While trees are often planted as ornaments, they only improve visual appeal when they are properly groomed and maintained. If you ignore your tree, the crown will grow out of shape and develop dead and broken branches.
In addition to damaging your home’s aesthetic appeal, the tree will also become hazardous, with dead branches falling now and then. Tree trimming, however, helps improve tree beauty and removes risky branches.
To work with professional tree trimmers, you will need to set aside some money to cover the tree trimming cost. Understanding the factors that affect the tree trimming cost puts you in a much better position to plan your tree trimming project. In the following section, we will look at the average tree trimming cost and how various factors affect it.
Average Tree Trimming Cost in Indianapolis, IN
In Indianapolis, professional tree trimmers charge $80 to $1000 to trim one tree. However, property owners with small trees do enjoy a lower cost, with professionals charging $80 to about $400. As the size of the tree increases from about 30 feet to over 100 feet, you should expect the cost to move from $150 to over $1000.
Tree Trimming Cost Factors in Indianapolis, Indiana
1. Tree Size
To complete trimming a tree with a height of 100+ feet, professionals need more time than when working on a 40-foot tree. Large trees have bigger crowns and they often require more time to reach the crown.
Also, since the large trees carry more risks – that is, they can do more harm than the small trees – professionals have to use additional safety tools to avoid property damage and injuries. This often results in a higher tree trimming cost for the large trees.
- Small tree trimming cost – These trees never grow taller than 30 feet. Small trees have the lowest tree trimming cost, with professionals charging $80 – $400.
- Medium tree trimming cost – In Indianapolis, most property owners own medium-sized trees. These trees are 30 to 60 feet tall. To trim one medium-sized tree, you will need $150 – $875.
- Large tree trimming cost – These trees are taller than 60 feet. Tree care is generally expensive for large trees, with their cost of trimming sitting between $200 and $1000.
2. Accessibility to the Bucket Truck
To make their work easier, improve safety, and reduce the amount of time needed to trim a tree, most tree service providers have invested in bucket trucks. Instead of manual climbing and relying on harnesses to stay attached to the tree, tree trimmers can be raised to the tree crown and held in a position that allows them to make cuts with minimal risk of falling.
Bucket trucks, however, are not always usable. If you have a tree standing in the backyard without a path or parking space for the bucket truck, the tree service providers will have to use manual climbing.
Manual climbing is risky and time-consuming – for these reasons, professional tree trimmers charge an extra 30% to 40%. If you hard been charged $500 to prune your 70-foot oak tree, the price may increase to between $650 and $700 if the bucket truck is unusable.
3. Proximity to Utilities
Homeowners with trees growing away from utility lines and houses enjoy a lower tree trimming cost compared to those with trees standing next to powerlines and other important structures.
While the tree trimmers can allow the branches to fall freely from trees standing on open ground, they will have to use extreme care when trimming trees near utilities. Since the branches can cause a lot of damage, professionals use ropes to lower them down slowly – this is time-consuming and requires more effort. For this reason, you should expect a slightly higher tree trimming cost for trees standing near important structures.
4. Tree Health
Tree diseases and pests weaken the tree’s wood structure, making it riskier to work on. When climbing up a tree with health problems, tree trimmers have to take extreme care to avoid stepping on weak branches and falling. This calls for more inspection on each branch, which increases the amount of time needed to finish trimming a tree. More trimming time often leads to a higher tree trimming cost.
In addition to paying for the tree trimming service, tree owners often have to pay for treatment costs. You may need to invite an arborist to your home – he/she will inspect your tree to determine the health problem affecting it. You will then need to purchase the medications recommended by the arborist. The cost of hiring an arborist and the cost of purchasing medications can add an average of $50 to $500 to the quoted tree trimming cost.
Various conditions affect the stability of a tree. Since unstable trees are riskier to work on, any condition that affects tree stability often results in a higher tree trimming cost. Below, we have listed some of the conditions that affect the stability of trees:
- Weather damage – Strong winds, storms, and lightning strikes can cause a lot of damage to your tree’s wood structure, compromising stability. Before trimming trees that have suffered weather damage, some time has to be spent implementing stabilizing mechanisms.
- Trunk cracks – These are an indicator that your tree has undergone serious trauma at some point in the past. Cabling – and other forms of stabilization – may be needed to help the tree heal and get its natural stability back.
- Rotting trunk – A tree with signs of rotting may need to be inspected by an arborist – the arborist will determine whether the damage is beyond repair or the tree can get its stability back. If the tree has already suffered significant damage, removing it might protect your home from damage.
6. Travel Fees
In Indianapolis, tree service providers have a predefined zone in which they provide their services without the travel fee – if a client is located outside the service zone, he/she may need to spend some money on travel fee.
When tree trimmers have to cover a significant distance to get to the worksite, a lot of resources are spent on transport. This often forces them to charge the tree owner a travel fee of about $0.5 per mile. Some tree service providers may charge you a fixed cost of $50 to $200.
7. Number of Trees
When trimming a group of trees together, tree trimmers often charge a lower tree trimming cost. When trimming a single tree, the tree trimmers charge a higher cost to take care of various fixed costs that never change irrespective of the number of trees they are trimming – these fixed costs include permit fees, license costs, travel costs and fuel costs.
To trim one, 30-foot tree, the tree trimming cost may be about $250. However, if you decide to trim ten 30-foot trees together, you may be charged a total of $2000, instead of $2500. This helps you save $50 on each tree.
Tree Trimming Cost Per Hour
Professional tree trimmers prefer charging a fixed trimming cost over an hourly rate. This benefits both the tree owners and the tree service providers as it helps both avoid losses.
Numerous factors – including, experience, advanced tree service gear, and the number of workers – play a role in the time needed to trim a tree. While a company that has decades of experience, a large number of competent workers, and modern tree service gear may take an hour on a tree, a company with minimal experience, a small number of workers and old tools can take a whole day on the same tree. If both companies were to charge the same hourly rate, the first company will suffer a significant loss, while the second will take a lot of money from you.
It is worth noting that most companies do charge $25 to $50 per hour for every worker on-site. This hourly cost, however, is factored in the fixed cost.
DIY or Hire a Pro
In some cases, DIY trimming might be a money-saving option, while in other cases, it could be more costly than hiring professionals. The difference comes in the DIY trimming costs and the DIY trimming risks:
DIY Trimming Risks
- Falling from the tree can cause significant injuries
- You may suffer deep cuts from the tree trimming tools
- If you are inexperienced, you may damage your tree
- If the branches fall on utility lines or your house, you may suffer significant property damage
DIY Tree Trimming Costs
Before trimming your tree, you will need the following gear:
- Gas pole pruner: $150 to $300
- Safety gear: $50 to $150
- Ladder: $150 to $500
- Hand-held pruners: $30 to $50
- Heavy-duty gas trimmer: $50 to rent for a day
If your tree is non-risky and the cost of purchasing the above tools does not bother you, DIY trimming might be a good option. However, if the tree is extremely risky and the cost of the above tools is too high, you may want to hire a professional tree trimmer.