Updated Oct 12, 2022
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Are you a homeowner who is about to begin a major landscaping project? If so, you should know how to properly trim and prune to ensure the healthy trees on your property. Keep reading to learn how much it costs to trim trees, the steps or trimming and pruning, and tips for undertaking DIY landscaping projects.
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When determining whether to perform tree trimming on your own or hire a professional, it comes down to price and safety.
On average, tree trimming costs $460. Most customers pay between $200 and $760 for tree trimming.
Tree trimming for trees under 30 feet costs as low as $75 and tops out close to $400. Large trees cost more, however. Trees measuring more than 60 feet can cost up to $1,500 per trim.
Although the terms “tree trimming” and “tree pruning” are regularly used interchangeably, they aren’t the same thing. Here’s how you can distinguish between the two terms:
Tree trimming refers to the act of cutting overgrown branches or leaves for aesthetic purposes. It additionally assists in propelling the proper growth of a plant.
Tree pruning is the process of cutting back dying, cluttered, and dead branches and leaves on your trees. It is a selective process that takes into account the whole structure of trees and helps to promote their growth and wellness. Pruning is usually used to remove infected and diseased branches, which helps to protect trees from infections.
Tree trimming is necessary to prevent old or weak branches from falling and causing injury or damaging property. Here are a few reasons why you should trim your trees each winter.
Safety—By removing broken and dead tree limbs before they fall, you avoid the potential for injury — either to yourself or a passerby. You also prevent tree limbs from falling and damaging your car or house. If you notice a dead tree branch at any time of year, cut it down or have it removed.
Appearance—Another reason to trim your trees is to keep them looking beautiful. A good rule of thumb is to trim trees according to their natural shape rather than trimming them to grow in an unnatural shape or form.
Tree Health—When done right, trimming a tree to remove diseased or dead limbs is an effective way to keep your trees healthy. Annual tree trimming encourages proper growth and allows trees to maintain a strong structure. Even removing a few leaves and smaller branches can improve tree health by allowing more air and sunlight to filter through.
When pruning or trimming a tree, it’s safe to remove the following branches:
Here is a list of materials you need when tree trimming:
Before trimming a tree, gather the necessary tools and make sure all supplies are clean and sharp. Rinsing them with warm water and soap and rubbing them with a good oil stone (for sharpness) should do the trick.
Pruning is an important process that helps to keep your trees healthy. It is important to keep using proper techniques when pruning because an improperly done pruning job can actually increase your tree’s susceptibility to disease and decay. If you really mess up, you might kill your trees and have to call a professional for tree removal.
The three-cut pruning technique helps you make clean and effective pruning cuts:
Most fully-grown trees should be pruned and trimmed every 3-5 years and younger trees should be trimmed every 2-3 years. Fruit trees should be pruned and trimmed yearly and some evergreens can go years without needing to be pruned or trimmed at all.
The best time to take on this task is in the late winter or early spring after the coldest days have passed and just before new buds are about to form. However, you don’t want to trim your trees when the weather is extremely cold.
If you prune in the fall, tree growth is stimulated, which might not be ideal before the harsh, winter months. Fungi also tend to spread more frequently in the fall, negatively affecting healthy trees after the pruning or trimming process.
Additionally, it’s not a great idea to prune your trees when it’s raining or damp since moisture can breed bacteria and diseases. For the best results, wait until the sun is shining and tree branches are dry.
Since tree trimming can be dangerous, here are a few safety tips to keep you out of harm’s way during the process.
By now, you probably can’t wait to begin your tree maintenance project! Don’t forget to follow the tips presented in this article and make sure to call a professional if you are ever in doubt.
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