Tree pruning is much more than trimming a branch here or snipping a twig there just for the look of it. The activity helps get rid of weak, overgrown, damaged, diseased, and insect-infested branches. In addition to giving your trees a more polished look, tree pruning helps boost the overall health of the plants. Each time you prune your trees, you are basically investing in their long and healthy life.
If you are new to tree pruning, you may not be very familiar with the tree pruning cost. In this guide, we will help you figure out the amount of money you need to have at hand when you decide to invite tree pruners over to your place.
Professional Tree Pruning Cost
The average tree pruning cost is approximately $429. Most people, however, may have to part with anywhere between $180 and $681 to cater for the pruning of a single tree. Although tree pruning will eat into your funds, it is a crucial part of keeping your trees both strong and healthy. If you ignore tree pruning, your trees will end up growing too dense – his will keep the sunlight from reaching the inner branches and rainwater from reaching the roots. The tree won’t get enough water and since its inner branches cannot access sunlight, photosynthesis won’t be possible. While the tree may appear lush on the outside, it will be dying from the inside.
Tree Pruning Cost Factors
The tree pruning cost varies depending on a wide range of factors. The factors include:
- Tree size
- Tree location
- Tree type
- Tree health
Factors Influencing Tree Pruning Timing
1. AestheticsPruning is an ideal way of improving the appearance of your tree. The need to have aesthetically appealing trees on your compound may affect the tree pruning timing.
2. SafetyIf your tree features broken or dead branches, you may want to get rid of the branches before they fall on someone or cause any damage to your property. If tree branches grow too close to utility lines (say, power lines), they could be a risk to you and your family. If the branches start obstructing your vision while you are driving, they could increase the potential of an accident. Scheduling tree pruning as soon as possible can help you eliminate all these risks.
3. HealthIt is possible to fix numerous tree health problems via pruning. For example, you can cut a diseased part off the tree before the disease starts spreading. Expert tree pruners recommend that tree pruning be conducted when the tree is not growing actively (while the tree is dormant). Different trees will have varying dormant and growth periods. Unless the tree is posing a risk or it has a health complication that can be solved via pruning, wait for the dormant season before pruning the tree.
Tree Pruning Cost for Large Trees
Compared to small trees, large trees require more work during pruning. They have more branches which are usually more difficult to reach because of the tree’s width and height. All this tells you that large trees may cost you more money than the small to average trees. To prune trees whose height exceeds 60 feet, you should expect to pay an average of $800 – $1000. This price is largely dependent on the number of trees you want to be pruned and their location. Note: Extremely tall trees, may incur further costs.
Additional Tree Pruning Cost Considerations
In most cases, you will need to pay more than just the cost of cutting branches off the tree and lowering them down. One of the most common extra cost considerations is the travel fee. You will need to pay this fee if the tree pruner has to travel a very long distance before getting to your property. In some scenarios, you may also have to pay for things like equipment/materials, labor, and other factors such as the location of the tree, pesticide application, and disease control. To avoid surprises, always ask the tree pruning professionals to include all the extra costs they may charge in the quote.
We had noted earlier that different trees will enter the dormant stage at varying times. While this still stands, we would like to point out that there is a simple seasonal pattern that you can follow for the general tree care. Below, we will look at the seasonal pattern:
Most trees will be growing actively in the spring season. For this reason, pruning trees in the spring won’t be a good idea. During the spring season, your focus should be on watering and fertilizing trees so that they can grow healthy and strong in the coming summer season. Also, if you have wanted to plant additional trees, the spring is the ideal time to put your seedlings in the selected spots.
When the summer season arrives, the best thing you can do is leave the trees alone. Conduct minor trimming only when it is absolutely necessary, for example, when you have to remove hazardous branches. If the weather is unusually dry, consider watering your trees. If, however, you do water the grass regularly, your tree may not need extra watering.
When the fall season comes around, most of the trees go into their dormant stage. This gives you an ideal opportunity to perform major pruning operations:
- You can remove the diseased and dead branches.
- Trim the sides and the top to ensure that the tree has the ability to access enough sunlight.
- Conduct aesthetic pruning to give the tree an ideal shape.
- Generally, complete any pruning work that will need more than just a couple of snips.
In the winter season, leave the healthy and strong trees alone. If some of your trees cannot withstand the snow and the cold, implement protection measures. The winter season is an ideal time to fell any dead or dying trees. Also, if you have trees that are hanging dangerously, cut them down before they damage your home or hurt someone. If you still have trees that are in their dormant phase in the winter season, pruning them may be a good idea. Since professional tree pruners are generally less busy, you may enjoy a lower tree pruning cost.
