Tree Pruning Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

When trees start losing their attractive appearance, trimming is often used to improve tree shape and get rid of dead branches that often damage the tree’s attractive green foliage. In addition to turning trees into attractive, natural ornaments, tree trimming also helps improve tree safety by removing risky branches.

Since professional tree trimming costs money, a lot of homeowners want to figure out the amount they should expect to pay so that they can adjust their landscape maintenance budget accordingly. In this guide, we will show you the average tree trimming cost in Memphis and the factors that affect the cost.

Average Tree Trimming Cost in Memphis, Tennessee

In Memphis, the lowest cost of trimming a tree is about $80. As the tree size and the risks surrounding the tree increase, the cost also increases, reaching a maximum of above $1000. Since most property owners in Memphis have average-sized trees, a tree trimming cost of $150 to around $500 is more common.

Paying for professional tree trimming is always a good idea, considering that it eliminates risks like property damage, tree damage, and injuries that often result from falling from the tree crown.

Tree Trimming Cost Factors in Memphis, TN

1. Tree Size

When it comes to tree size, tree trimmers in Memphis are concerned with both tree height and crown spread. The tallest trees require more time to reach the tree crown. Also, since their crowns are much bigger and have bigger branches, large tree trimming generally takes more time.

Operating 100 feet from the ground on a white pine is much riskier than cutting branches just 20 feet from the ground on a crape myrtle. The higher risk and additional time needed to trim taller trees increase their tree trimming cost.

Below, we have listed height-based tree trimming costs:

  • Large trees – These trees mature at a height of above 60 feet. Trimming large trees costs $300 to $1000.
  • Medium-sized trees – For your tree to fit in this category, it should have a height of between 30 and 60 feet. Professional tree trimmers in Memphis charge $150 to $800 to trim trees in this height category.
  • Small trees – These have a height of below 30 feet. They tend to have the smallest crown spread and their branches are generally easier to cut. This puts the cost of professional trimming between $80 and $400 for these trees.

2. Accessibility to the Bucket Truck

When a bucket truck is usable, trimming is easier. Instead of carrying the tree trimming gear up the tree manually, the tree trimmers take advantage of an automated mechanism that raises them to the tree crown, holds them in position, and helps them avoid falling when cutting the branches.

Bucket trucks, however, can only be used on trees that are accessible. When your tree is standing in an enclosed area, without parking space, the bucket truck may be unusable. In such a scenario, the tree trimmers will have to climb the tree manually.

Manual climbing takes more time and is generally riskier. This leads to a higher tree trimming cost, with professionals charging an additional 30-40% of the cost charged when using a bucket truck. If the tree trimmers had quoted $600 before analyzing your tree’s location, they may increase the cost to about $780 to $840 when they realize that your tree is inaccessible to the bucket truck.

3. Proximity to Utilities

When a tree is growing next to a house or powerlines, the risk of property damage during tree trimming is generally very high. When trimming the tree, the professionals may need to tie the branches with ropes to keep them from falling on the nearby utilities. After cutting, the branches may need more manpower to bring down slowly.

Trees standing on open ground are easier to trim as the branches can be allowed to fly off to the ground after cutting. For this reason, the tree trimming cost is much higher for trees featuring the risk of causing property damage.

4. Tree Health

Being living things, trees do deal with pests and diseases. Attacking the branches before moving to the other parts of the tree, pests and diseases weaken the tree’s wood structure, making the branches susceptible to falling.

When trimming a tree that has ill health, the tree service providers have to be extra careful to avoid stepping on the weak branches and falling. Extra time is also needed for inspecting the branches – this helps the professionals remove all the diseased limbs, keeping the disease from spreading. These complications lead to a higher tree trimming cost.

An arborist is generally needed to inspect a diseased tree and determine the health problems bothering it. After diagnosing the tree, the professional will recommend medications and pesticides that will get rid of the pests and diseases. On average, homeowners spend an extra $50 to $500 on tree treatment.

5. Stability

Stable trees are easier to trim as the tree trimmers can make swift moves on the tree crown without having to worry about falling. Instability makes the trees riskier, which, in turn, increases the tree trimming cost. Below, we have outlined some of the signs that might indicate instability:

  • Fungi – Fungi often indicates that your tree is decaying or rotting. This pest eats the tree’s nutrients, weakening it over time, and making it susceptible to falling.
  • Cracks – Large cracks on the tree trunk are an indicator that your tree has suffered from significant trauma at some point in the past. For trees with cracks, stabilization mechanisms may be useful in eliminating the cracks and helping the tree recover.
  • Weather damage – Weather damage appears in a wide range of forms. For example, a storm could damage the tree’s crown, leaving it with numerous broken branches. A wind could push the tree to the point where a section of the tree trunk breaks. Different weather factors will have varying effects on the tree’s stability.

6. Travel Fees

This is an extra cost that tree owners incur when they decide to work with professionals residing too far from their properties. If your tree trimming team needs to cover hundreds of miles to get to your home, you should expect a travel fee of about $0.5 per mile or a fixed cost of $50 to $200.

The travel fee is, however, very easy to avoid. Working with the service providers closest to your property helps you avoid the fee.

7. Bulk Trimming

Trimming a single tree is generally more expensive compared to trimming several trees together. You will realize this when you look at the per-unit price. For example, one 30 foot tree may cost you $150 to trim. However, when trimming a group of ten 30-foot trees, you may spend a total of $1000. This means that each tree will cost you $100, which will help you save $50.

The reason tree trimming experts charge a higher cost when working on just one tree is the various fixed costs they need to handle – these fixed costs require the same amount of money when trimming one tree or multiple trees. The fixed costs include permit licenses, license cost, insurance cost, fuel costs, and travel expenses.

Per Hour Tree Trimming Cost

Professional tree trimmers prefer a fixed cost over an hourly cost. Since the tree trimming procedure is affected by a wide variety of factors, charging an hourly rate increases the risk of losses to either the tree trimmers or the tree owner.

For example, a company with experienced workers and advanced machines can take one hour on a tree. Another company with an inexperienced workforce and older machines may take 5 hours on the same tree. If the 2 companies charge a similar hourly rate, the first company will operate at a loss while the second company will force you to overpay for the same amount of work.

DIY Versus Professional Tree Trimming

Before deciding to handle tree trimming alone, you should consider the risks and the costs involved:

Risks of DIY Trimming

  • The major risk is injury – you may fall from the tree or cut yourself with the tree trimming tools.
  • If you are trimming a tree near utilities, the branches you cut may cause property damage.
  • If you are new to tree trimming, you may cut the wrong branches, increasing the risk of tree damage.

DIY Tree Trimming Costs

If you damage your home during trimming, you may spend thousands on property repair. In the event of injuries, you may spend a lot of money on treatment. If you damage your tree irreparably, you may need to spend money on tree removal and replacements.

Before trimming your tree, you will need to purchase the following tools:

  • Loppers and hand-held pruners: $50
  • Safety gear: $50 to $200
  • Ladder: $150 to $600
  • Heavy-duty gas trimmer: You can rent this for $50 per day
  • Gas pole pruner: $150 to $300

Weighing the costs of DIY tree trimming against the cost of professional trimming can help you make your decision. Although professional tree trimming might appear like a costly venture, it can help you avoid a lot of unforeseen costs.

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