An affordable way to keep trees looking stunning, tree trimming eliminates dead limbs from the tree crown, restores the natural tree shape, and also gives different trees a look that complements the landscape. When done right, tree trimming can help boost the value of a commercial or residential property significantly.
Property owners in Albuquerque prefer to work with professional tree trimmers to avoid the risks of tree damage, property damage, and/or injuries. Understanding the tree trimming cost to expect is the first step towards planning a successful tree trimming project.
The Average Tree Trimming Cost in Albuquerque
To trim a tree in Albuquerque, you should have an average of $80 to $350 ready. While you may spend $150 on a healthy medium-sized tree, you may end up spending $250+ on the same tree if it is diseased, carrying pests, or hazardous.
Homeowners with huge trees such as the white pine and oaks often spend more money on tree trimming, with professionals charging $300 to $1000. Inaccessible trees often cost more to trim, with the inability to use the bucket truck increasing the total cost by 30% to 40%.
Factors Affecting the Tree Trimming Cost in Albuquerque
1. Tree Height
As the tree height increases, tree trimming becomes more complicated. Taller trees have big crowns, their branches are thicker, and shaping them generally takes more time. Going up a tall tree is riskier than climbing a short tree – this means that more safety gear is generally needed when working on taller trees.
Dropping branches from extremely tall trees is never a good idea, especially in situations where the trees are near utilities. The branches have to be roped down to avoid damage and or injuries.
Depending on how tall your tree is, you should expect the following tree trimming costs:
- Over 60 feet – Red oaks and pines generally fit in the large category, generally growing to over 60 feet at maturity. Trimming these trees costs $200 – $1000.
- 30 – 60 feet – Medium-sized trees are generally much cheaper to trim. Professionals charge $150 to $875.
- Under 30 feet – Professionals classify trees under 30 feet in the small tree category. These trees have the lowest tree trimming cost, with owners spending $80 to $400.
Trees that are accessible are extremely easy to prune. To begin with, the professionals can cut the branches and let them fly to the ground – this is because there is no risk of property damage.
In the event a tree is surrounded by buildings, utility lines, or other crucial structures, tree trimming becomes much harder. The cut branches have to be brought down slowly to avoid causing property damage – in most cases, the branches are tied with a rope and then lowered down slowly using a crane. This increases the tree trimming cost.
Another thing that accessibility affects is the use of a bucket truck. To avoid climbing trees manually, tree trimmers come to the tree trimming site with a bucket truck. The truck, however, can only be used if enough space is available around the tree. If space cannot accommodate the bucket truck, someone will have to grab safety gear and climb the tree.
If a bucket truck can be used to trim your 100 feet oak tree, you may spend $1000 on the entire procedure. However, if someone needs to climb the tree manually, the cost will go up by 30% to 40%, hitting the $1,300 to $1,400 mark.
3. Tree Health and Stability
Stability and tree health are inseparable, given that most tree diseases end up messing the stability. When working on an unstable tree, professionals have to be extra careful – and to avoid damaging the tree or forcing it to fall, stabilization mechanisms may be needed. Having to spend time cabling a tree will cost you some extra money.
If a tree is carrying a disease, more work will be needed to remove all the diseased branches – this will help the tree heal itself more quickly. After handling the tree trimming, an arborist may be needed to determine the health problem affecting your tree – you will have to pay for the arborist service separately. The arborist may recommend several medications to help the tree recover – these will also cost some extra money.
On average, the cost of the arborist service and the medications could add an average of $50 to $500 to the quoted tree trimming cost.
Some of the conditions that affect tree stability in Albuquerque include:
- Fungi – Fungi consume all the vital nutrients, leading to tree weakness over time.
- Large cracks – Large cracks are generally a good sign that your tree has problems in its structural stability. If you notice things like mushrooms growing from the cracks, this is a sign that your tree has internal decay.
- Weather damage – Albuquerque is no stranger to the damage caused by storms. These could crack trunks, or bend trees, leaving them leaning too low such that the roots cannot support them.
4. Travel Fees
In Albuquerque, professionals have zones in which they operate without charging for travel expenses. The only thing you need to do to avoid the travel fees is to work with professionals that have your home in their service zone.
However, if you prefer working with professionals located a significant distance from your property, you will need to ready yourself for the travel fee. Professionals charge $0.5 per mile. It is, however, not uncommon for the travel fee to accumulate to $50 – $200.
5. Number of Trees
Tree trimmers in Albuquerque do offer a bulk service discount. For example, trimming one 40-foot tree may cost you $400. However, trimming ten 40-foot trees could cost you $3,500. This means that you get a $50 discount on each tree.
The higher cost for trimming one tree is justified considering the numerous fixed costs the tree trimming professionals have to deal with. The fixed costs include fuel costs, travel fees, and the cost of getting the permits and licenses needed before trimming a tree.
Tree Trimming Cost Per Hour
Tree trimming professionals do not charge on a per hour basis. This is because the tree trimming time may vary depending on a wide range of factors, including the number of workers, field experience, and machinery. A job that takes one tree trimming company one hour to complete may take another a whole day to complete.
Most companies, however, may figure in costs of $25 – $50 per hour for each worker to their quote. Regardless, you will most like get a flat rate to compensate for the time spent on the road, insurance fees, equipment use, licensing and overhead.
DIY Vs. Hiring a Tree Trimming Service
Without the right equipment or taking the proper precautions, tree trimming can quickly turn from a quick DIY into a hazardous or even deadly venture. In the case of large trees (that is, trees taller than 60 feet), there is no question about it; always go with a professional team.
Even if you do not end up hurting yourself, the equipment needed to trim large trees can cost hundreds – and sometimes thousands – to rent per day. Since you may take several days to complete trimming your trees alone, the cost of renting the equipment could be infinitely higher compared to hiring professionals. Plus, trimming your trees improperly can hurt their health.
Equipment Costs and Fees
Tree trimming companies already own all the equipment and materials needed to get the job done. Unless you have handled trimming in the past, there is a good chance you will need an expensive trip to the local hardware to begin your project. The basic equipment will have the following costs:
- Loppers and hand-held pruners: $30 to $50
- Ladder: $150 to $500
- Safety equipment: $50 to $150
- Heavy-duty gas tree trimmer: over $50 to rent per day
- Gas pole pruner: $150 to $300
- Dumping fees: $25 to $100
Significant safety hazards are associated with tree trimming, especially when working with big trees:
- If you climb the tree, you risk falling and getting injured if you do not have a proper safety harness.
- Using sharp pruners puts your safety – and that of those around you – at risk.
- You can’t always control where the branches fall, which could lead to property damage or the injury of those passing by.
DIY Tree Trimming Tips
If you are thinking about handling tree trimming, please use the following tips to avoid tree damage:
- Wait for the dormant stage to avoid injuring the tree while it is growing actively.
- Remove branches with a diameter of below 5 cm. Those with diameters of more than 10 cm should be removed if they are diseased or posing a safety risk.
- Remove branches forming weak V-shaped angles with the tree trunk. Branches forming a U-shaped angle are strong and should be, therefore, left on the tree.
- Sanitize your tools with rubbing alcohol to avoid spreading diseases.
- Be sure to maintain a ratio of two-thirds between the tree crown and the tree height.