Tree Trimming Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

While trees are meant to improve the aesthetic appeal of homes, they lose their shape and beauty over time. Trees with overgrown branches, dead limbs, or broken branches won’t improve your property’s value – instead, they will make your home lose value. Luckily enough, there is a simple solution that you can apply – simply trim your trees and they will have their impressive looks. Tree trimming cost is generally a small price to pay for a better looking and more valuable property.

If this is the first time you are trimming your trees, you may not be familiar with tree trimming cost. Planning a successful project involves understanding the costs to expect – you wouldn’t want to invite tree trimming professionals to your home and then realize that you aren’t prepared financially.

Different trees have varying tree trimming costs. These costs are generally affected by a series of factors. In this guide, we will take a deeper look at the tree trimming cost to expect for different trees.

Average Tree Trimming Cost in Bakersfield

The cost of trimming trees ranges from $80 to $1,000. On average, however, most tree owners in Bakersfield spend between $250 and $500 on tree trimming operations.

For a small tree – that is, a tree whose height is below 25 feet – with zero complications, the price might be as low as $80. As the tree height increases to fall between 25 feet and 50 feet, the tree trimming cost increases to $175. Trees with a height of over 50 feet have a trimming cost of $300 to $1000.

The prices outlined above are for one tree. If your goal is to trim several trees, your tree trimming cost will go up accordingly.

Factors Affecting Tree Trimming Cost in Bakersfield

1. Tree Size

The taller the tree, the higher its trimming cost. This is because taller trees are generally riskier to work on, they often require specialized tools, and they require more time and effort to trim. Listed below are the tree trimming cost estimates for varying tree heights:

  • Trees under 30 feet– These will cost you $75 to $450 to trim. Examples of trees whose height rarely exceeds 30 feet include Russian olive and dogwood.
  • 30 to 60 feet– If your trees have a height of more than 30 feet but they are shorter than 60 feet, the tree trimming cost will be $150 to $875. The crab apple is a good example of a tree whose height falls between 60 and 30 feet.
  • Over 60 feet– Trees taller than 60 feet cost between $200 and $1000 to trim. Examples of trees in this cost range include red oak and pine.

2. Accessibility

Less accessible trees will force you to spend more money on the trimming operation unlike those located in an open field. For example, if a tree is just next to your house, the tree trimmers will have to tie up the branches they cut and then rope them down slowly. If a tree is standing next to power lines, the tree trimmers may need to work with the power company to minimize the risk of electrocution.

Limited accessibility also makes the use of bucket trucks impossible. Bucket trucks allow tree service professionals to reach the top branches with much ease. If the tree is located in an area where a bucket truck cannot be used, the tree trimmers will have to climb the tree manually – this means increased risk and more time spent on a single tree. This increases the tree trimming cost.

To give you an example, if a bucket truck can be used to trim an 80 feet oak tree, Bakersfield residents spend an average of $1,050. However, if the same tree is inaccessible to the bucket truck and someone has to climb it, the tree trimming cost often goes up to $1,400.

3. Tree Stability

Trees with healthy stability cost less to trim unlike trees whose stability has been compromised. Various things affect the tree’s stability. However, in Bakersfield, storms, and construction activities near the tree roots are the leading causes of poor stability.

Unstable trees often need extreme caution – this means that they often take more time than stable trees. After the trimming, the trees may need additional support to enhance their stability – for example, cabling.

4. Diseases

Trees dealing with health issues are generally costly to trim. In addition to the trimming – which is generally riskier because of the possibility of compromised structural stability – these trees require prescriptions to help with the treatment of their health complications.  The arborist services and medications needed often increase the tree care cost.

5. Pests

Much like illnesses, tree pests increase the cost of trimming a tree. Leading to fungal growth, tree weakening, and rotting, pests make tree trimming more complicated. In most cases, you will be charged an extra fee for the tree trimmers to eliminate the pests using pesticides.

In Bakersfield, tree trimmers often have to deal with the pests outlined below:

  • Emerald ash borer– One of the most destructive pests, Emerald ash borer can kill numerous ash trees within a short period.
  • Ants– These indicate that the tree may have some foothold damage.
  • Mites– Quite famous for their powerful suction capabilities, these pests can weaken any type of tree.
  • Shield lice– Attacking tree leaves, shield lice become noticeable when its secretions start creating spots that resemble a shield on the bark of the tree.
  • Woodpeckers– These attack rotting trees. Trees with woodpeckers need professional arborist services – expert help will help you save your tree.

6. Location

Tree trimmers have a region of operation for which they won’t charge a travel fee. If you have a tree outside this zone, a travel fee may be included in your quote. On average, tree service providers charge $0.5 per mile. In some instances, however, you may be charged a flat rate of between $50 and $200, depending on the travel distance.

