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Tree Pruning Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

Pruning a tree can cost as little as $75 or as high as $2000, depending on how complicated the entire process is. In Lansing, however, most tree owners spend $350 – $650. If your goal is to prune an average-sized tree, $450 may be enough.

Someone with a tree that is taller than 100 feet, will pay more than someone with a tree below 30 feet – this means that tree height is one of the major factors impacting tree pruning cost.  In this guide, we will take a deeper look at all the factors affecting the cost of pruning a tree.

Factors Affecting the Tree Pruning Cost

1. Tree Height

When pruning a tree, getting to the tree crown will be much harder on a tree taller than 100 feet, compared to a 40-foot tree. The taller trees have bigger crowns, and most of their limbs are generally bigger – this means that they take more time to prune.

As you will notice in the tree pruning costs outlined below, the cost of pruning a tree increases with tree height:

  • Below 30 feet – Trees shorter than 30 feet are classified in the small tree category. To trim a small tree, you will need $75 to $400.
  • 30 to 60 feet – In Lansing, these trees are considered medium-sized. The extra height bumps up the tree pruning cost to between $150 and $800.
  • 60 to 80 feet – Once a tree’s height reaches over 60 feet, the tree is classified in the large tree category. Pruning a large tree costs $800 – $1500.
  • Over 80 feet – These are the largest trees in Lansing – professionals put them in the “very large” category. To prune a very large tree, you will need $1500 to $2000.

2. Tree Species

While some tree species will need a few cuts to shape, others will need a whole day of work. The height varies depending on the tree species, with some trees like oaks and white pines growing to over 100 feet while crepe myrtles can mature at heights of 3 to 30 feet.

While most trees will require professional inspection to gauge their tree pruning cost, the following price estimates should give you an idea of what to expect.

Avocado Tree Pruning Cost

While it is possible to find some dwarf avocado trees in Lansing, you can also come across large subspecies. For this reason, avocado tree pruning cost may vary widely. The majority of avocado tree owners, however, spend between $350 and $700.

Olive Tree Pruning Cost

For olive tree flowers to set, they need maximum sunlight. If some of the flowers are blocked by branches, the overall productivity will be lower. Pruning the tree, however, allows maximum sunlight penetration.

Most olive trees fit in the medium-size classification. This generally puts their tree pruning cost between $350 and $700.

Maple Tree Pruning Cost

In Lansing, you will be hard-pressed to find a mature maple tree with a height of below 60 feet. Before reaching maturity, however, the trees are available in a multitude of heights. Depending on how tall your maple is, you should expect to spend between $400 and $1000 on the tree pruning.

Pine Tree Pruning Cost

Most pines will have a height of 40 to 80 feet. Some sub-species, however, can reach 150 feet – a good example here is the white pine. To prune pine trees, you should set aside $200 to $2000.

Crepe Myrtle Pruning Cost

Crepe Myrtle is one of the smaller tree species growing in Lansing – the tree reaches maturity at heights of between 3 and 30 feet. Depending on your crepe myrtle’s height, you should expect a price tag of $75 to $400.

Palm Tree Pruning Cost

The palm tree is available at heights of 20 to 80 feet in Lansing. On the lower end, palms will cost $100 to prune. However, the price increases with height to reach about $1500.

3. Accessibility

Accessibility determines how easy (or hard) it is to reach a specific tree. Trees with minimal accessibility are generally surrounded by other trees, utility lines, houses, and other crucial amenities.

When pruning such trees, dropping branches from the tree crown becomes impossible as this could lead to property damage. More work is done to lower the branches down using ropes – this leads to a higher tree pruning cost.

Tree Accessibility also influences the use of bucket trucks. If the tree has enough clearance, a bucket truck makes the pruning procedure much easier by raising the tree pruners to the crown and keeping them safe. If the tree is inaccessible to a bucket truck, professionals will have to climb it manually – this takes more time and is often riskier.

In Lansing, the inability to use a bucket truck can increase the tree pruning cost by 30% to 40%. When pruning a 60-foot oak tree with the bucket truck, $800 might be enough. If, however, the bucket truck is unusable, the price might increase to reach $1040 to $1,120.

4. Tree Health

If your tree is sick or it has pests, your tree pruning cost will be higher. Diseases and pests weaken the trees’ wood structure, making them riskier to work on. Also, to increase the chances of the tree healing completely, the tree pruners have to take their time to get rid of all affected branches.

For sick trees, arborist services are generally required. The arborist will inspect the tree, determine the best treatment options, and sometimes, prescribe some medications or pesticides. The cost of working with an arborist and paying for the required treatment options can add $50 to $500.

5. Additional Services

Some additional tree services often come up after tree pruning. The majority of these services are usually not included in the quoted tree pruning cost – homeowners often pay for them separately. The services include:

Cleanup and Dumping

As a property owner, you wouldn’t want branches and leaves to be left lying around your home after pruning. Some tree pruners recognize this and include the cleanup cost in the quoted tree pruning cost – however, to avoid surprises, it is a good idea that you consult your service provider.

If the service provider confirms that the cleanup cost needs to be paid separately, be sure to prepare $25 to $100.

Travel Fees

The average tree service provider will have a service zone for which he won’t change a dime in transport costs. However, once the client is located outside this service zone, a travel fee of $0.5 per mile is incurred. Depending on the travel time, you may end up paying a total of $50 to $200.

Factors Affecting the Timing for Tree Pruning

Tree service providers advise against waking up on a random morning and deciding to prune a tree. Instead, you should wait for the dormant season – this is a period when most trees stop growing actively. In Lansing, the dormant period usually starts in autumn and can last through winter. Pruning trees during the dormant season minimizes the possibility of tree damage as growth buds are not in the way.

In some special cases, however, trees may be pruned when they aren’t dormant. The circumstances include:

When the Trees Are Hazardous

After a storm, you may wake up in the morning to find several broken branches hanging dangerously from the tree. Unknown to you, a pest could have eaten through some of the branches, making them weak and susceptible to breaking and falling.

In such scenarios, waiting for the dormant stage puts you at the risk of suffering property damages or injuries. For this reason, you should invite tree pruners to your home immediately.

The Tree Has a Health Problem

If you catch a disease early enough, tree pruning can help stop its spread. While you may still need an arborist to prescribe some medications for complete healing, tree pruning minimizes the chances of tree death. Tree diseases generally spread through trees branch by branch, and waiting for the dormant season could allow the disease to spread throughout the entire tree.

How to Spend Less on Tree Pruning

Tree pruning can be a costly procedure, especially for property owners with a large number of trees. However, the fact that the tree maintenance procedure has a lot of benefits means that it cannot be avoided. You can, however, try to reduce the amount you pay the tree pruners by following these tips:

  • If your tree is small and non-risky, consider DIY pruning
  • Maintain healthy trees on your property to avoid the extra costs associated with pruning diseased trees
  • Regular tree pruning should keep your trees in shape, meaning that professionals will use minimal time on them.
  • If your trees are near powerlines, you can let the power company prune them for free – utility companies do this to increase safety and to eliminate power outages that could result from shorted wires.
  • Tree pruners have less work in the winter period. You can save some money if you reserve the tree pruning for the winter period.
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