How well you take care of a tree determines its strength, shape, and lifespan. Taking proper care of a tree guarantees numerous benefits, including an improved aesthetic appeal, lesser chances of the tree turning into a hazard, and higher product quality in the case of fruit trees.
Tree trimming is one of the most important tree maintenance practices. To ensure proper tree trimming, most Fort Worth residents prefer working with tree trimming professionals. As you have probably guessed, professionals cost money – therefore, before inviting them to your home, you should understand the tree trimming cost.
Different trees will have varying trimming costs. However, by considering various factors, estimating the tree trimming cost should be possible. In this guide, we will outline tree trimming costs for different types of trees and also show you the factors that affect these costs.
Average Tree Trimming Cost in Fort Worth
Professional trimmers charge between $80 and $1,000 to trim a single tree in Fort Worth. Most Forth Worth residents, however, find themselves paying $250 to $500 for tree trimming services.
If the tree trimming is straightforward, you might be quoted only $80 for a small tree whose height does not exceed 25 feet. For a medium-sized tree, with a height of between 25 and 50 feet, the average tree trimming cost is generally $175. If your tree is taller than 50 feet, you should expect to spend between $300 and $1000.
These prices are for a single tree. If you have several trees that need trimming on your property, your bill will go up accordingly.
Factors Affecting Tree Trimming Cost in Fort Worth
1. Tree Size
In addition to requiring more time and effort to trim, some tall trees require special equipment. This suggests that the taller trees may have a higher tree trimming cost compared to the shorter trees. Below, we have outlined the prices to expect when pruning trees of varying sizes:
- Under 30 feet tall – Fort Worth residents spend between $75 and $450 trimming trees under 30 feet tall. Examples of such trees include dogwood and Russian olive.
- 30 to 60 feet tall – To trim trees whose height ranges between 30 and 60 feet, you should be prepared to spend $150 to $875. Crab apples tend to grow to a height of 30 to 60 feet.
- Over 60 feet – Trees whose height exceeds 60 feet – for example, pine and red oak – will cost between $200 and $1000 to trim.
If your tree is sitting next to your house or it has powerlines weaving through some of its branches, more time and preparation will be needed to trim it. When trimming trees sitting next to sensitive structures, the professionals will have to rope down the branches to avoid causing damage. This means that trees featuring poor accessibility will have a higher tree trimming cost compared to trees in an open field.
Tree trimmers nowadays use bucket trucks to make their work easier when trimming trees. If your tree’s location cannot allow the use of a bucket truck, the trimming cost may increase. To give you an example, trimming an 80-foot oak tree costs approximately $1,050 with the bucket truck. However, if the oak tree is inaccessible and a bucket truck cannot be used, someone may have to climb the tree manually – this can increase the tree trimming cost to over $1,400.
3. Tree Stability
If the trees you intend to trim have dealt with some significant trauma recently – for example, construction activities near the roots or a lightning strike – their stability might be compromised. This means that the trimmers might be forced to put additional support in place – for example, cabling – to support the tree during and after trimming. Trees with stability issues have a higher trimming cost compared to those that are stable and do not feature any safety risks.
4. Illnesses and Diseases
Tree trimming cost is generally higher for trees with health problems. This has to do with the trees being riskier to work on and prescriptions being required to facilitate the tree’s healing process. If your tree has moist cracks, mushroom/fungi, or abiotic damage, your trimming cost will be higher than the cost of trimming trees that are 100% healthy.
Similar to diseases, pests lead to an increase in tree removal cost. Leading to weakening, rotting, and fungal growth, pests make trees weaker and hence riskier to work on. In addition to the trimming, pest-infested trees often require pesticides to kill the pests and encourage the tree to heal itself.
The cost of the pesticides is usually not included in the tree trimming quote – this means that you may need to spend extra money on the solutions needed to get rid of the pests. Some of the pests that increase the tree trimming cost in Fort Worth include:
- Emerald ash borer – Common on ash trees, this pest can kill a large number of ash trees if not taken care of.
- Ants – These are an indicator a tree has some sort of foothold damage – for example, the tree’s foothold could be rotting.
- Mites – While they have tiny bodies, their suction capabilities can weaken any tree.
- Shield-lice – Attacking the tree’s leaves, shield lice often need expert attention to eliminate them. These pests become noticeable when their secretions form spots that resemble a shield on the tree bark.
- Woodpeckers – These pests turn rotting trees into their homes. If you find woodpeckers on your tree, this is an indicator that your tree may need professional help.
- Wood destroying insects – These breed in the tree’s wood, causing significant damage to the wood core and the bark. This increases the chances of fungi invasion.
Most tree trimming companies will have an area of service for which they do not charge a travel fee. If your tree is located outside this area, you will have to incur a travel fee. The easiest way to avoid paying the travel fee is to work with professionals closest to your tree.
