwood, tree thinning, or a canopy lift can greatly improve the overall health of the tree and add to its value a safe useful life expectancy. As a bonus it will look great and boost the overall appeal of your home and garden.
Reasons for branch removal
There are many reasons for having branches trimmed or removed completely. Here are a few:
– Building/power line clearance
– Aesthetical appeal
– Stop access to roof for squirrels, possums an other pests
– Allow more light into a dark room
– Allow more light on to your lawn so it grows better
The price for tree branch removal varies, but you can check our cost guide here.
Is it the same cost for removing a palm tree branch?
You will find trimming palm tree branches otherwise known as “fronds” is a lot cheaper than pruning of regular trees. Obviously this will depend on the size of the palm and the number of fronds been removed, but as a general rule of thumb they are fairly quick easy and cheap to work on.
Palm tree should be regularly maintained by removing the dead fronds that are folded down and also trimming a few of the lower green healthy fronds. Be careful not to trim any above the horizontal horizon of the trees branch structure. This is considered bad practice when it comes to palm trimming.
Should I have dead branches removed?
Removing dead branches also known as “deadwood” from trees, especially large ones, is something that should be done by annually as part of routine tree maintenance. Because dead branches and no longer correctly secured to the tree, they do become very hazardous to persons and property when they eventually dislodge and fall from the tree. Even a very small dead branch can accelerate very quickly towards the ground and be fatal to adults or children who happened to be under the tree at the time.
Removing dead branches is generally not a very expensive job, and you can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$350 depending on the tree type, size and obviously the number of dead branches that need to be removed.
Tree shaping styles to consider
This branch trimming style requires the removal of the lower branches of your tree essentially elevating the whole canopy. It is great for improving your view, increasing light penetration to your home or lawn and also makes the tree a lot more aesthetically appealing.
This is the removal of branches within the canopy essentially reducing the thickness of the tree. This is not only a great look for a tree that is too dense, but is also healthy for the tree. Having too many crossing branches can cause mechanical damage to branches as the rub against each other in the wind.
Tree/ Canopy reduction
This is a different technique to thinning as it involves the removal of the outer extremities of branches to reduce the overall size and spread of the tree. This technique retains or improves the shape and aesthetical appeal of the tree, while reducing its overall size.
This is the removal of the top half of the tree by just straight cutting through first and second order vertical branches. This is a technique that is very controversial and in reality is not all that good for the trees health or its overall structural stability.
Trees such as conifers are fine to do this one on, as they will not re-sprout after being cut, but other trees such as Eucalyptus do re-shoot branches that are not correctly attached or actually apart of the trees structure. They will blow over in the wind after a few years and can cause further damage to the tree and certainly to anyone or anything directly under the falling branches.
It is possible for a tree to die from trimming, but if done correctly, tree trimming is very beneficial for the trees overall health. If the trimming is done by a trained arborist at the right time of year, then your tree will respond will beautiful luscious foliage, more flowers, fruit and a much healthier look. If done incorrectly you can put a lot of strain on the tree and slowly deteriorate its health.
If your tree is hanging over your neighbour’s yard they are well within their rights to trim your tree, just as long as they are not breaking any tree audience laws in the process. It’s the norm for them to ask your permission first before pruning, but it is not against the law as it is encroaching on their property.
Not really. You can go to court, but you are just best doing it yourself. You have the right to trim anything overhanging your yard. If you are not on good terms with your neighbor, then you will not be able to enter their yard to do the job. Everything will need to be done from your side of the fence.
Technically they are. If you trim THEIR tree overhanging YOUR yard, you have the right to throw the waste into their yard for disposal. I personally would not recommend it if you want any kind of relationship with your neighbor.
The average cost of complete tree removal will vary depending on the size of the tree, the number of branches and the reach of the canopy. Basically volume and difficulty of removal will play the biggest part in the cost of removal. The average cost is $871, but it can go right up to $4,560 for much larger trees.
There are 3 main things to look for when trying to choose the right company for the job. Firstly you want a company with experience. Make sure they have been in business for longer than 5 year. Certified arborist is the next must. There are lots of grounds maintenance or landscaping companies who advertise for tree work but are not skilled in this area. Make sure your tree service is a licensed arborist. Reviews is something you can not go past these days. Make sure you check more than 1 source (e.g. Yellow pages and Home advisor) and make sure they have an average score of 4.5 stars or higher.
If you are just doing some tree trimming for aesthetic reasons there is no insurance company or city that will foot the bill. If there branch where to come down or break in a storm, then your home insurance should cover the costs.
Most cities allow up to 30% of a trees foliage to be trimmed each year by a professional arborist. It will depend on your city though, so be sure to refer to the Tree Ordinance for your county or city.
If the tree is on city property and over-hanging your property then the city will come to trim it free of charge. You will need to get in contact with the city arborist who will first meet with you to inspect the job, then arrange for the city tree department to come out and do the job.
Author: Ben McInerney – Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicating to providing users with the most accurate up to date information on everything trees.
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