Tree trimming costs vary depending on different trees size, obstacles around the tree such as fences and power lines as well as the number and size of the tree limb being removed.

The national average cost for tree trimming is $438. The price range for most homeowners will be between $120 and $1,190 depending on your job. These are based on national averages in 2021.

Asking how much tree trimming costs is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. Many factors affect the price. Let’s take a look at the rest of the tree pruning and trimming price guide.

average tree trimming price range662x

Tree trimming prices vary between $250 and $2,000. There are a lot of other factors to consider when estimating the price of tree trimming by tree companies which we cover below.

Tree heightCost Range
15 - 20 ft.$250 - $525
20 - 30 ft.$390 - $720
30 - 50 ft.$500 - $1,200
50 - 100 ft.$740 - $2,000

Small trees15 – 20 ft. tall

Removing 10 – 20% of the branches/foliage of a tree this size would cost you between $ 250 and $525. Small tree trimming costs a little more if it is a building or a power line clearance.

Small tree trimming cost size ratio

Medium trees20 – 30 feet tall

Assuming again you are removing 10 – 20% foliage you could expect to pay between $390 and $720. When you think about it, depending on the tree being trimmed, this could be between 1 and 10 branches that need removing, so again it all depends.

Large trees30 – 50 ft. tall

Depending on the type of prune, larger trees in height typically cost more like fig trees that will cost you between $500 and $1200 to trim. If you were to get a building clearance, you are only removing a branch or two, but if it’s a total tree reduction there is more work involved and increased costs.

Large tree size scale price

X Large tree 50 – 100 feet tall

Tall trees do come with a bigger price tag for maintenance. $740 would be the baseline and anything up to $2000 for the trimming of a large tree. Getting Crown thinning done will cost a lot more than a canopy lift for example.

average tree trimming price by height662x392

Cheap tree trimmer near me

Finding a cheap and professional tree trimming service near you can be tough. Below are a few tips to do just that.

Avoid marketers – Professional tree trimming services that spend big on marketing like ads at the top of Google, Yelp, Yellow pages, and signs around town will usually be more expensive. This is because they need to cover the higher costs of acquiring a customer. That’s you.

Get 3 quotes min. – I always suggest a minimum of 3 but 4 will be better. You don’t want to go with the first quote that “sounds reasonable” as you don’t know the market and a better price is most likely just around the corner.

Ask for options – When a professional tree trimming company is looking at your tree job, be sure to ask them for two different prices including:
One price for trimming and taking everything away.

Another price to cut and leave on site. (You can dispose of yourself later).

Grant good access – Trimming a tree located in your backyard is going to cost extra because it’s more effort to drag the branches to the front of your property. If you have several trees it will cost more again. If you can remove a panel of fencing for the tree trimmers, they will take less time to do the job and charge less.

Tree trimming cost examples

Oak trees

Estimated height: 45ft. tall
Botanical name: Quercus
Trim Type: Canopy reduction

Trimmed trees are healthy trees. Getting a tree limb or two removed from a large Oak tree will cost you though. The cost of tree trimming for this tree would be between $690 and $1,150 depending on the city you live in and the tree trimmers you employ.

Date-palm-in-front-yard

American Holly

Estimated height: 24ft. tall
Botanical name: Llex opaca
Trim type: Deadwood removal

Deadwood can be detrimental to the health of the tree. Removing deadwood will increase the curb appeal of your home and also give the health of your trees a good boost. Many landscape companies offer this service, but I recommend a certified arborist.

The cost estimate of deadwood removal on the below example would be $250 to $410. This is a fairly small tree and the deadwood seems to be confined to a fairly small space in the lower center part of the tree.

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American Beech tree

Estimated height: 36ft. tall
Botanical name: Fagus Granfolia
Trim type: Canopy lift

It’s easy to see the amazing transformation a tree trim can have on the whole aesthetic appeal of this home. The below canopy lift trim would cost you $410 – $590 depending on the city you live in and the time of year you get the job done.

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Ash tree

Estimated height: 21ft. tall
Botanical name: Fraxinus
Trim Type: Canopy thinning

The below Ash tree was a mess with crossing branches and deadwood. The cost of tree thinning the below Ash tree would be between $410 and $670 depending on the city you live in. It’s a time-consuming tree trimming job.

The access to the tree is good it’s a fairly small tree.

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Palm tree

Estimated height: 15ft. tall
Botanical name: Syagrus romanzoffiana
Trim Type: Canopy lift/ remove dead fronds

Palm tree trimming cost varies by palm tree size and the number of fronds that need removing. You only need basic tree trimming services for this job. There are no real special skills required, but I would still make sure they are qualified and insured. This tree trimming job is fairly quick and should cost $50 – $75 per tree. Larger trees might cost $100 – $125 to trim.