Is Turning Tree Trimming into a DIY Project a Good Idea?
If you have small trees in your home and you have tree trimming experience, you can trim the trees yourself. However, if you have bigger trees or you don’t have tree trimming experience, working with professional tree trimmers may be the best solution.
Without proper experience, you will be risking damaging your tree irreparably. When working on taller trees, you will be risking suffering heavy injuries and damaging a significant portion of your home if the trimming process goes wrong.
If you feel like turning tree trimming into a DIY project may be the best way to go, the following section should help you out:
Get the Right Tree Trimming Gear
Tree trimming professionals in Fort Worth have all the necessary tree trimming equipment. Working with these professionals will help you avoid spending money on trimming gear.
However, to convert tree trimming into a DIY project, you will need several tools. These include:
- Loppers and hard-held pruners – Ideal for simple jobs, these have an average cost of $40 to $50.
- Gas pole pruner – This is more efficient. On average, gas pole pruners cost $180.
- Heavy-duty gas trimmer – These are extremely pricey.
- Safety gear – To protect your head and eyes, you may need a helmet and safety goggles. To protect your hands, you will need to invest in a pair of safety gloves.
The cumulative cost of all the tools needed when trimming a tree may be out of some property owner’s budget limit. If this is the case, working with professional tree trimmers may be the best way to go.
If your trees are tall, trimming them will put you at a higher risk. Climbing these trees without a safety harness places you at the risk of falling. If you are lucky, you will sustain serious injuries from a serious fall. In extreme cases, you may end up losing your life.
The tools used to cut branches when trimming a tree are generally sharp. Even the slightest mistake could cause significant cuts.
When working alone, tree trimmers rarely have control over where the cut branches fall. The branches may end up falling on your house, important structures, or someone walking under the trees. This could leave you with significant repair costs, lawsuits, and injury treatment costs.
Working with a team of professional tree trimmers helps you eliminate all these risks. Their experience and modern equipment will make the trimming process safe for you, your home, and the surroundings.
Tree Trimming Tips
If you have considered the cost of tree trimming tools and confirmed that it is within your budget limits and you have determined that you will be able to avoid accidents, then converting tree trimming into a Do It Yourself (DIY) project may be a good idea. With the following tips, you should be able to do an impressive job:
1. Wait for the Dormant Season
Wait for the period when your trees aren’t growing actively to trim them. This makes it much easier for you to cut the right branches. The only time you should trim the trees during their active growth period is when you are trying to slow down the growth rate.
2. Branch Size is Crucial
Before sawing off a branch, determine its diameter. Branches whose diameter is below 5 cm are safe to cut. However, branches with a diameter of between 5 and 10 cm should be considered more carefully. Branches whose diameter exceeds 10 cm should be allowed to remain on the tree – only remove these branches if they pose a safety risk.
3. Consider Branch Angle
Focus on removing branches forming weak, V-shaped angles with the tree trunk. Allow branches forming a U-shaped angle to remain on the tree.
Trim your tree to have a ratio of about two-thirds between its living crown and the tree trunk. Avoid trimming more than 25% of the tree crown in one go.
5. Remove Young Branches
Younger branches feature a lower risk of scarring. Besides, they are much easier to manage. For this reason, put more focus on sawing off younger branches when trimming your tree.
6. Avoid Trimming the Branches too Short or Too Long
Cut the branches in a way that does not remove the branch’s collar or leave a huge stub on the tree trunk.
Steps to Follow When Trimming Your Tree
To avoid injuring the tree or damaging it irreparably, you will need to follow the steps below when cutting a branch:
- Before you initiate cutting, find the location where the branch collar grows from the tree trunk.
- Next, locate the branch’s ridge – this will be available on the branch’s upper surface.
- Cut the branch outside its ridge, angling the cut down and away from the stem to avoid injuring the trunk.
If you are dealing with long limbs, you will need to use the 3-cut technique:
- Angle your first notch away from the part of the branch you would like to keep.
- Make a second cut inside your branch’s crotch, above the branch ridge.
- Make a third and final cut parallel to the branch’s ridge. The final cut should cut through your stem, parallel to the bark ridge.
Saving Money on Tree Trimming
When it comes to tree trimming, you can take advantage of the following tips to save yourself some money:
- Utility companies can help you with trimming trees sitting next to power lines for free. This is done to improve safety.
- Regular trimming will reduce the chances of branch overgrowth. This reduces the amount you will have to spend on the tree trimming cost.
- Avoiding waiting for tree problems to get worse so that you can fix them. The more complicated the tree issues, the higher the cost of fixing them.
- Watering and fertilizing your trees can help improve their health. As noted in this article, weak, unhealthy, and unstable trees have a higher tree trimming cost compared to healthy trees.