Fruit Tree Pruning
Unless you want to jeopardize the quantity and quality of fruits you get from your trees, fruit tree pruning is something you cannot ignore. Below, we will tell you how and when to prune different types of fruit trees.
Apple TreesPrune these trees either in the early winter or the late spring. During the first 6 years of the Apple tree’s life, it is crucial that you prune the tree consistently – this will teach the tree to grow in an upwards, conical shape. Focus on raising the tree’s base by pruning its lower branches. Get rid of any limbs that aren’t growing upwards. You do not have to prune older trees to train them to grow upwards. However, pruning them will help them maintain the conical shape and improve apple growth.
Lemon TreesThe ideal time to start sawing unneeded branches off a lemon tree is right after the fruit-bearing season ends. Start by getting rid of the diseased or dead branches. Go ahead and cut off branches whose thickness does not exceed that of a pencil. To prevent insect attacks, cut off all the branches which are touching the ground. Thin the lemon tree to ensure that the sunlight can reach all its branches.
Plum TreePrune the plum trees in the summer, preferably, between June & August, on a yearly basis. This will help you prevent fungal infections which result from wet weather. Plan to handle the pruning on a clear and dry day – the moisture in the atmosphere should be as minimal as possible. When pruning the plums, get rid of the lower branches. Thin the tree to make sure that every fruit-bearing stem has access to enough sunlight.
Cherry TreesThe ideal time to prune the cherry tree is in the early fall. Remove the suckers/water sprouts. Proceed to get rid of all the other branches which take away from the beauty and growth of the cherry tree. Do not cut branches that meet the tree’s trunk. Also, take care to avoid making numerous small cuts all over the cherry tree.
Fig TreeFig tree pruning is quite tricky, especially if you are an absolute beginner. Once you transplant the fig tree, you will need to prune the tree a couple of times over the first winter. The purpose of doing this is to help the tree establish a strong root system. As time goes by, start pruning your tree such that it grows horizontal and low branches. Select 4 to 6 main branches to hold your fruits. Get rid of the suckers from the base of the tree.
DIY Tree Pruning
If you are currently on a budget, the tree pruning cost quoted by most professionals may be too high for you. If you are familiar with tree pruning basics and have access to tree pruning equipment, you can cross out the tree pruning cost from your budget. Below, we will offer you some tree pruning tips and techniques.
Tree Pruning Tips and Techniques
Factors to Consider When Choosing Branches to Cut
SizeSize should be the first thing you check before cutting a branch. Branches whose diameter does not exceed 2 inches (5 cm) are okay to cut. Branches whose diameter ranges between 2 and 4 inches (5 and 10 cm) should be considered carefully before being cut. Any branch whose diameter exceeds 4 inches (10 cm) should stay on the tree. Remove it only if it has become a safety hazard or diseased.
AngleBefore cutting branches off, check the angle they make with the rest of the branches. Branches featuring a V-angle can be cut. Allow branches featuring the U-angle to stay on the tree. Note: When pruning trees, you need to aim for a 2:3 ratio between the tree crown size and the tree’s height. You should avoid cutting more than 25% of the tree crown in a single go.
Tree Pruning Techniques
Crown ThinningThis involves removing excess limbs (branches) from the outer edges and the top of the tree – this allows the remaining branches to grow strong. Remove branches that rub or cross against the other branches. Be sure to keep even spaces between the tree’s lateral branches.
Crown RaisingThis involves removing excess foliage and branches from the bottom of the tree – this is done to clear the view on sidewalks and roads. What you need to keep in mind when using the crown raising technique is that the branches have to be on at least 67% of the tree’s height.
Crown ReductionThis involves taking off foliage and branches from the treetop. For this technique to be considered, it has to be necessitated by the safety of the property and people or the tree health. Note: Before cutting any branch, identify its collar, present at the base. Next, identify the branch ridge which should be parallel to the chosen branch. Cut away from the branch’s collar and outside the ridge.
Tools and Materials Used When Pruning TreesTo prune any tree successfully, you will need to have access to the following tools:
- Bypass pruner – This has a sharp, curved blade featuring the ability to cut neatly. It is ideal when you are trying to cut narrow-angled stems.
- Looping shears – These are ideal for bigger stems and they offer added leverage.
- Pruning saws – Fine-toothed pruning saws work ideally for branches whose diameter is less than 2 inches while coarse-toothed pruning saws are perfect for branches whose diameter exceeds 3 inches.
- Pole pruners – These are perfect for removing branches existing up high, in a situation where using the ladder could damage the tree or may be inconvenient. They are basically regular pruners, set on a pole and activated via a rope mechanism.
- Hedge clippers – Just like the name suggests, these are ideal for cutting thin stems usually present on hedges.