Tree pruning is a specialized field that demands the expertise of a certified arborist. Indeed, anyone in the neighborhood with a chainsaw might be able to trim a tree that’s no taller than 15 feet, but for larger trees, you definitely need a professional.

Tree trimming is expensive because it is dangerous, specialized, and requires the skill of a qualified arborist and supporting equipment and crew to get the job done. The overhead of a tree trimming or removal company is $1,200 – $1,550 per day, so they need to make that amount just to break even.

There are a few specific factors that add to the cost of tree trimming that you can help mitigate and save money in the process. Scroll to the bottom to see these money-saving tips.

why is tree trimming so expensive

A reasonable price for tree trimming will depend on the size of the tree, the number of branches being trimmed, and the job’s difficulty.

A medium tree (20 – 30 ft. tall) trim will cost between $350 and $720 to remove 10 – 20% of the foliage.

You will need a quote for your specific job from a local arborist to get an accurate price. To be sure it’s a reasonable price, get three quotes from 3 different local services.

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Average cost of tree trimming

Tree trimming will normally cost from $360 to $1,450. But again, it will depend on the tree and its branches. Trimming a large branch off an Oak tree will cost the same price as trimming a palm tree.

You will need to get an arborist service out to view the tree in question to give an accurate estimate.

Cost to trim a by size

Small tree (15 - 20ft.)

Removing 10 – 20% of the foliage on a small tree will cost $250 to $525. The price difference will depend on access to the tree and obstacles around the tree, which will add time and money.

Medium (20 - 30ft)

A medium-sized tree will cost between $390 and $720 to trim. Again this is for about 10 – 20% of the foliage. I would love to give a more exact price, but where you live, the state of the tree, and obstacles around the tree all play a part.

Large Tree (30 - 50ft.)

To get some branches trimmed from a large tree, you will pay $650 – $1,500. This would include 2 – 3 large branches or several smaller ones representing 10 – 15% of the tree foliage.

Xlarge Trees (50 - 100ft)

Extra large trees are more challenging to give an accurate price. I would say anywhere from $920 – $2,500. Removing several large branches from an oak tree will cost considerably more than trimming a palm tree, so it’s all about the tree and the amount of work that needs to be done.

Height rangePrice Range
Small15 - 20 ft.$250 - $525
Medium20 - 30 ft.$390 - $720
Large30 - 40 ft.$650 - $1,500
Extra Large50 - 100 ft.$920 - $2,500
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