We have developed a simple tool to help you calculate the cost of tree trimming and tree removal.

The three biggest factors that dictate how tree trimming is calculated is:

1. Tree size
2. Number of trees
3. Location on property

Using these variables we can accurately calculate how much your tree trimming job is likely to cost you.

Although the above are not the only factors that add to price they are by far the biggest variables and allow us good accuracy.

Most people think there is an hourly rate that will easily help them calculate the cost of tree trimming, but in reality, tree services calculate their costs by the job and not by the hour.

They do work out how much time the job is going to take them, then give a price, but the problem is tree services are not like plumbers or electricians who normally work alone or with one laborer. Tree services have from 3 – 8 groundsmen who help them on the job, and very different equipment to help them with a job.

A tree company with 8 helpers might be able to trim a tree in 2 hours where it would take a team of 2 a full day. They charge the same, but obviously, their hourly rate is going to be different as they have vastly different overheads.

What other factors add to tree trimming cost?

Knowing these factors is actually going to help you save on your tree trimming job so take note, and do what you can to mitigate these factors when they add to price.

Time of year

This is a fairly large one. Tree trimming is actually cheaper in the winter. It is considered the off-season and as there are drop-in requests, tree services can barely fill their week. Waiting for winter to trim your trees will save you 20%.

Obstacles

This refers to things like garden sheds, houses, power lines, garden furniture, and anything else that is directly under the tree. If the tree arborist needs to dance around obstacles, then it is going to take longer and cost more.

If you can remove garden furniture, a panel of fencing and do whatever you can to increase the speed of removal for the company, you will save money.

Access

If you have a tree trim in the front yard with good access it will cost less than the same job in the backyard with tight side gate access. The reason being equipment will have to be lugged out the back and the tree branches back out the front. The whole process takes longer so you will be charged more.

If you can grant better access, like through a neighbor’s yard or removing a panel of fencing it will save you money.

Number of branches

This one is pretty easy to work out so I won’t dwell, but it is a factor so I had to mention it.

Type of trim required

This is a fairly large factor as something like a canopy lift is different from a deadwood or tree reduction. Some jobs take vastly longer than others so I will go through the below trim types and give a calculated price for the job.

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Tree trimming styles with calculated costs

Crown Lift Trim

A crown lift is the removal of the lower branches of a tree essentially raising the canopy off the ground. This type of tree trimming is at the lower end of the scale in cost as the lower branches are normally pretty easy to get to.

Crown lift estimate Calculated:
Small tree (15ft.) – $250
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $500
Large tree (50ft.) – $850

Tree trimming example   American beech tree

Calculate Crown Reduction Trim

This is the trimming of the outer circumference of crown foliage to reduce the overall size of the tree’s canopy. This is one of the most time-consuming prunes as your arborist will need to climb out to the end of every branch to remove a portion of it. The other method which is a little faster is to use an Elevated Work Platform like a cherry picker.

Crown reduction cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $350
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $700
Large tree (50ft.) – $1500 – $2,200

before after crown reduction trimming

Calculating Canopy Thinning Trim

This is carried out when the homeowner is trying to increase the amount of light that penetrates the canopy. This is done to help the grass grow and to let more light into your home.

Canopy thin cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $250
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $550
Large tree (50ft.) – $1000

Ash tree trimming cost example   canopy thin

weight-Reduction

In most cases, weight reduction refers to the trimming of some limbs that will help rebalance the tree. If your tree has an unhealthy lean to it or just an unusual amount of growth on one side, this trim will help everything balance out.

Weight reduction cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $250
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $650
Large tree (50ft.) – $900

tree trim weight reduction before and after

Dead Wood Trimming

This is something that should be carried out every couple of years, It is the removal of dead branches large and small throughout the canopy of your tree. This is important for the safety of persons and property and the health of the tree.

Deadwood cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $150
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $400
Large tree (50ft.) – $ 650

before after dead wood trimming

Height Reduction Prune

This type of prune can only be applied to specific trees such as conifers and some pine trees as topping most species is actually bad for their health and structural integrity.

Height reduction cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $280
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $790
Large tree (50ft.) – $2,100

Fence line Clearance

This is done to either stop your neighbor’s trees encroaching on your side of the fence, or to stop your trees grow over your neighbor’s fence. It is also to stop your trees from slowly pushing your fence over.

Fenceline clearance trim cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $150
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $350
Large tree (50ft.) – $700

Power Line Clearance Trim

Just as the name implies, this is to clear tree branches away from power lines. Normally a clearance of 3 – 4 feet is needed to ensure trees don’t hit liens during heavy winds.

Power Line Clearance cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $350
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $650
Large tree (50ft.) – $1,900

Building clearance Trim

Just like power line clearance, building or roof clearance is to stop the mechanical damage trees can cause to your home or building. It is also a great way to keep rodents off your roofs such as squirrels and raccoons.

Building clearance cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $250
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $550
Large tree (50ft.) – $1,500

Formative trim

This is the increase the aesthetical curb appeal of your mature tree, and or to encourage the correct growth of juvenile trees. It can actually include any of the above-mentioned trimming techniques and in some cases more than one.

Formative trim cost estimate:
Small tree (15ft.) – $250
Medium tree (25 ft.) – $550
Large tree (50ft.) – $1000

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.