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Tree Trimming Cost

by | Feb 25, 2019 | Tree Services

More property owners in Stockton are opting to plant trees as a way of improving their property’s aesthetic appeal. If you plant trees on your property, one thing you will learn is that without proper and regular maintenance, the trees could end up negating their intended purpose.

One maintenance practice that ensures trees are looking good at all times is trimming. Due to the risk involved when trimming trees, most Stockton residents opt to pay professionals to handle the maintenance practice. If you do not know the tree trimming cost to expect, the planning won’t be easy.

While different trees will have varying tree trimming costs, there are guidelines you can use to estimate the tree trimming cost. In this article, we will be looking at these guidelines.

Stockton Tree Trimming Cost Factors

The lowest trimming cost you should expect is $75. This cost can go up to $1000. There are numerous factors which affect the tree trimming cost. To give you an example, a tree which will cost $150 to trim may cost over $200 if it is infected with a disease or infested with pests. Outlined below, are some of the factors which increase or lower the tree trimming cost in Stockton.


The tree location can influence the effort required when trimming a tree. For example, if the tree you want Stockton tree care professionals to trim is just next to your house, the professionals will have to cut the branches, tie them with a rope and then lower them down slowly. The effort needed when trimming a tree is directly proportional to the tree trimming cost. As the effort increases, you will have to pay more money.


Smaller trees will have a lower tree trimming cost compared to huge trees. This is understandable considering that tree trimmers will have to saw through numerous branches on the bigger tree than on the smaller trees. Additionally, incredibly tall trees will require specialized tree trimming tools.

Below, we have the approximate tree trimming costs to expect for various tree heights.

  • Below 30 feet – The tree trimming cost for these trees ranges from $75 to $450. Examples of trees whose tree trimming cost will be in this range include the dogwood and Russian olive.
  • 30 feet – 60 feet – On average, Stockton residents spend anywhere between $150 and $875 on the trimming. If you are a crab apple tree owner, you should expect to spend this amount.
  • Over 60 feet – The tree trimming cost for this tree lies between $200 and $1000. Pine and red oak are generally over 60 feet tall.

Number of Trees

Most Stockton tree service providers will take the number of trees into consideration when coming up with a tree trimming cost estimate. Informing the tree trimmers the number of trees which need to be trimmed will help you get a more realistic tree trimming cost.

Tree Stability and Strength

Trees which have had to deal with trauma in the past are generally weaker. Unlike strong trees, weak trees may need more than just trimming. To give you an example, a tree that just endured a lightning strike may need cabling. This tells you that weak trees may have a higher tree trimming cost when compared to the stronger trees.

Illnesses and Diseases

Trimming diseased trees is riskier. The branches could end up breaking unexpectedly. Risky tree jobs will cost more money. Below, we have some of the health issues which could make tree trimming more expensive:

  • Abiotic Damage – This damage comes from dry spells, strong winds, hail, and frost. Some of its characteristics include broken limbs, cracked branches, and dried leaves. Since pests are fond of damaged tree parts, fixing the tree quickly can help save it.
  • Fungi and Mushroom – In additional to making the tree less stable, fungi feed on the tree vital nutrients and hence depleting them.
  • Moist Cracks – These show that the tree is currently decaying from the inside. The crack investigation is necessary to determine whether the tree may end up turning into a safety hazard.


Tree pests are the leading cause of health issues which affect trees. Some of the health problems which result from pests include fungal growth and rotting. Examples of pests which could damage your trees include:

  • Emerald ash borer – If your property features ash trees, you should check them every now and then to make sure that the emerald ash borer is not killing them slowly. Treatments, often applied by professional arborists, are all you need to get rid of the pests.
  • Ants – Ants indicate that the tree’s foothold is rotting. If it is not rotting, the foothold could be damaged. If you find ants on your tree, you will need to call an Stockton-based tree care professional. This will help ensure that the tree is not a safety risk.
  • Mites – Despite being small, mites are capable of making the tree buds and leaves weak.
  • Shield-lice – Noticing shield-lice damage is not that easy considering the fact that the pest is incredibly small. The damage is generally characterized by waxy secretions which appear on the tree. You need to have professionals check your tree if you notice any waxy secretions on the tree leaves.
  • Wood-destroying insects – A wide variety of insects do make trees their ideal breeding spots. These pests often end up damaging the tree bark and wood core. If the wood core and bark are destroyed, pests will find it easier to attack the tree.
  • Woodpeckers – If you notice woodpeckers, there is a chance that your tree could be rotting. This means that the tree could be turning into a safety hazard.

Pests make the tree weak and, in some instances, less stable. This means that tree trimming will be riskier. For this reason, tree trimmers will charge a higher tree trimming cost.


If the tree pruners have to travel a long distance before getting to your property, you should expect to pay a high travel fee. If you live in Stockton, working with an Stockton-based tree service provider can help you avoid the travel fee.


If the tree is in a location where a bucket truck cannot be accommodated, climbing the tree is often necessary. This increases the tree trimming cost. To give you an example, a tree that would cost $1050 to trim using a bucket truck may cost $1400 if a tree trimmer has to climb it.

