As a property owner, you are likely to be faced with the need for trimming your trees especially if they are growing randomly. There are plenty of reasons why tree trimming is essential. It helps maintain a tree’s healthy structure and reduce the risk of dead branches from falling and causing damage.
Tree trimming is a process that involves removal of specific branches and stems to help it get a fresh growth and eliminate infestation from insects and decay organisms. The process gives the tree a proper balance with an appropriate configuration and influences its growth.
Trimming allows sunlight penetration and improves circulation of air which is vital for a tree growth. However, as much as tree trimming is important, knowing the precise time to trim is critical. Some species of trees require a particular time or season to trim with a specific approach to doing it. Most need pruning just before winter or in the late fall because at this period they are less likely to suffer from the effect of trimming.
What are the benefits of trimming a tree?
1. Trimming improves the growth of a tree and makes it healthier. Removing the dead branches allows the tree to have a fresh growth.
2. It improves the overall appearance of a tree structure. Trimming a tree helps the limbs from growing weaker or crossing each other with limited space for growth.
3. The process helps increase sunlight exposure and increase air circulation down to its landscape. The two are essential for a tree’s healthy growth.
4. By removing dead branches, a tree gets exposed to new growth, and this eventually improves its size and quantity.
5. For a property owner, trimming can clear your environment and open your view improving the aesthetic value of your compound.
6. Trimming trees reduces the risk of falling branches cause harm to your family members and property.
When is the right to seek out for tree trimming services?
For a property owner, it might be tricky to know when is the right time to seek for a professional tree caretaker to trim your trees.
Here are few tips to guide you on the right time to make that call;
- If you trees seem to have grown too close to the power lines
- If your trees have not been trimmed for three years or more
- If your trees have long dead branches that could fall off anytime
- If your trees have grown out waywardly losing the aesthetic appeal
- If the branches have grown too long and are touching your house
How to Get the Best Tree Trimming Services and Professionals
As a property owner, you will need to protect your trees and give them proper care to allow a healthy growth. Even though you can choose to do the trimming by yourself, it’s advisable to get the services of a professional to avoid the risk of damaging the tree or injuring yourself. Remember that the process of trimming is not done haphazardly and some species of trees need specialized skills of trimming.
There are some risks involved in tree trimming especially the height factor. It requires a trained professional to understand the mechanisms of working with high-level objects. There is also the risk of electrical wires which can be fatal if you interfere with them while trying to trim your trees. Other risks include the danger of large branches falling on your property and causing harm.
To avoid the hassle of trying to figuring out how to safely trim your trees, you can seek a professional to do it.
Here are tips to help you get the right professional to trim your trees:
Ask Around For Referrals
When you decide to seek for a professional expert to work on your trees, you do not want to risk losing your trees by getting someone who is not qualified enough.
It’s safe to get a referral from someone who has witnessed their services and can highly recommend them to you. Ask your friends and other people close to you for referrals and make sure to ask about their experience with the said professional. Ask if they would work with them again and if their work was satisfactory.
You can also get one from online platforms such LinkedIn and Facebook or even Google. Make sure you go through the reviews and see how people rate their services.
Get several quotes
It’s important to ask for several quotes from different professionals and get details on what it covers together with cost estimates before you make your decision. As a homeowner, you will need to have a better bargaining power and get the best out of the service without necessarily spending overboard.
Look for an experienced professional
Remember that the process of growing a tree is a long one, and fully grown trees do not happen overnight. Tree trimming is a delicate undertaking and needs an experienced professional to handle the process. Make sure you get someone who has a good experience in managing trees and understands the whole process well.
How to Avoid Being Scammed by a Contractor
There are companies out there ready to take advantage of innocent consumers by ripping them off and offering poor services just to make a quick buck. These sham companies will prey on unsuspecting homeowners and convince them they are qualified to carry out a good a job.
Tree trimming is a risky process that involves climbing up to high heights, working with dangerous equipment, working close to power lines, and high risk of bodily harm. As a home, you do not want to risk the whole process by hiring quacks that might expose you to liable damages and put your property at risk.
Here are ways to ensure that you are not being scammed;
Take a careful look at the company’s license
When interviewing a potential company to hire for tree trimming services ask if they licensed. Let them provide you with a copy of their license. Some companies claim to be licensed yet they are not. If in doubt, you can call the license board for further confirmations.
Confirm the insurance information
It’s important to note that insurance coverage in the tree service industry is costly and very expensive. Some companies may be inadequately insured but will convince you that they are adequately protected. Others do not have adequate cover for their workers which can be a costly liability if they got injured while working on your premises.
Therefore, do not hesitate to go further and confirm the extent of their cover before fully committing to their services. You can as well get copies of their insurance details from the insurance company just to be on the safe side.
