The Corkd Guide to Tree Trimming

We know that a great tree trimming company needs to deliver just a few things to keep you satisfied. Show up when scheduled, keep the trees looking alive and balanced and clean up everything when complete. It seems simple enough but many so called tree experts fail on one or more fronts. There is really nothing worse than having to sweep up after a service you just paid for, or to see a previously lush tree over cut into a stick figure. When you work with Corkd you will only get seasoned professionals who focus on customer service to help their business grow. Use the following tips and tree trimming costs guide to help you every step of the way.

When should I trim my trees?

Trees require regular trimming to stay healthy and look great. As important as appearance might be, however, it isn't everything. Damage, disease, and overgrowth also demand attention. Get familiar with the most common reasons homeowners trim their trees.

To Stimulate New Growth

When it comes to flowering or fruit trees, regular care is key. After all, you want to encourage your trees to produce flowers and fruits and stimulate new growth every year. When trees are dormant, usually in the winter, pruning helps them make the most of their energy reserves and prepare for new growth in the spring.

To Stop Dangerous Overgrowth

If you have relatively low maintenance trees, you may be able to let them grow unhindered for a few seasons. In many cases, this won't have negative consequences, but if your trees grow near power lines or phone lines, they can cause problems. Interfering with power lines can become hazardous, but trimming back limbs and branches puts a quick stop to dangerous overgrowth.

To Repair Damage or Disease

Even trees that receive regular care aren't immune to damage or disease. If your trees suffer sudden damage from severe storms or fall victim to local diseases and other pests, they will likely require attention in order to stay healthy and strong.

What should I ask a tree trimming company before hiring?

If you are a property manager you probably already know the importance of working with a reliable expert to cut your trees on a regular basis to maintain safety and keep up the aesthetics of your sites. For individual property owners however it is important to consider:

  • Safety - Certain trees can present danger to people below during high winds and proper trimming can minimize this risk. However, actually trimming the tree is a much larger danger on average for the typical person who does not have the necessary skills to deal with heavy branches while navigating heights above 7 feet or so. Downplaying these risks can lead to disaster.
  • Exposing the beauty of your property - By our very nature, humans are predisposed to enjoy the view of lush trees. Though it may be subtle, a well kept property with nicely trimmed trees will look much more appealing to an adjacent property with overgrown or diseased trees.

With this in mind the following questions will help you when deciding on which company to hire:

Do your technicians have current licenses or credentials?
Tree care companies are required to have licenses to operate in your area, and they may need additional credentials to do certain types of work. For instance, the most experienced companies typically employ arborists that have International Society of Arboriculture or Certified Tree Care Safety Professional credentials. If you need limbs trimmed near power lines, any tree care company you hire may need to have Approved Line-Clearance Arborists on staff.
What type of insurance does your company have?
Even in ideal conditions, accidents can happen, and unexpected results can arise while trimming trees. You'll want to make sure that any company you hire has insurance to protect employees, contractors, and equipment. Ask to see a copy of the company's current insurance policy so you can confirm you won't be liable for damages that arise.
What project timeline do you propose?
Hiring a professional tree care company without an understanding of the project timeline is a recipe for frustration. Before signing on the dotted line, know when the company proposes to start and complete the work, and understand whether it will take a few hours or several days.
What type of equipment will you use to trim my trees?
Trimming limbs might not sound like a particularly complex job, but depending on the size and height of the limbs, it can require specialized equipment. If the service relies on motorized equipment, find out how the technicians will protect your landscaping and sprinklers or any other permanent lawn care equipment.
Can you provide a detailed estimate?
Before signing with one company, make a goal of obtaining detailed estimates from three services. The estimates should include each step of the process, instead of just the total cost, so you can accurately compare them against each other. Be sure that any estimate you accept includes limb removal so you're not left dealing with oversized branches on your own.
Can you provide references?
Before entrusting a company with the future of your trees, don't hesitate to ask for references. Make sure that any past clients you talk with had similar work performed so you can better understand how the company works.

