Improving the appearance of a tree, getting rid of diseased branches, and eliminating safety hazards on a property, pruning is an important tree maintenance practice. Pruning a tree works best when handled by professionals – they will know how to remove the right branches and how to keep the falling branches from damaging your home.
To work with professionals, however, you will need to spend some of your money on the tree pruning cost. When planning a tree pruning project, understanding the costs to expect ahead of time puts you in a better planning position. In this article, we will take a deeper look at the tree pruning cost, outlining the factors that affect this cost and showing you the cost estimates for different types of trees.
Average Tree Pruning Cost in Bakersfield
Professionals in Bakersfield charge between $200 and $1,500 to assist with tree pruning. The average tree pruning cost is generally $460.
Considering the benefits of professional tree pruning, spending this amount on your trees is worth it. Professionals will give your trees an ideal shape, improving the beauty and value of your property. They will handle the pruning process expertly, eliminating the possibility of property damage and injuries. Compared to spending your money on hospital bills or home repairs, letting professionals prune your trees is a much wiser decision.
Factors Affecting Tree Pruning Cost in Bakersfield
1. Tree Size
Bigger trees often have complicated shapes, more branches that are thicker, and they generally feature a higher risk. Unlike shorter trees, taller trees often require special tree pruning tools. This tells you that taller trees will have a higher tree pruning cost than the short trees.
If your yard has trees whose height does not exceed 30 feet, you will spend from $75 to $400 on the tree pruning cost. For trees with a height range of 30 to 60 feet, professionals charge from $150 to $800. The tree pruning cost for trees taller than 60 feet may exceed $1,500.
2. Tree Health
Trees with health complications or those going through a pest infestation are generally riskier to work on. For example, if the tree’s branches have been weakened by pests or diseases, they can break unexpectedly. This means that the tree pruners may need special tools to minimize the chances of branch breakage and to improve the overall safety.
In addition to the pruning, trees with health issues need additional services. For example, an arborist – that is, someone with knowledge and experience on tree health – may need to inspect the tree and recommend ideal pesticides or prescriptions.
From all this, one thing is clear – compared to healthy trees, unhealthy trees have a higher tree pruning cost. This cost is, however, worth it considering that the professionals will help restore your trees’ health.
3. Type of Tree
Tree height is largely dependent on the tree species – some species are generally taller than others. Also, different trees will feature varying pruning needs, with some requiring special tools to make the pruning process safer. Below, we have outlined the tree pruning cost for various tree species commonly found in Bakersfield:
- Pine tree– The average pine will grow to a height of 40 to 100 feet. However, some special species – for example, white pine – can grow to over 150 feet. Often, pine trees feature complications that make the tree pruning process much harder. On average, you should expect to be charged between $100 and $1500 by professional pine tree pruners
- Queen palm– Growing to a height of between 20 and 80 feet, palm trees have a trimming cost of $100 to $1,500.
- Fruit trees– Fruit trees rarely exceed 30 feet. Compared to taller trees, fruit trees are much more affordable to prune – they have a tree pruning cost of between $100 and $400.
- Crepe myrtle trees– These trees grow to a height of between 3 and 30 feet, depending on the species. On average, Bakersfield residents spend between $75 and $400 on pruning their crepe myrtle trees.
Different tree species carry varying levels of hardness. Often, hardwood trees take longer to prune compared to the softwood trees. This is another crucial tree type factor that may influence the tree pruning cost.
4. Tree Location
If the tree you intend to prune is sitting on an open field, its pruning cost might be lower than that of a tree sitting just next to your house. Accessible trees are much easier to prune – for example, the tree pruners can use bucket trucks to reach the top branches and then drop the branches without having to worry about property damage.
For trees growing next to important structures or utility lines, the tree pruners will have to rope down the cut branches. If the tree’s location is inaccessible with a bucket truck, someone will have to climb up the tree manually. This increases the tree pruning cost for inaccessible trees.
Large Tree Pruning Cost
As noted earlier, big trees carry a higher pruning cost. For example, if your trees have a height of 60 feet, you will spend from $800 to $1,800 on the tree pruning cost. This is understandable considering the branches on large trees are bigger, the trees have complicated shapes, and the tree pruners have to bring tools they wouldn’t bring when pruning shorter trees. If your trees are extremely tall – they are over 100 feet tall – the tree pruning professionals may require you to pay over $2000 for them to prune your tree.
Additional Tree Pruning Cost Considerations
In Bakersfield, some services aren’t included in the tree pruning quote. If you would like the tree pruners to offer the services, you may incur some additional fees.
It is not uncommon for tree pruners to charge for the labor and materials needed to prune a tree separately. If your tree is fighting a disease or pest infestation, the cost of treating these problems will be separate from the tree pruning cost.
