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Tree Trimming Cost

by | Feb 25, 2019 | Tree Services

If you would like to keep your trees looking good, you have to invest some of your time and cash into their trimming. While it is possible for homeowners to trim their trees, this is not always a good idea. Working with tree trimming professionals helps you avoid being injured. Also, since the professionals have years of experience and the right tools, they will trim the trees correctly and hence helping you avoid damaging your tree irreparably.

If not knowing the tree trimming cost to expect has been keeping you from trimming your trees, this article is for you. We will be helping Orange County residents figure out the amount of cash they need to set aside before deciding to call in a tree trimming service provider.

Factors Affecting Tree Trimming Cost in Orange County

Tree owners in Orange County can expect to spend about $75 to $1000 on the tree trimming. Several factors will influence the money you have to part with for your tree to be trimmed. The tree trimming cost for a medium-sized, healthy tree should be approximately $150. The price for the same tree may be as high as $200 if the tree is a potential hazard which is infected with diseases or infested with pests. Below, we will expound on the various factors Orange County tree service providers consider when determining the tree trimming cost.

Location and Size

If the tree is too close to your home, utility lines, or other buildings, extra time and effort will be needed to do the job correctly. The team working on the trimming won’t have the option of simply tossing the branches after cutting them. Instead, the trimmers will have to rope each branch and lower it down slowly. This increases the tree trimming cost.


If your property has huge trees on it, you should expect to spend more money than someone whose compound has small to medium-sized trees. Larger trees will obviously have more branches. Depending on the height of the tree, the tree service provider may have to bring special equipment. The tree trimming cost for the various tree size classifications are as follows:

  • 30 feet and below – You should expect to spend $75 to $450 on these trees. Examples of the trees whose height is less than 30 feet include the Russian olive and dogwood.
  • 30 to 60 feet – These trees will require you to spend approximately $150 to $875 on the trimming. Crab apple trees are a good example of trees whose height ranges between 30 and 60 feet.
  • 60 feet and above – The tree trimming cost you should expect ranges between $200 and $1000. Red oak and pine are examples of trees which may cost you this much.

Tree Number

When estimating the tree trimming cost, professionals do consider the number of trees you want them to trim. Telling the tree service providers the number of trees you want them to trim will help you get a more realistic value.

Tree Strength and Stability

If your tree had endured trauma in the past, it may be weaker. Over time, the tree’s stability may continue to diminish. This indicates that weak trees may need more than just the minor trimming healthy and strong trees need. For example, trees which have endured a lightning strike may have to be cabled. This suggests that the tree trimming cost for weak trees may be higher compared to the cost of trimming your strong trees. The higher cost is worth it considering the fact that the trimming can help boost the tree’s strength.

Diseases and Illnesses

If your tree is infected with a disease, its overall tree trimming cost may be higher. Some of the illnesses which may affect the tree trimming cost include:

  • Mushroom and Fungi – On top of destroying a tree’s structural stability, fungi are capable of depleting vital nutrients.
  • Abiotic Damage – This type of damage results from frost, dry spells, hail, and strong winds. It is characterized by dried leaves, cracked and broken limbs. Pests tend to find damaged parts more attractive. Fixing the damage makes the trees much safer.
  • Moist Cracks – These indicate internal decay. To determine whether the tree life is in danger, a crack investigation is often necessary.


Apart from damaging trees, pests are one of the leading causes of tree diseases. Rotting and fungal growth are some of the tree health issues which result from pest attacks. Some of the pests which could damage your tree include:

  • Emerald ash borer – In the US, this pest is very popular. If you have ash trees on your property, the ash borer can be a serious hazard. It focuses on killing ash trees. Specialized treatments, often applied by arborists, can help you get rid of the Emerald ash borer.
  • Ants – If you notice ants on your tree, this is an indication that the tree’s foothold is either rotting or damaged. It is a good idea to call a professional if you find ants on your tree.
  • Mites – Mites, despite their small size, can weaken tree leaves and buds.
  • Shield-lice – You will only notice shield-lice damage when the pests form waxy secretions on the tree. The tiny pests do attack leaves. Professional attention is necessary if you notice extreme shield-lice cases.
  • Wood-destroying insects – Various insect species make wood their breeding spots. This can damage the wood core and tree bark. Fungi find it easy to attack damaged tree bark and wood core.
  • Woodpeckers – These are attracted to rotting trees. You should call a tree expert if you find woodpeckers on your tree.


The longer the travel distance, the higher the travel fees will be. Using a local tree service provider can reduce the travel fees.


If the tree’s geographical location is incapable of accommodating a bucket truck, a tree trimmer may have to climb the tree. This will incur a higher tree trimming cost. To give you an example, if the tree trimmer has to remove dead branches from an 80 feet oak using a bucket truck, you may need to spend $1050. This tree trimming cost goes up to $1400 if the trimmer has to climb the same tree.

DIY or Hire a Professional?