Trimming tree limbs might look like an easy DIY project, but it's a dangerous job that requires advanced knowledge and skills. Take the time to find the best tree trimming service in your area, and get the job done right.

Can I trim my own trees?

If your landscaping includes primarily small trees and shrubs, you might be inclined to prune or trim them yourself. While small plantings often make for good DIY projects, it's important to know when tree care might be too much, or even dangerous, to do yourself. Call a professional in the following situations:

Height: As a general rule, homeowners can often take on tree trimming projects that they can tackle while standing on the ground. If you need a ladder or something even higher, however, it's in your best interest to call a professional. Tree care companies have a wide range of tools and equipment at their disposal. In addition to rope saws and pole pruners, which technicians can use from the ground, they also use aerial lifts to reach high branches safely.

Size: Limbs on shrubs and small trees are often easy to deal with, but limbs from mature trees are large and unwieldy. If you've never handled large limbs before, you won't know how heavy they can be or how they behave during the trimming process. Tree care professionals, on the other hand, know exactly what to expect and how to protect themselves. Always leave large, mature trees in the care of an experienced arborist.

Location: Trees positioned near your home, a permanent structure, or power lines pose additional hazards. Don't risk causing unnecessary damage to your home or to the neighborhood's power grid. Instead, call a knowledgeable tree care service with experience addressing dangerous locations.

Condition: Trees with damage from storms, diseases, or pests require special knowledge that the average homeowner doesn't have. Give your damaged trees a fighting chance by calling in a professional.

Complexity: Pruning isn't as easy as simply cutting away a few branches here or there. Instead, tree trimming has a complex set of standards that tree care professionals know like the backs of their hands. Rather than cutting off too much or too little, leave your trees' health and appearance in the hands of an experienced company.

How Much Should Tree Trimming Cost?

In the United States, the average cost for tree trimming is about $400. Depending on the type of trimming or pruning your trees need, however, the fees can vary wildly. To estimate the total cost to care for your trees and shrubs, start with the standard fees and factor in the additional charges.

Start With Standard Fees

When it comes to standard pruning, professional tree care services perform basic services to thin trees' crowns, resolve dangerous v-shaped diversions, and raise problematically low crowns. Most companies charge by the size of the tree, and they typically offer discounts for additional trees.

Small Trees: For small trees up to 20 feet tall and with trunks up to 10 inches in diameter, the average cost for trimming is about $120. Trimming five small trees costs an average of $525.

Medium Trees: For medium trees 20 to 35 feet tall and with trunks up to 20 inches in diameter, the average cost for trimming is about $270. Trimming five medium trees costs an average of $1,175.

Large Trees: For large trees 35 to 45 feet tall and with trunks more than 20 inches in diameter, the average cost for trimming is about $465. Trimming five large trees costs an average of $2,050.

Extra Large Trees: For extra large trees over 45 feet tall and with trunks more than 20 inches in diameter, the average cost for trimming is about $550. Trimming five extra large trees costs an average of $2,375.

Factor in Additional Charges

In many cases, standard trimming isn't enough for a tree's long-term care. The following additional charges may apply to your pruning session.

Hazardous Locations: If your trees are located near power lines, not just any technician can trim it. You'll need to hire a tree care service with an Approved Line-Clearance Arborist on staff, which may add a premium to the overall cost.

Tree Inspection: If your trees aren't growing as robustly as they should, they might need more sunlight or water, or they might need a more advanced solution. A tree inspection can offer actionable answers and costs about $150.

Fertilization: If you've had your trees trimmed to stimulate growth during the spring and summer, a professional fertilizer treatment can jumpstart the development. Tree fertilization costs an average of $200.

Insect Control: If your tree is suffering from disease or insect infestation, there's a good chance it needs expert diagnosis and treatment. Basic disease and insect control options cost an average of $100.

Specialized Treatments: Certain types of trees are susceptible to infestations that require specialized treatments. These very from species to species, but the treatments can cost anywhere from $25 to $150.

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