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Alder tree trimming

Estimated height: 55ft. tall
Botanical name: Alnus
Trim Type: Canopy lift

It’s amazing the transformation that can take place by pruning just a few lower limbs. The view of the lake has increased 3 fold. Although these are larger trees, we are only removing a few small branches from the lower part. There are good access and no obstacles.

To perform a canopy lift trim on the below 2 x trees would cost you $520 – $790.

For a single tree, you would be looking at $390 – $480 to trim the lower branches.

Tree trimming prices for similar trims will vary depending on access to the tree and obstacles around it like a house roof or power line. If the company can get access with a bucket truck it will help reduce the speed of trimming and costs.

Date-palm-in-front-yard

Cost per hour to have trees trimmed

Tree pruning services do not actually charge by the hour to trim trees. They might work out their prices that way, but they will give you a price based on a visual assessment of your tree job.

Pricing by the hour to trim trees in this game is tricky. One company might charge 3 x more per hour than another company but do the job 3 x faster because they have a 6 man crew instead of a 2 man crew.

To get an accurate estimate on the cost of a tree trimmer, you really do need to ask local tree services for a price on your specific tree job.

Note: Many landscaping companies cost more money than certified arborists because their flat rates for extra labor used to work on trees will always cost more than using the right heavy duty equipment. Get a pricing guide from then before they start comparing prices with tree trimmers.

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Cost calculator for tree services

What factors add to tree trimming cost?

There are many cost factors that add to the cost of tree trimming. How many trees, tree location, tree type, whether it’s a healthy tree, more branches etc. A simple way to look at it is, the longer it takes to trim or remove branches, and have the debris hauled, the more it will cost you. Extra large trees will cost more than medium sized trees.

Access to the tree

The location of the tree on your property is important.

To trim a tree in the front yard of your house is going to cost you less than the same tree at the rear of your property. If the workers need to drag all waste from the back of your house to the front, it will add to the overall job time so you will pay more.

Do what you can to give the best access possible to the tree you will end up saving yourself a lot of money. The closer the company can get their truck to the tree the less it will cost you for branches to be trimmed.

Time of year

The reason this is a factor that is purely based on supply and demand. The warmer months are the high season for tree trimming and tree removal costs, so expect to pay more.

How much does tree trimming cost in winter?

During the cooler months, people are not in their gardens so there is not a lot of demand, but there are still the same amount of local tree trimmers ready for work.

So in order to win work, they are always willing to drop their prices to make sure they win the job. You can expect 20% cheaper prices in winter.

Check out the results from Google trends when you type in a term like tree removal or tree trimming. This will give you an idea of demand.

tree services spring winter  comparison

Obstacles around the tree

If you have a branch hanging over your home or power lines, the average cost for a professional tree trimming service to trim trees will be higher. Tree removal cost will also increase with obstacles. The longer it takes to trim the more it will cost.

Having sufficient surrounding space will reduce the project cost significantly.

Tree size

This one is pretty obvious, the bigger the tree is, the more branches, the higher the cost estimates will be.

Number of branches

This is going to be a double-edged sword as it’s not just the number of branches, but also the size of the tree and branches being pruned. This particular factor is ties into all of the factors combined. In general, the greater the number of branches being pruned the more it is going to cost you.

Tree species

The factor most do not think about is the type of tree being pruned. This is closely related to the form the tree takes, including natural branch distribution, sizes, and how easy they are to remove.

A pine tree will generally have small branches that are easily removed. Oak trees, on the other hand, will have very large branches. Removing 3 branches from a Pine tree will cost substantially less than removing the same number of branches from an Oak tree.

tree trimming cost guide USA

When is the best time to trim for tree health?

A professional tree trimming service will trim trees year-round, but for healthy trees, you should avoid trimming in Summer and fall where possible.

When you look at tree biology you will notice trees hibernate during the winter and trimming them in early winter just before tree leaves and new growth begin to shoot in spring. A Fig tree and other fruit trees such as cherry trees, Peach trees, Crab apple trees, lemon trees, plum trees, or even an apple tree will all produce larger fruit yields when tree maintenance is carried out at the right time of the growth cycle.

Larger trees such as Oak trees or Ash trees are prone to common pests, fungal infections, and disease. These are most prevalent in the warmer months, so to prevent things like the emerald ash borer or oak wilt, etc, from spreading from other diseased trees in the area, you are best to trim while these pests are dormant.

The more you can do the stop diseases spreading or allowing fungi to grow the better off your tree will be.

Cost of palm tree trimming

The cost to trim a palm tree varies depending on height, palm type, and the number of trees being pruned.

For a group of 10 palm trees of the same size that need trimming, you would expect to pay between $350 and $650. It will depend on how tall they are and how good the access is for the tree trimming service.

DIY tree trimming tips

Using a professional arborist or tree trimming services near you is advisable if the tree size larger than 15 feet in height. But annual trimming using a professional service can become expensive so here are a few tips to help you save money and do the job right.

