• Trimming Branches & Cutting Trees Around Your Home


    Keeping trees trimmed improves the appearance of your landscape.
    Pruning trees will make flowering and fruit trees more productive. In addition, removing large, overhanging branches protects your home and property from the potential for damage from falling limbs and branches scraping against the house.
    It can also allow more sunshine to reach a garden, pool or other feature of the landscape.
    It’s important to note that many injuries and some deaths occur each year when homeowners attempt to cut down large branches or trees without proper training and equipment.
    If you don’t have experience with this home project, consider calling a professional for complete tree or large tree limb removal.
    Trees that need to be removed can also cause problems with your landscaping that could lead to flooding in your home and serious damage if not properly contained.

    Tree Trimming and Branch Removal Costs

    This house repair guide provides tips for doing the work yourself and discusses how to hire a tree service for the job.
    The tips include the types of tools you can employ to get the work down and what they cost.
    Tree trimming and removal costs are included for your convenience, so you’ll have an idea of prices before you get estimates from local tree trimmers. Tips are saving money are found below, and the post ends with a resource section of helpful information from around the Web.

    These tree care tips are designed for DIYers, but if you don’t do the work yourself, they’ll provide insight into what a tree trimmer should be doing.
    We intend these tips for DIY homeowners only if the tree or branch is small in diameter. Cutting down large trees should be left to a professional.

    • Make sure that any tree service you hire is licensed, insured and bonded for your protection
    • You might want to call their insurance company to double-check that a policy is in force because, without it, you might be liable for damage or injuries caused on your property
    • Small branches can be removed using pruning shears or a small handsaw
    • A sturdy step ladder and a second pair of hands to steady are handy for pruning and trimming
    • Devices with shears or small saws (some gas-powered) attached to poles are useful for removing small branches well off the ground
    • Your chain saw options include corded or cordless electric models and a range of gas-powered models
    • Assume that ALL power lines are energized and present a threat of shock that can lead to serious injury or death
    • Consider calling a professional for any work done near a power line
    • Use extreme caution when moving ladders near power lines
    • Avoid working in windy conditions or when lighting is in the area
    • If working on a ladder, climb it first and have a second person hand up the saw to you
    • Working from the roof to trim trees is discouraged by OSHA and other professional organizations
    • Proper safety equipment includes eye protection, gloves, a hard helmet and, when using power tools, hearing protection
    • Base the amount of protection you use on the size of the tree and/or branches being removed, but err on the side of caution
    • Use extra caution when removing large tree branches that are already damaged or cracked
    • Check with your city or county before removing a living tree, because it is not allowed without a permit in some locations
    • Before felling a tree, consider the location of your home, garage and other structures and the neighboring properties
    • Decide which direction you want the tree to fall and clear the fall zone
    • Use a very strong rope – 1,000lb strength minimum—and tie it above the half-way height of the tree
    • The rope should be roughly three times the height of the tree and held outside the fall zone by one or two other people
    • Fill the chainsaw with gas before starting to cut, because once cutting the main trunk of the tree, you’ll want to complete it
    • Cut a v-shaped notch at about knee height on the side of the direction you want the tree to fall
    • Start cutting the tree from the opposite side in a horizontal line until it meets the v-cut
    • As the tree begins to fall, walk away from it at a 45-degree angle avoiding the fall zone and where the trunk might potentially kick out behind the tree as it falls

    Branch Trimming and Tree Removal Costs

    Costs vary based on the extent of the work. Removing entire large trees can be costly.
    Call your insurance company to see if it will pay part of the removal fee. Some do when the tree or branch to be removed poses a threat to property they have insured.

    DIY tree trimming costs: Here’s a look at your costs for doing the job yourself.

    • Pruning snips and small hand saw: $10 to $30
    • Large handsaw or pole with saw: $25 to $50
    • Electric chainsaw: $75 to $200
    • Gas chainsaw: $300 to $500 for a homeowner-quality saw
    • Sturdy 8-foot fiberglass step ladder: $90 to $150
    • Protection for head, eyes and ears: $40 to $100

    Professional tree trimming costs: Trimming or pruning a few small trees will cost $40 to $100 per tree depending on the amount of material that needs to be removed.
    Large branches, especially those overhanging a home or garage, cost an average of $200 to $400 to remove.
    Large tree removal costs $500 to $2,500 depending on the complexity of the work.

    How to Save Money on Tree Trimming and Removal

    Borrowing or renting a saw and the other equipment you need will save money.
    When hiring a professional, get estimates from several tree services to find the lowest prices where you live.
    Most contractors will want to see the job before offering an estimate. When they come to review the work, ask them about their strategy for getting the branches removed and the tree down.
    Also ensure removal of the waste is their responsibility!

    DIY Tree Trimming and Removal Resources

    These sites provide more information to help you with this home repair project.

    TreeBoss – These do’s and don’ts are very helpful when considering cutting and removing large branches or entire trees.

    Omar & Brothers – Here are tips from a local tree service on what to look for in a tree removal company

    CDC – This government page is titled, “Preventing Chain Saw Injuries During Tree Removal After a Disaster” and has helpful tips for homeowners too.

    Bens Rental and Sales – An equipment rental company provides an overview of some of the tools used for tree and stump removal.

    Arborist Treecare – This site discusses factors in tree removal costs and gives tips for saving money on the work.


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