Over time, tree crowns develop dead branches, become overgrown, and lose their natural shape. People are generally drawn to beautiful, well-tended plants – when your trees lose their aesthetic appeal, the entire property loses value. Luckily, professional tree trimming will restore an organized look on your landscape, making your home and/or commercial property stand out for buyers and tenants.
As you would expect, professional tree trimmers do charge some fee to work on trees. Therefore, before inviting professionals to your home, you should create a tree-trimming budget. In this tree trimming cost guide, you will know the amount of money you need to set aside for each tree.
Average Tree Trimming Cost in Wilmington
People with small to average-sized trees in Wilmington spend $80 to $350 on professional tree trimming. The typical medium-sized tree will have a trimming cost of between $150 and $250 depending on how complex and/or risky the trimming procedure is.
Homeowners with large trees generally spend $300 – $1000 on tree trimming procedures. This cost is affected by a wide range of factors – for example, if your tree has limited accessibility that makes it impossible to use a bucket truck, your tree trimming cost might increase by 30% to 40%. In the following section, we will take a look at all the factors that affect the tree trimming cost.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Trimming a Tree in Wilmington
1. Tree Height
Trimming large trees takes more time than trimming the smaller trees. 100-foot trees require more effort to reach the tree crown, they have bigger branches, and the crown spread is much larger than that of a 30-foot tree.
Working on a 150-foot pine tree is riskier than working on a 40-foot California juniper. All this increases the tree trimming cost of taller trees. The costs below show how the tree trimming cost varies with tree height:
- Large trees – These trees have a height of above 60 feet. The cost of trimming these trees sits between $200 and $1000.
- Medium-sized trees – If your tree has a height of between 30 and 60 feet, you should expect a tree trimming cost of $150 to $875.
- Small trees – Trees with a height of below 30 feet are the most affordable when it comes to trimming. With $80 to $400, you should be able to trim almost any small tree.
Tree trimming is generally easier with the use of a bucket truck. Instead of manually carrying cutting tools and safety gear up a tree, the bucket truck raises the professionals to the tree crown together with their gear and holds them safe for the time they will be cutting the branches.
In Wilmington, however, the bucket truck is not always usable. In some cases, the trees that need pruning are in enclosed areas. When the bucket truck can’t be used, manual climbing becomes the only solution.
To cover the higher risk and extra time needed to climb a tree manually, professionals generally raise their tree trimming cost by 30% to 40%. If you had been charged $1000 to trim your 100-foot pine tree with a bucket truck, the cost may increase to between $1,300 and $1,400.
3. Possibility of Property Damage
Trees standing next to houses, swimming pools, car sheds, and powerlines, have a higher tree trimming cost compared to trees in open spaces. When trimming trees on open ground, the branches can be dropped down without having to worry about damaging houses.
However, when a tree is surrounded by important utilities, dropping the branches increases the chances of making the homeowner spend thousands on repair costs. To avoid this, the tree trimmers will secure the branches with ropes during cutting. Once the branches have been cut, they are then lowered down slowly, taking all the necessary precautions to avoid dropping them on sensitive structures. This procedure requires more effort and time.
4. Tree Health
Trees in Wilmington are affected by a wide variety of diseases and pests. Pests will feed on the tree’s branches, making them weak and susceptible to falling. Also, various diseases can weaken the tree crown.
If the tree trimmers have to climb a tree with diseases and pests on them, they are often forced to carry more safety gear just to avoid falling from the tree. When trimming a diseased tree, more effort is needed since all the branches with the infection have to be removed – this keeps the disease from spreading to other parts of the tree. All this results in a higher tree trimming cost.
Once the professionals finish trimming your tree, they may recommend arborist service. An arborist will inspect your tree to determine the disease bothering it. Also, the arborist may require you to purchase some medications/pesticides. The cost of the arborist service and the cost of the treatment options can add $50 to $500 to the tree trimming cost.
Tree stability is affected by several factors. In Wilmington, the main factors include:
- Cracks – When cracks start appearing on your tree’s trunk, they are a good indicator that the tree has suffered significant trauma and might be very unstable. If you would like to keep the tree on your compound, stabilization mechanisms – such as cabling – may be needed.
- Weather damage – Storms, high winds, and lightning strikes are known to destabilize trees in Wilmington. If the damage is severe, tree removal may be recommended to reduce the risk of property damages. In events where the risk of falling is low, a lot of work may be needed to stabilize the tree and accelerate its healing process.
- Fungi – Fungi consumes the plant’s vital nutrients. This weakens the tree over time. However, it generally takes a lot of time for the effects of fungi to become visible – for this reason, you may be able to avoid the damages by acting early enough.
All the above stability issues make the tree trimming process riskier. Also, trees with stability problems need additional work to speed up the rate of healing.
6. Travel Fees
Since most property owners in Wilmington can access professional tree trimming services without having to go too far from their homes, the travel fee is generally not a concern. Tree service providers have areas that they serve without asking their clients to cater to their transportation.
However, in the event your tree trimmers live a significant distance from your property, you will incur a travel fee of about $0.5 per mile. The cost, however, can add up to $50 – $200, depending on the travel time required.
7. Number of Trees
People who trim several trees at a time do enjoy a more affordable tree trimming cost. Most tree trimmers will offer a bulk trimming discount. Trimming a single 80-foot pine tree might cost you $1000. However, trimming 10 trees of the same height could cost you a total of $9000 – you will end up spending $100 less on each tree.
The higher cost of trimming a single tree is generally a result of various fixed costs. These include licenses and permits, fuel costs, and travel fees.
Tree Trimmings Cost per Hour
Professional tree trimmers prefer to charge fixed costs. Tree trimming procedures are affected by a wide range of factors, including, the number of workers, their experience, the tree trimming gear, and more.
A company with more advanced gear, more workers, and years of experience may take 1 hour to trim a 100-foot tree. A different company with older tools, fewer workers, and less experience could take an entire day on the same tree. This shows you that charging the hourly rate could easily create losses for either the tree service company or the tree owner.
Most tree trimming companies, however, do factor in an average of $25 to $50 per hour for each of their workers. However, the companies quote a fixed cost that takes care of equipment use, labor, fuel costs, overhead, insurance, etc.
Do It Yourself or Hire Professionals?
DIY tree trimming is ideal when you have small trees growing away from sensitive structures. If you have large trees – that is, trees with a height of 60 feet – working with professionals is generally a much better idea.
If you decide to turn tree trimming into a DIY project, be sure to consider the equipment costs and the risks associated with the procedure.
- Gas pole pruner: $150 – $300
- Heavy-duty gas tree trimmer: rental cost of $50 per day
- Safety gear: $50 to $150
- Ladder: $150 – $500
- Hand-held pruners and loppers: $30 to $50
After trimming your trees, you will need an average of $25 to $100 to dispose of the waste generated by the procedure.
Tree trimming is a risky procedure. Without enough experience and the right safety gear, you will be facing the risks below:
- You may fall from the tree and suffer heavy injuries
- The cutting tools you use could inflict significant injuries
- Chances of tree damage are extremely high if you haven’t trimmed trees before
- If you drop the cut branches on important amenities, you may spend a lot of money on repairs