If you have the right tree trimming tools and the required knowledge, turning the tree trimming activity into your DIY project can be a good idea. However, if you are new to tree trimming and you do not have the required tools, trimming the tree yourself may not be a good idea. If the tree height exceeds 60 feet, working with a professional will help you avoid injury or damaging your tree. Before you make the decision to hire a professional to trim the shorter trees you have in your compound, consider the factors below:

The Required Equipment

Tree service providers do have the required tree trimming equipment. If this is the first time you are trimming trees, you may have to spend a lot of cash on the necessary tree trimming tools.

If your tree trimming job is simple, you won’t have to spend money on advanced equipment. Handheld pruners and loppers are ideal for simple trimming jobs. These will cost you approximately $40 to $50. If you want to invest in a tool that has the potential to do a better job, you may have to spend approximately $180 on a gas pole pruner.

Bigger projects may force you to rent a gas trimmer. Safety goggles and a helmet will make your trimming job much safer. To improve hand safety, you may need to spend a couple of dollars on gloves.


Tree trimming does feature some risks. The risks increase as the height of the tree increases. If your plan is to climb tall trees without a harness, you will be risking falling. Pruners feature sharp edges. Hence, unless you have some experience and you are incredibly careful, you may end up hurting yourself.

Controlling the branches that you cut when trimming trees can be difficult. For this reason, if the tree you intend to trim is incredibly close to a power line, allowing professionals to trim the tree may be a good idea.

Tips and Techniques

If you decide to avoid the tree trimming cost completely by trimming the tree yourself, you should be familiar with the tree trimming techniques and tips. Below, we have outlined the techniques and tips you need to know.

Tree Trimming Tips

Trim Trees During the Dormant Period

Since the trees won’t be growing actively during the dormant period, trimming them during this period is an excellent idea. On top of having an easier time seeing what you are doing, you will have a better chance of invigorating the buds you leave on the tree after getting rid of the dormant ones. The only time you should consider trimming a tree when it is actively growing is when you want to slow its growth down.

Branch Size is a Crucial Consideration

Branches whose diameter is less than 5 centimeters can be removed. If the branch diameter ranges from 5 to 10 cm, you should consider leaving it on the tree. Unless branches whose diameter exceeds 10 centimeters are a safety hazard, you shouldn’t remove the branches.

Consider the Angle

Removing branches which make a week V-shaped angle is an excellent idea. Branches which make a U-angle should be allowed to stay on the tree.


Aim for a 2:3 ratio between the living crown to the tree height when you are trimming your trees.

Remove Young Branches

You should focus on removing the branches when they are still young. This can be achieved through regular trimming. Older branches feature an increased scarring risk. Also, managing the young branches is much easier when compared to the old branches.

Do Not Trim Too Short or Too Long

Leaving big stubs on the tree is not a good idea. Also, you should avoid removing the branch’s collar.

Trimming Techniques

Observe First

Before you start cutting a branch, locate the point from which the collar grows from the stem tissue. You should be able to find this point at the base of the branch. Next, find the ridge which should be available on the upper surface, parallel to the branch angle on the tree stem.

Make the Cut

You should cut the branch outside the bark ridge. Angle the cut down and away from the stem. Avoid injuring the collar. This technique is perfect for both dead and living branches.

Long Stems

The 3-cut technique is ideal for long stems. First, make a notch facing away from the branch you would like to keep. Next, make another cut inside the branch crotch and above the branch ridge. Finally, remove the stub by cutting through the stem and parallel to the branch bark ridge.

Pruning Versus Trimming

Contrary to what most people believe, pruning and trimming refer to different methods of tree care and maintenance. We expound on these 2 maintenance methods below:


Trimming is ideal for improving the convenience and appeal of a tree. Trimming is done when the concerns of overgrowth, diseases, pests, and hazards do not exist. The main reason why tree owners invest in trimming is so that they can improve the tree’s beauty. If you intend to polish the look of a small tree, you can do the trimming yourself. However, if your goal is to trim a big tree, working with professionals can help you avoid injuries, damaging your property, and damaging the tree itself.


During pruning, parts of the tree are removed selectively. Pruning helps boost the tree’s health and safety. The removed parts usually have the following qualities:

  • Unwanted
  • Dead
  • Damaged
  • Diseased
  • Structurally Unsound

Hiring professionals when pruning a tree is always the best option. The professionals will use their knowledge and experience to determine which roots, buds, and branches should be removed and which ones should be left on the tree.

Reducing the Tree Trimming Cost

To ensure that the tree trimming cost you end up paying stays within your budget, you can use the following tips:

Power Lines

To ensure that safety is maintained close to utility lines, utility companies trim the trees which are in close proximity to the power lines. The utility companies won’t charge you anything even if you own the trees. When compared to the tree trimming companies, the utility companies often have better equipment.

Routine Maintenance

To avoid expensive repairs in the future, it is always a good idea to conduct regular tree maintenance practices. For example, if you trim your trees annually, you can keep diseases, pests, and abnormal growth away.

Quick Action

If you ensure that the overhanging branches and dead/dying branches are removed as quickly as possible, you can keep additional damage from occurring. This will help you save your hard-earned cash. You should always avoid waiting for a problem to get worse before trying to fix it.

Water the Trees

For trees to stay healthy, they need water. If the weather is too dry, watering the trees can provide them with the water they need. After watering the tree, you can use mulch to preserve the moisture. This will reduce the frequency at which you have to water the trees.

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