Working with a Professional Versus Doing It Yourself

Turning tree pruning into a DIY project may be a good idea if you have trimmed trees in the past and you have all the necessary tree pruning tools. If, however, tree pruning is totally new to you, working with professionals is always the best option.

If the tree height is more than 60 feet, chances of falling and ending up with broken limbs or damaging your property go up. Trimming shorter trees may be a good idea. However, before you opt to handle the tree trimming, consider the following:

Needed Tools

If you have been trimming your trees, you probably own the necessary tree trimming tools. If you will be trimming trees for the first time, you may need to invest in the following tools:

  • Loppers and handheld pruners – These work for simpler tree trimming jobs. You should expect the tools to cost approximately $50.
  • Gas pole pruner – This tool is capable of doing a better job. It will require you to pay $180.
  • Renting a gas trimmer is often necessary for advanced projects.
  • A helmet and safety goggles are necessary. These will keep your head and eyes safe,
  • Gloves will protect your hands.

Involved Risks

The risks involved when trimming a tree are directly proportional to the tree height. As the height increases, the risks and the harm which could result from the tree trimming operation increases. If you do not own a harness, climbing a tall tree could lead to broken bones or worse.

After climbing the tree, you will have to handle the tree pruner. Tree pruners are generally sharp. If you have never used a pruner in the past, you will be risking hurting yourself.

Having the ability to control falling branches is an important skill. In some instances, you may have to trim trees which are close to structures or utility lines. The branches you cut cannot be allowed to fall down freely. If roping down branches will be impossible for you, it is a good idea to let the professionals handle the tree trimming.

Tips and Techniques

If paying for the tree trimming is not something you can afford right now, you can opt to wait until you have enough money or trim the trees yourself. Below, we will show you the tree trimming tips which can make the whole trimming exercise easier for you if you opt to forego the tree trimming cost.

Tree Trimming Tips

Wait for the Dormant Period

In the dormant period, trees cease growing actively. This makes the idea of tree trimming ideal. You will have a much easier time seeing what you are currently doing.

After getting rid of the dormant buds, the buds you leave on the tree will have a higher potential of growing strong and healthy. If, however, your goal is to slow down the tree growth, trimming the tree when it is growing may be a good idea.

Consider the Branch Size

You can trim branches with a diameter of 5 cm and below without harming the tree. If the branch diameter lies between 5 and 10 cm, careful consideration is necessary. Branches whose diameter is more than 10 cm should only be removed if they are a safety hazard.

Branch Angle

If a branch is making a V-shaped angle with the tree trunk, you can saw it off. Leave the branches which make a strong U-shaped angle on the tree.


The ideal ratio between the crown and the height is 2:3. This is the ratio you should aim for when trimming your trees.

Remove the Young Branches

Older branches scar more easily. Also, they are more difficult to manage when compared to the younger branches. For this reason, removing the young branches is a much better idea.

Avoid Leaving Big Stubs

Trimming too long or too short is not a good idea. You should avoid leaving huge branch stubs or removing the collar.

Trimming Techniques

Observe the Tree

Before sawing off any branch, find the collar’s growth point at the branch base. Find the branch ridge. The ridge should be on the upper part of the branch, parallel to the angle made by the branch on the stem.

Make the Cut

Your cut should be made outside the ridge. The cut should be angled away from the stem and down. You should avoid injuring the branch collar. Use this technique for all types of branches.

Long Stems

For longer stems, you will need to adopt the 3-cut technique. The steps below show you how to use the three-cut technique:

Step 1: The first cut you make should face away from the part of the branch you wish to keep.

Step 2: Make the second cut above the ridge and inside the branch crotch.

Step 3: Cut through the stem, parallel to the ridge to remove the branch.

Pruning Versus Trimming

Trimming and pruning are terms used to describe different tree maintenance practices. Below, we will take a deeper look at these 2 terms:


Trimming, as noted earlier on, is essential when you are trying to make the tree look more appealing. It is done when there are no concerns of:

  • Pests
  • Hazards
  • Diseases
  • Overgrowth

If you have the right tools and experience, you can polish the look of a small tree without paying the tree trimming cost. Invite tree pruning professionals to your property if your tree is huge. This will help you avoid damaging your property, injuries, and destroying the tree irreparably.


During pruning, professionals focus on removing the tree branches and limbs selectively. The end goal is usually to save the tree. Pruners remove damaged, diseased, dead, and dying branches.

Professionals will be able to figure out the branches which deserve removal. Working with professionals during tree pruning is always a great idea.

Lowering the Tree Trimming Cost

You can make use of the following tips to keep the tree trimming cost within the affordable range:

Use Utility Company Services

If your trees are close to power lines, the utility companies can help you with the tree trimming. The companies will trim the trees for free to improve safety.

Routine Maintenance

To avoid having to spend a lot of cash on the tree trimming, conducting maintenance practices on a regular basis is a good idea.

Quick Action

Instead of waiting for the damage on your trees to progress before you invite tree care service providers to your property, you should have your trees taken care of as quickly as possible. This will reduce the amount of money you will have to spend on your trees over the years.

Water the Trees

Watering your trees will help ensure that they are healthy. You will keep the tree branches from drying and forcing you to trim them.

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