When you start to notice dead branches on your tree, it’s time to deadwood it. This is meant to keep the tree in good health and prevent dropping branches.

The national average cost to deadwood a tree is $450, with the real range being  $250 up to $1,500 for larger trees that require more expertise and time.

Deadwooding a tree can otherwise be referred to as pruning, and it is often confused with trimming, which is mainly about changing the shape and look of a tree.


removing deadwood from tree

When it comes to the cost of deadwood removal, the type of tree, the location, and the size of the tree are some of the factors that contribute to the overall cost of removing deadwood.

Trees that are close to fences, roofs, sheds, or other structures require additional care when pruning large branches and this will contribute to the high cost of labor.

Size of the treeAverage cost to deadwood
Small (10 - 20 Feet)$250 - $525
Medium (20 - 30 Feet)$390 - $720
Large (30 - 50 Feet)$500 - $1,200
Extra-Large (50 - 100 Feet)$740 - $2,000

Cost to deadwood a tree by type of tree

The cost to deadwood a tree varies from one tree to the next. Fruit trees are most demanding of pruning and many of the fruit trees grown across America are spurring types. A spur is a small branch that flowers and grows fruit. Proper pruning helps produce more spurs and, therefore, more fruit. The table below shows some common trees with average pruning costs.

Type of treeAverage deadwooding costs
Oak$850 - $1,700
Maple$400 - $1,000
Sycamore$400 - $1,000
Eucalyptus$850 - $1,500
Pine$400 - $750
Cottonwood$400 - $850
Dogwood$400 - $650
Spruce$300 - $700
Connifer$300 - $600
Plum$200 - $500
Pear$250 - $550
Fig$250 - $550
Apple$300 - $600
Peach$350 - $700
Olive$350 - $700
Avocado$350 - $700
deadwooding an oak tree

Deadwood removal cost per hour

Deadwood removal jobs are mostly charged based on the actual job and not by hourly rate. However, for professionals that charge based on an hourly rate, it does vary from region to region.

The average labor cost of each area factors greatly into the hourly rate of the deadwood removal job. The average hourly rate is however estimated to be between $85 and $120.

The actual price of deadwood removal depends on factors like:

  • Tree type
  • Tree size and structure
  • Amount of dead branches
  • Health of the tree

The size and structure of the tree will determine the number of hours and the number of workers needed to deadwood a particular tree.

Small trees can be easily handled by a single worker in a matter of minutes. Medium, large, and extra-large trees usually require at least two people. However, three or four people may be required to complete the job. Medium trees may be pruned in an hour, while larger trees may take an entire day to prune.

If the tree is in a difficult location, the amount of time needed to prune the tree increases regardless of size.

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Is removing deadwood good for a tree?

Deadwood on a tree should be removed as it can lead to rot and insect infestation on a tree. Trees are covered in bark which is like skin on a human. When a branch falls or is cut, the tree begins to heal itself. If an insect tries to burrow into a tree, it will drown in sap, so the tree is naturally protected.

Deadwood is a bit of an anomaly. It allows water, pests and disease a direct path into the heat of the tree. While it is still attached, the tree can not heal itself. Leaving deadwood for an extended period of time will be to the detriment of the tree, so in short, removing deadwood is good for the tree.

How often should you deadwood a tree?

There is no fixed timeframe required to deadwood your tree. It depends on the nature of the tree and how often it produces deadwood. On average, 3- 5 years is recommended to assess your tree for the presence of deadwood. Once you can figure out a handful of deadwood on the tree, then it’s time to call an arborist.

How often should you deadwood a tree

When is the best time to deadwood a tree?

Deciduous trees that lose their leaves seasonally are best pruned when they’re dormant. This is usually in late fall or winter. If you prune trees in the spring when they begin to leaf, they’ll run sap and it may be difficult to heal at the cut. Such trees will become vulnerable to disease and insects and lead to long-term damage.

You might trim the lower branches occasionally to make the spaces accessible. For pine trees, trimming should be done in early spring just before new growth starts. You can also trim a pine tree in mid-summer when they’re semi-dormant at that time.

When trimming branches, it should be done with utmost caution to avoid trimming the trunk. It’s important to leave around one inch of the branch on the tree. A cut-up against the trunk may not heal — and pine trees can die quickly if the trunk bark is compromised.

Pruning palm trees can be done in the spring. You only need to remove the lower dead or dying fronds. You should not shape a palm tree or neither must you remove healthy fronds to prevent the tree from irreparable damage.

Tree trimming vs pruning

Although pruning and trimming are often used interchangeably, they are two different concepts.

Tree trimming involves tidying up trees, hedges, and shrubs, and removing excess branches to improve their appearance.

Pruning on the other hand focuses on the well-being of the tree by removing dead branches to prevent pests and diseases to help the tree live longer. Pruning eliminates diseases and safety hazards that might put you or your family at risk, such as falling branches.

Tree trimming vs pruning
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The cheapest time of year for tree pruning or removal

If you’re looking to remove or deadwood your tree at the cheapest possible cost, then you should take advantage of the time when tree removal demands are low.

The need for tree removal is typically lower during winter and spring, so the best tree companies may offer lower rates to ensure steady business.

February and March have always been statistically the cheaper months for tree removal. This time is a dormant season for trees and tree companies. Cutting a tree down during these months is not only cheaper but also advantageous for the environment.

The colder ground means the surrounding earth is less impacted while the tree company handles the tree removal. The frozen ground will keep the nearby vegetation in place during the extraction.

Deadwood removal services near me

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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.