Tree Trimming Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

One of the easiest ways to make a property attractive, trimming shapes tree crowns, removes dead branches and opens up properties by removing excess branches. By making your home look attractive, the tree maintenance procedure helps boost the overall property value.

Tree trimming carries a range of risks – these include falling from the tree crown, suffering cuts, and dropping the cut branches on buildings leading to property damage. Homeowners, however, can avoid all these risks by working with professional tree trimmers. Since professional trimming costs money, you should understand the tree trimming cost to expect so that you can plan your budget.

Average Tree Trimming Cost in Detroit

Most tree owners spend $80 to $350 on tree trimming. Medium-sized trees will have a cost of $150 to $250 depending on how complicated and/or risky they are.

Property owners with large trees spend $300 to $1000. Factors like accessibility often affect the tree trimming cost – for example, if a tree is not accessible to a bucket truck, the tree trimming cost may increase by 30% to 40%. In the following section, we will take you through the factors that affect the cost of trimming a tree.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Trimming a Tree in Detroit

1. Tree Height

The tallest trees have the biggest branches. Their crowns are wider and working on them takes more time.

Most of the shorter trees will have smaller branches – cutting them is much easier. Also, the shorter trees are less complicated to trim since the risk is much less and climbing up is generally easier. This generally means that the taller trees cost more compared to the smaller trees.

Below, we have the cost breakdown according to tree height:

  • Over 60 feet – Trees taller than 60 feet are classified in the large tree category. Trimming these trees costs $200 to $1000.
  • 30 to 60 feet – These trees are considered medium-sized in Detroit. Professionals charge between $150 and $875 to trim these trees.
  • Below 30 feet – Trees under 30 feet have a tree trimming cost of between $80 and $400.

2. Accessibility

Trees standing on open grounds are extremely easy to trim. Their branches can be cut and dropped down without needing control.

Trees surrounded by important utilities, however, are riskier to work on. The cut branches have to be lowered down slowly – ropes and heavy machinery are often employed to make the procedure more manageable. This generally raises the tree trimming cost.

Accessibility also affects the use of bucket trucks when trimming a tree. A bucket truck makes the entire procedure safer and more manageable. Instead of carrying numerous safety gear and climbing tools, the professionals just get in the bucket truck and get raised to the tree crown – they are held here until they finish the procedure.

In some properties in Detroit, trees are surrounded by houses, utilities, and other trees. Using a bucket truck becomes impossible in such circumstances. This forces the tree trimmers to climb up the tree – the higher risk and the additional time needed by the professionals increases the overall tree trimming cost by 30% to 40%. If you had been charged $1000 to trim a tree with a bucket truck, the cost may increase to $1,300 t0 $1,400 if a bucket truck cannot be used.

3. Tree Health

Every living thing – this includes trees – are affected by diseases. Tree maintenance procedures like tree trimming are made more complicated by tree diseases.

Some tree diseases will impact branches, making them weaker and susceptible to breaking. When working on such trees, more caution – meaning more safety gear – will be needed to help the professional avoid falling.

Once a professional tree trimmer notices that your tree has a health problem, he will have to take time to remove all the affected branches. This means more man-hours spent on a single tree, which increase the tree trimming cost.

After trimming, a professional arborist may be needed to diagnose the tree, determining the disease and/or pests bothering the tree. The arborist will also prescribe the best pesticides/medications. The medications and the arborist service may add $50 – $500 to the quoted tree trimming cost.

4. Stability

The stability of a tree is often affected by a wide range of conditions. In Detroit, the following conditions are the most common:

  • Fungi – Consuming the tree’s crucial nutrients, fungi often lead to tree weakness over time.
  • Cracks – Cracks won’t appear on your tree trunk unless the tree has a significant health issue. Large cracks are a good indicator that the tree has stability problems. If you notice mushrooms growing from the cracks, there is a chance that your tree is rotting from the inside.
  • Weather damage – Storms can destabilize trees. Heavy winds can break tree trunks or force trees to lean dangerously.

All these issues pose a significant risk. To decrease the chances of the tree falling, stabilization mechanisms – such as cabling – may have to be implemented. This will increase the total tree trimming cost.

5. Travel Fees

Tree trimmers have zones in which they operate without charging a travel fee. It is, however, common for tree services providers to be asked to handle projects outside their service zones – this leads to increased travel times and bigger fuel budgets.

To compensate for this, the tree trimmers charge a travel fee of approximately $0.5 per mile. Depending on the distance, the cost can add up to between $50 and $200.

6. Number of Trees

Trimming one tree is generally more costly than trimming a group of trees together. For example, trimming one 60-feet oak tree could cost you $700. However, if you would like to trim 10 trees with the same height together, you may be charged a total of $6500. This means that you will be saving $50 on each tree.

Tree trimming professionals charge a higher cost when trimming a single tree because of various fixed costs that often require the same amount of money whether they are trimming one or multiple trees. The fixed costs include license costs, permit prices, travel fees, and fuel costs.

Tree Trimming Cost per Hour

It is very rare to find a tree trimming company that charges for their services on a per hour basis. This is understandable considering that a wide range of factors generally affects the tree trimming process. For example, a company with more workers and more advanced tools will spend much less time on tree trimming compared to a company with fewer, less experienced workers and less advanced tools.

Most tree trimming service providers, however, will figure in an average of $25 to $50 per hour for each of their workers. Regardless, you will probably get a quotation with a flat rate – this will compensate for the time spent on the road, equipment use, overhead, licensing, and insurance fees.

DIY Vs. Hiring a Tree Trimming Service

Tree trimming is more complicated than most homeowners assume. Without proper safety gear, the chances of getting injures are generally high. If you have medium-sized and large trees in your home – that is, any tree taller than 30 feet – it is always a good idea to work with professional tree trimmers.

While you may be able to avoid injuries, you probably do not own all the equipment needed to handle tree trimming procedures. If you intend to buy them, you may end up spending thousands. If you opt to rent them, the cost might be lower – however, if the project will take you days, you may spend more money than you would have spent if you had hired professionals.

Equipment Costs and Fees

If this is the first time you are trimming trees, you will need to get the basic equipment outlined below:

  • Hand-held pruners and loppers: $30 to $50
  • Ladder: $150 to $500
  • Safety gear: $50 to $150
  • Heavy-duty gas tree trimmer: $50+ per day to rent
  • Gas pole pruner: $150 to $300
  • Dumping costs: $25 to $100


Tree trimming is a risky procedure, with the risks increasing with tree size:

  • Without a proper safety harness, you will be risking falling and breaking your bones
  • Sharp pruning tools could inflict deep cuts on you
  • Property damage is one of the major risks for those with trees near their homes

DIY Tree Trimming Tips

If you have small, non-risky trees, you will need to follow the tips below when trimming them:

  • Trim your trees when they enter their dormant stage.
  • Branches with a diameter of less than 5 cm are safe to remove. Branches with a diameter of 10+ cm should only be removed to improve safety or the health of the tree.
  • Branches forming a strong U-shaped angle should remain on the tree. Branches forming a weak V-shaped angle with the tree trunk can be removed.
  • After finishing each tree, sanitize your tools before moving to the next. Rubbing alcohol with a 70% concentration is an ideal sanitizer. Avoid using dish wash or any other form of soap as this may not kill the germs.
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