DIY Tree Trimming – A Good or Bad Idea?

Tree trimming is best handled by professionals with experience, knowledge, and modern tree care tools. However, it is not uncommon for Bakersfield residents to consider DIY tree trimming – this is a good idea if you have small trees on your home and you have some tree trimming experience and the right tools.

Bigger trees are riskier to work on – if you make a mistake, you may end up with heavy injuries or you could destroy a significant portion of your home. The money you will end up spending on the repair costs and injuries will be higher than the tree trimming cost.

If working on tree trimming yourself feels like a good idea, this section will help you understand the tools needed, the risks, and how to trim your trees correctly.

Tree Trimming Tools

When planning a tree trimming project, you will need to get the right trimming tools. Below, we have outlined some of the tools you will need:

  • Hand-held pruners & loppers– Priced between $40 and $50, these are ideal for simple pruning jobs.
  • Gas pole pruner– Having an average cost of $180, these feature an improved efficiency.
  • Heavy-duty gas trimmer– Often carrying a high price tag, these are ideal for heavier jobs.
  • Safety gear– For eyes and head protection, you will need safety goggles and a helmet respectively. To keep your hands from bleeding, you may need a pair of gloves.

The total cost of the above tools may be high. If you have a budget set aside for the tools, turning trimming into a DIY project might be a good idea. However, in some cases, the tree trimming cost may be way more affordable than the cost of purchasing tree trimming gear.


If you have tall trees in your yard, the risk of home damage is generally high. Controlling where the branches fall takes modern tools and expertise. If the branches fall in the wrong direction, you could end up spending thousands on home repairs.

When trimming the trees alone, you will have to climb them to reach the top branches. Falling is always a possibility, especially if you haven’t trimmed trees before – falls can leave you paralyzed, treating heavy injuries, or you could lose your life.

If you fail to cut the right branches when trimming your tree, you may damage the tree irreparably. This means that you will probably have to spend money on tree removal and replacement.

While you will need to cater for tree-trimming costs to work with professionals, this cost may help you save more money. For example, it will help you avoid spending money on home repairs and injuries.

Tree Trimming Tips

To avoid damaging your tree, you have to follow the right trimming procedure. In the following sections, we will outline some of the tree trimming tips you can use to avoid injuring your tree:

1. Trim Your Trees in Their Dormant Stage

Major trimming operations produce the best results if conducted when a tree is not growing actively. This helps you remove the right branches.

2. Consider Branch Size

Branches whose diameter falls below 5 cm can be removed without a second thought. However, branches whose diameter ranges from 5 to 10 cm need to be considered carefully. If you have branches whose diameter exceeds 10 cm, you should allow them to remain on your tree – these branches are only removed when they pose safety risks or when they are carrying pests or an illness.

3. Branch Angle is Crucial

Branches with a weak V-shaped angle between the tree trunk and the branch collar are the best candidates for removal. Branches forming a strong U-shaped angle with the tree trunk should be allowed to stay on the tree.

4. Ratio

You must avoid trimming over 25% of your tree crown in a single go. Focus on maintaining a 2:3 ratio between your tree crown and the trunk.

5. Saw Off Young Branches

In addition to having minimal management issues, younger branches have a minimal risk of scarring. Instead of cutting the older branches, focus on removing the younger branches from your tree.

Using the Right Technique When Cutting a Branch

When cutting a branch, you will need to start with identifying the branch’s collar – this is the part of the branch that grows from the tree trunk. Next, find the ridge of the branch – this will be present on the upper part of the branch. Finally, cut your branch outside the ridge, making sure to angle your cut away from the stem.

When cutting long limbs, the three-cut technique is recommended. To use this technique, you will need to follow the steps outlined below:

  • Angle the first cut away from the part of the branch that you would like to retain.
  • Make your second cut inside your branch’s crotch and just above your branch’s ridge.
  • Make the third and final cut parallel to your branch ridge. The third cut is supposed to cut through the branch, parallel to its ridge.

How to Spend Less Money on Tree Trimming

You can keep your tree trimming cost from going up by following some extremely simple tips. The tips you will need to follow are outlined in the section below:

  • Trim your trees regularly– This will keep the branches from overgrowing and requiring more complicated procedures to remove them. Regular tree trimming will minimize your tree trimming cost.
  • Let power companies handle the trimming– If your trees are growing next to power lines, the power companies may help you with the trimming. To improve safety by ensuring that the tree branches do not touch the power lines, the companies trim trees every several months.
  • Fix tree issues as soon as possible– Waiting for tree problems to grow increases the amount of money you will have to spend on fixing them.
  • Water and fertilize your trees– This will help improve the tree’s stability and health. As noted earlier, healthy and stable trees have a lower tree trimming cost unlike trees featuring stability and health problems.
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