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Tree Trimming Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

In Syracuse, trees play the role of ornaments on both residential and commercial properties. Trees, however, do need regular maintenance for them to stay attractive and aesthetically appealing. Professional tree trimming removes dead branches, cuts the overgrown branches to size, and gives the entire tree crown a look that complements other parts of the landscape. 

To work with professional tree trimmers, you will need $80 to $1000 per tree. People with small to medium-sized trees enjoy the lowest tree trimming cost, with professionals charging them $100 to $400. As the trees move to the large category, the cost of pruning them generally increases to between $500 and $1000. In the following section, we will take a deeper look at the different factors that affect the tree trimming cost. 

Tree Trimming Cost Factors in Syracuse 

1. Tree Size 

In Syracuse, professional tree trimmers generally consider both the crown size and tree height when creating a cost estimate. However, for most of the trees in Syracuse, the crown size generally increases with tree height – for this reason, tree height plays a more significant role in the tree trimming cost. 

A white oak tree reaches maturity at a height of 60 to 100 feet and may have a crown spread between 50 and 80 feet. When compared to a crape myrtle that matures at a height between 10 and 30 feet and a crown spread of about 20 feet, the white oak tree will always have a much higher tree trimming cost.

As the height of a tree increases, the risk of trimming the tree – especially when using manual climbing –increases. Also, the time needed to reach the crown of a 100-foot tree will be much bigger compared to climbing a 30-foot California juniper. 

Depending on your tree’s height, you should expect the tree trimming costs outlined below: 

  • Small trees – Small trees feature a height of 30 feet and below. Professionals will charge you $80 to $400 to trim your small tree. 
  • Medium-sized tree – These trees have a height between 30 and 80 feet. To work with professionals when trimming a large tree, you will need $150 to $875. 
  • Large trees – The largest trees in Syracuse have a height of 80 to over 150 feet. To prune one of these trees, you will spend $200 to $1000. 

2. Accessibility 

Trees standing on open grounds, with no important structures nearby are extremely easy to trim. Since there are no houses or utility lines that may suffer damage, the professionals can allow the branches they cut to fly off to the ground freely. 

When a tree is standing next to your house, you will need to be extremely careful to keep the cut branches from landing on the house and causing damages worth thousands of dollars. To control the falling path for the branches, professionals tie them with ropes and then lower them down slowly. This process takes a lot of time. It is for this reason that trees standing next to important utilities have a higher tree trimming cost than those standing on open areas. 

Accessibility also affects the ability to use a bucket truck. Eliminating the need to climb a tree manually, bucket trucks make the tree trimming process easy and quick. Bucket trucks, however, can only be used on trees with enough parking around them and a way for the truck to get to the parking space. 

If your tree is inaccessible to the bucket truck, the tree trimmers will have to use manual climbing. Riskier and more time-consuming, manual climbing often increases the tree trimming cost by 30% to 40%. If your tree would cost $1000 to trim with the bucket truck, manual climbing could push the tree trimming cost to between $1,300 and $1,400. 

3. Tree Stability 

Tree stability affects tree trimming safety. In cases where manual climbing is needed, the tree may need stabilization to increase its ability to support the weight of the tree trimmers. To stabilize a tree, the tree trimmers will need additional time – this tends to increase the tree trimming cost. 

Some of the conditions that often affect a tree’s stability include: 

  • High winds – High winds can bend a tree to its breaking point. A tree featuring a broken wood structure will be very unstable and may need cabling to increase its ability to recover. 
  • Cavities and cracks – When cavities and cracks appear on a tree trunk, they show that a tree has a major underlying issue. You may need to work with an arborist to determine what’s creating these cracks and how you can treat the tree. This can push the tree trimming cost up. 
  • Flooding – Floods make the soil around the tree’s base extremely wet – this tends to compromise the tree anchor point. If the tree’s roots cannot hold properly to the soil, wind can bring the tree down. 
  • Heavy machinery – During construction projects, heavy machinery tends to move around the tree’s base multiple times. Since some trees have their roots close to the surface, the heavy machinery may damage the roots, making the tree unstable. 

4. Tree Health 

Working on unhealthy trees is generally riskier than working on trees that are 100% healthy. Diseases and pests tend to weaken the tree’s wood structure – this makes the tree’s riskier to work on, especially in cases where manual climbing is needed. 

In addition to the increased risk, unhealthy trees often need more time as the professionals have to ensure they have removed all the diseased branches. This pushes the cost of trimming up. 

After trimming, you may need to invite a professional arborist to inspect the tree and determine the health problem affecting it. The arborist will recommend the best treatment options. To pay for the treatment options and the arborist service, you may spend an extra $50 to $500. 

5. Travel Fees 

Tree trimming companies often have pre-defined areas in which they offer their services without charging a travel fee. It is, however, very common for some property owners to hire tree trimmers residing a significant distance from the tree trimming location – this tends to attract a travel fee. 

Most tree service providers will charge a travel fee of $0.5 per mile covered. However, some professionals may charge a fixed cost between $50 and $200 depending on the distance covered. 

6. Number of Trees 

Trimming a group of trees together is one of the best ways to save money. If trimming a single 100-foot tree would cost you $1000, trimming ten 100-foot trees in one go may cost you a total of $9000. This means that you end up saving $100 on each tree. 

Professionals generally charge a higher tree trimming cost when trimming one tree because of the fixed costs they have to take care of. Fixed costs like overhead, insurance, machine use, fuel costs, and travel fees do not change irrespective of whether a team is working on one or multiple trees. However, since the overall compensation is higher when working on multiple trees, the professionals can charge a slightly lower tree trimming cost. 

Hourly Tree Trimming Cost 

Professional tree trimmers prefer to charge a fixed cost. Hourly costs are less effective because the time needed to complete a tree trimming project is affected by a wide range of factors. 

A company with advanced tools and a large number of experienced workers may take an hour on your 60-foot tree. A second company with less experienced workers and less advanced tools may take half a day on the same tree. If both teams were to charge the same hourly cost, the first company would operate at a loss while the second company will overcharge you. 

Although the quotation you will receive will have a fixed cost, most companies do include an hourly rate of about $25 to $50 for every worker on your property. 

DIY Vs Hiring Professionals 

While DIY tree trimming may look like a good way to save some money, you may want to consider the risks and costs associated with the procedure: 

DIY Tree Trimming Risks

  • The tools you will be using for cutting may injure you. 
  • If you fall from the crown, you may end up with significant injuries. 
  • If you drop the branches on your house, you may cause expensive damages. 
  • If you are new to tree trimming, you may damage your tree irreparably. 

DIY Tree Trimming Costs 

If you are trimming a tree for the first time, you will need to purchase the following tools:

  • Ladder: $150 to $500
  • Safety gear: $50 to $200+
  • Heavy-duty gas trimmer: A rental cost of $50/day
  • Hand-held pruner: $30 – $50
  • After trimming your tree, you will need to pay $75 to $150 for cleanup and dumping of the waste. 
  • In the event of injuries or property damage, you may need to spend thousands of dollars on treatment and repair costs. 

If your trees are not risky and you are ready to purchase the tree trimming gear, DIY trimming might be a good idea for you. However, if your trees are risky, allowing professionals to handle the tree maintenance procedure can help you avoid expensive costs. 

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