If the tree pruners have to drive for a long time to get to your home, you may incur a travel fee. Most professionals have an area of operation for which they do not charge the travel fee. If they have to work outside this area, the tree owner will have to pay for the gas consumed on the road.
Factors Influencing Tree Pruning Timing
To generate maximum results from pruning procedures, professional tree pruners often consider several factors before scheduling the tree pruning. The main factors considered include:
- Safety– Dead branches and broken limbs can turn trees into hazards. To eliminate the possibility of property damage or injuries, pruning is often done immediately when a tree poses safety risks.
- Health– If you have pest-infested or diseased branches on your tree, these need to be removed immediately. This will keep the health complications from spreading to other parts of your tree or the neighboring trees.
- Aesthetics– Tree pruning is often done to improve the tree’s looks. This results in improved property value. If you are trying to improve your property’s value, you can schedule the pruning to coincide with when you need your property to have maximum aesthetic appeal.
How Seasonal Factors Affect Tree Pruning
Arborists encourage tree owners to schedule tree pruning in the dormant stage – that is when the trees are not growing actively. Different trees have varying timelines for their dormant stage.
However, through years of observing different types of trees in Bakersfield, arborists managed to come up with a simple pattern that homeowners can use:
Most trees in Bakersfield grow actively in the spring. Pruning your trees during this period is not recommended. The spring is the best season for planting new trees, watering, and fertilizing the trees in your yard.
In the summer, most trees are still growing actively. For this reason, you should avoid pruning them. In most sections of Bakersfield, the weather is usually very dry. To keep the trees healthy, water them.
The fall is the best season to prune your trees – this is the period when most trees in Bakersfield enter the dormant stage. Conducting major pruning operations allows you to improve your tree’s health and aesthetic appeal.
Some tree species enter the dormant stage in this season. Since tree service providers generally have less work in this season, they charge a lower tree pruning cost – this means that pruning trees in this season may be economical.
Trees that are not in their dormant stage should be left alone. However, while the strong and healthy trees may not need any assistance in winter, the weaker trees may require protection from extreme cold.
DIY Tree Pruning
DIY tree pruning – especially for tree owners with zero experience and those without the right tree pruning tools – is generally not a good idea. However, for homeowners with tree pruning tools and experience, turning tree pruning into a DIY project might be a good idea. Keep in mind that if your trees are too tall, next to utilities or buildings, or feature a lot of risks, working with professionals might still be the best thing to do.
In the following section, we will outline some tips you should keep in mind when pruning your trees. These will work well for small and non-risky trees:
How to Cut the Right Branches
1. Consider the Branch Size
You can cut branches whose diameter does not exceed 2 inches. If your branches have a diameter of between 2 and 4 inches, consider them more carefully before removing them. Branches with a diameter of more than 4 inches should stay on your tree – the only time you should remove these branches is if they are infested with pests, diseased, dead, broken, or unsafe.
2. Check the Trunk-Branch Angle
You can saw off branches forming a weak V-angle with the trunk. Allow branches forming a strong U-shaped angle with the tree trunk to remain on the tree.
3. Observe the Tree Height to Tree Crown ratio
It is recommended that you avoid pruning more than a quarter of the tree crown in one go. When pruning the trees, focus on maintaining a ratio of 2:3 between the tree crown and the tree height.
How to Cut a Branch
When cutting a branch, you will need to start by identifying its collar. The collar will be available at the branch’s base. Next, find the branch ridge – this will be parallel with the branch. Carefully, cut the branch outside the ridge and away from the collar.
Types of Tree Pruning
Three major types of pruning are often used. They include:
This is the process of removing excess branches from the treetop and the outer edges. It gives the remaining limbs enough room to develop and grow stronger and healthier.
When crown thinning, you should focus on removing branches that rub against each other or cross each other. Maintain even spaces between the branches.
This is the process of removing branches from the tree’s bottom. It is perfect when the tree branches block the driveway, roads, and sidewalks. When raising the crown, you should focus on keeping the branches at a height of 67%.
This procedure involves the removal of branches and foliage from the treetop. This pruning technique is rarely used. It is only ideal for when a tree has health problems or safety concerns that can only be eliminated through crown reduction.
Tree Pruning Tools
You will need the following tools to prune your trees:
- Looping shears– These are perfect for large branches.
- Bypass pruner– Ideal for narrow-angled limbs, these sharp and curved blades make the pruning process much smoother.
- Pruning saws– If the branches on your trees have a diameter of 2 inches and below, you can use fine-toothed pruning saws. You will need coarse-toothed saws to prune trees whose diameter exceeds 3 inches.
- Hedge clippers –These will be effective if you have small hedges on your compound.
Note: If you are pruning multiple trees, you will need to sanitize your pruning tools when moving from one tree to the other. Use a sanitizer with a 70% concentration of rubbing alcohol – this will be effective in killing germs.