Tree trimming is a highly specialized trade requiring a trained arborist’s skills. Sure, any local Joe with a chain saw can hack at a tree no more than 15 ft high, but if you have a large tree, you need a pro.

Tree trimming is expensive because it is dangerous, specialized and requires the skill of a qualified arborist and supporting equipment and crew to get the job done. The overheads of a tree trimming or removal company is $1,200 – $1,550 per day, so they need to make that amount just to break even.

There are a few specific factors that add to the cost of tree trimming that you can help mitigate and save money in the process. Scroll to the bottom to see these money-saving tips.

why is tree trimming so expensive

A reasonable price for tree trimming will depend on the size of the tree, the number of branches being trimmed, and the job’s difficulty.

A medium tree (20 – 30ft. tall) trim will cost between $350 and $720 to remove 10 – 20% of the foliage.

You will need a quote for your specific job from a local arborist to get an accurate price. To be sure it’s a reasonable price, get three quotes from 3 different local services.

Average cost of tree trimming

Tree trimming will normally cost from $360 to $1,450. But again, it will depend on the tree and branches. Trimming a large branch off an Oak tree will cost the same price as trimming a palm tree.

You will need to get an arborist service out to view the tree in question to give an accurate estimate.

Cost to trim a by size

Small tree (15 - 20ft.)

Removing 10 – 20% of the foliage on a small tree will cost $250 to $525. The price difference will depend on access to the tree and obstacles around the tree, which will add time and money.

Medium (20 - 30ft)

A medium size tree will cost between $390 and $720 to trim. Again this is for about 10 – 20% of the foliage. I would love to give a more exact price, but where you live, the state of the tree and obstacles around the tree all play a part.

Large Tree (30 - 50ft.)

To get some branches trimmed from a large tree, you will pay $650 – $1,500. This would include 2 – 3 large branches or several smaller ones representing 10 – 15% of the tree foliage.

Xlarge Trees (50 - 100ft)

Extra large trees are more challenging to give an accurate price. I would say anywhere from $920 – $2,500. Removing several large branches from an oak tree will cost considerably more than trimming a palm tree, so it’s all about the tree and the amount of work that needs to be done.

Height rangePrice Range
Small15 - 20 ft.$250 - $525
Medium20 - 30 ft.$390 - $720
Large30 - 40 ft.$650 - $1,500
Extra Large50 - 100 ft.$920 - $2,500
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Palm tree trimming average cost

The cost to trim a palm tree will depend on the height. Trimming a regular palm 15-20 ft high will cost $120.

If you have a large number of palm trees that need trimming, the average cost will come down per tree. If you have ten trees, it might cost closer to $820 to have them all trimmed.

Tree trimming cost per hour

Tree trimming is a job that is normally priced by the job and not by the hour. The reason for this is arborists work at a different pace with different supporting crew sizes.

How to save money on tree trimming

Trim in winter

Tree trimming is seasonal. Homeowners are out in the garden in Spring and summer and generally call tree services then. If you are a little proactive and get a price in Winter or the off-season, you are likely to get a far better price as companies compete with your work.

Give clear access

Access to the tree is a big one. Sometimes there is little you can do. If the tree is in the back corner behind a shed, it will be more expensive to trim than a tree in the front yard. But talking to your neighbour to give the tree company access through their yard would be an example of giving better access to get a better price for trimming.

Remove obstacles

Again, removing obstacles is sometimes hard, if those obstacles are power lines or your home. But even just removing deck chairs, cards and anything else that is “breakable” and would slow down the trimming process.

Get 3 quotes

This is a big one. A lot of the time the company you get to quote the job is where you will get the biggest savings. Here at GoTreeQuotes, we recommend tree services that have been voted “best value on price and services” by previous users.

  1. Scroll to the top and enter your zip code
  2. Give us a few details about your tree job
  3. Three local tree services will inspect your job and give you an obligation free quote.
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Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.