  1. Before you start make sure you have the right safety equipment such as goggles, gloves, and a long-sleeved shirt.
  2. A gas pole pruner is a great investment to reach heights and trimming broken limbs from weather damage.
  3. Young trees need trimming more often
  4. Tree branches growing near utility lines can be a safety hazard if you don’t know what you are doing. These are best left to a tree professional or to save money you can even contact utility companies who may do the job with no costs involved.
  5. A tree’s size is important and I only advise you to work on young trees and smaller trees for safety reasons.
  6. If you’ve had branches fall from your own trees this could be from internal decay. Hiring a professional certified arborist with special equipment is advisable. When cutting branches from these trees they can go in unexpected directions and cause damage to surrounding valuables.

And lastly, to keep a tree healthy you need to get water and vital nutrients to the roots. I suggest watering and fertilizing and routine maintenance. Consult tree trimming services near you for advice on this.

NOTE: Falling limbs can be extremely hazardous. decaying and broken limbs should be removed immediately.

Tree Trimming vs tree Pruning

Tree pruning and trimming are two are very different things even though both practices involve the removal of tree branches. Below we break down the main differences so you can know what you might need.

Tree Trimming

This is the management of a tree in an urban environment. Either shaping the tee for aesthetic reasons or a safety issue like trimming trees around power lines or for building clearance. Other tree trimming techniques include canopy lift, tree thinning, and weight reduction.

Tree pruning

Pruning is different from trimming as it focuses on the health and vigor of a tree. If your main motivation is to prepare a fruit tree for the season ahead, then this is preferred as pruning. This also includes some formative pruning for tree health such as training a tree to a single main leader or the removal of dead branches or crossing branches, both of which can have detrimental effects on the trees long term health.

What to avoid

The BBB suggests there are some red flags when it comes to hiring tree trimming services.

  1. Tree services who go door to door to see if you need tree trimming done.
  2. They insist the job needs to be done now.
  3. They only accept cash.

FAQ's

It will depend on the objective of trimming your tree. If you just need to trim dead branches or remove a branch growing into your roof or power lines, then any time of year will do just fine. If the purpose is to give it a good prune by 20-30% of foliage, then waiting until winter is key. This is because trees are dormant and react better during a winter prune than in the height of summer when the tree is stressed. Annual tree trimming is recommended for growing trees and every 3 – 5 years for mature trees.

Pro tip: Your utility company may pay for the cost of trimming trees around service wires if they are close to your front fence. Try calling them first before paying for it yourself. Worth a try.

If you are limiting the trim to dead or diseased branches and maybe the odd healthy branch, then it should be ok. If you are looking to trim 10 – 30% of the trees canopy, I would leave it until winter next year. Trimming large amounts of foliage can be a shock to the tree’s system, so it is best to do these types of trims when the tree is dormant.

Fruit trees can still be trimmed in very early spring, but as a general rule of thumb, later winter is always better for the tree’s health and fruit production.

Older trees can reach their Safe Useful Life Expectancy in suburbia and start to become dangerous to pedestrians and residents. Tree removal is needed when a tree is no longer growing or maintaining its canopy and more than half the tree is dead. An unstable tree needs to be removed asap. Get an inspection from a professional tree arborist for confirmation.

The cost of tree removal and stump removal will depend on the size of the tree and the location of your property. The good news is the cost of tree trimming is recurring as trees keep growing but once the tree is removed and the stump removed, you will have no more expenses. The national average is $1,249 for tree removal and $254 for stump grinding, but you can pay as much as $7,000 for larger trees. Tree trimming companies and tree removal services are one and the same. They will also carry out stump grinding and or stump removal services.

Cost to trim a tree – Notes and General Information

These free estimates are for BASIC work performed in regular conditions by a qualified arborist priced at mid-range in the market. Emergency service, during peak times or usings certain companies will result in HIGHER COSTS.

These free estimates are NOT substitutes for written quotes from qualified arborists or tree service professionals. GoTreeQuotes strongly recommends that you contact reputable and certified professionals for accurate assessments of work required before committing.

 

The cost a free estimate includes:

  • Costs to remove all debris material from the site and leave the site as they found it.
  • Setup time and minimum hourly charges are usually included for tree trimming jobs.
  • Extra services live stump grinding or stump removal will add more labor and a higher total cost.

 

The cost a free estimate does NOT include:

  • Costs for tree risk and hazard assessments. This is a separate service and will incur additional costs.
  • Costs for a written arborist report to gain permission from your city, county, or state to trim your tree.
  • Permit or inspection fees (or portion thereof) required by your local tree ordinance.

 

Cost to trim a tree – Unit Price References
Standard estimating practices – American society of professional estimators, Website, 2019
Finding and hiring a consulting arborist – American society of arboriculture, website, 2020
How to hire a tree service – University of Florida, pdf, 2019.
Research foundation to tree pruning – Research Gate, website, 2018
How to hire tree care professionals – University of Minnesota, website 2020

Ben McInerney
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 dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.