Scrutinize the price
Do not jump to low prices thinking that you have landed a deal. Low rates may be an indication that the company lacks adequate experience or, does not pay for the required licenses and proper insurance policy. If the price margins are too low as compared to other service providers, its good to investigate and be cautious.
Also, if the prices are incredibly high, it’s possible that you are being ripped. Do a research and get estimates from several providers to make a price comparison. If a conman suspects that do not know about tree trimming charges, they are likely to quote you outrageous costs, so be on the lookout.
Pay after the service
Never pay for tree trimming services before the job is done to your satisfaction. Companies that are out to scam you will ask for upfront payments and never turn up to do the job. To protect yourself from this kind of people, only pay after the service has been provided.
Research the service provider
Take the initiative to research the company and get to know about their quality of work from various sources. Read their reviews and see how they are rated. Are the ratings good? Do people have good experience with them? Is their work up to standard? Get all these answers from online platforms before you hire anyone.
Avoid the door to door service provider
Sometimes, after a natural disaster like a tornado, you are likely to see people claiming to offer tree trimming services at your doorstep.
Do not rush into signing a deal with such contractors. Take time and look for your contractor. Besides tree trimming is not a decision you make in a rush, it takes time and proper analyses from a professional before proceeding with the cuttings and pruning. It’s unlikely that a reputable tree trimming service provider will appear on your door to offer a service. A remarkable company is likely to use other forms of approach to reach you such as an advertisement.
Take your time
Most con men create unnecessary rush by making you believe they are in demand and almost fully booked all the time. They will play with your psychology and rush you into making a deal with them without doing the proper investigations. If a service provider wants to offer you services, they will not blackmail you into a contract.
Get A Written Contract
Verbal contracts are not binding. Get everything in wring and read through the details to make sure you agree with what is written in the contract. A written contract is safe, and you can always use it to secure yourself in case the service provider fails to deliver.
Some scams may not be as evident as the ones listed above, but taking time and doing research can cushion you against unscrupulous people out there to steal from you. Treat every detail with caution and proceed to make confirmations if in doubt.
Tree Trimming Cost
To keep your home looking organized and beautiful, you will need to have your trees occasionally trimmed and pruned. Trimming a tree adds its aesthetic appeal and makes it more resistant to harm causing diseases and insects. Overgrown branches and dead limbs can pose a danger to people close to you and cause damage to your property if they fall.
Most homeowners, however, may be unaware of the costs involved in tree trimming. The prices can be different depending on a variety of factors. The average cost of trimming a tree ranges from $75 to $1000.
Some of the factors that can influence the cost of the tree trimming service include;
Size of the tree
It goes without saying that a larger tree will cost more than a small one. Larger tree means that it has bigger branches to handle not mentioning the height which is a huge factor when estimating the costs. Such trees require special types of equipment to be able to trim all the way to the top.
Most professionals use the height of the tree to determine the cost of trimming. They usually have a fixed fee per foot or charge a fee for a particular height. The average cost of trimming a tree of 30 feet and below can range from $75 to $450. Examples of such trees include dogwood, Russian olive, etc.
Trees with a height of 30-60 feet averagely cost from $150-$875 to trim. If your trees are 60 feet and taller, the cost of trimming can range from $200-$1000. An example of such a tree is the red oak, and you will need an expert to handle such because they are quite difficult to cut.
Potential hazards and obstacles
Some trees can be near power lines or other danger zones. Such obstacles can increase the average cost of trimming the tree since the process becomes more involving and time-consuming. Others can be in areas that are hard to reach either due to a bad terrain.
With additional obstacles, a service provider will charge you extra an cost to cover for the time involved. You may end up adding extra $200-$400 on top of the standard charge.
Number of trees to be trimmed
It’s important to mention the exact number of trees to be trimmed to the service provider when negotiating the cost of trimming. The number of trees naturally affects the overall service charge. It’s important to note that, most companies give their quotes per tree, so; the number matters a lot. You might be able to ask for a discount depending on your bargain power if your trees are many.
The state of the tree
Some trees may have undergone some traumatic experience such as a hurricane attack making them unstable. Such trees need special handling to avoid causing more damage, and this may cost you more.
The additional cost would be worth since the tree is considered delicate and you would not want to lose the tree if it survived the disaster. The service provider, after examining the tree, they will give you a price estimate to include extra time needed to take care of the tree.
Damages and diseases
Trees get infected with diseases and get illnesses that can affect their overall health leaving them weak to handle when trimming. Such diseases include;
Moist cracks– it mostly attacks the tree trunk. The damage may need proper assessment to determine if the tree may be at risk of falling.
Fungi and mushrooms– if affected by fungi, the tree might be unstable and weak.
Abiotic Damage– strong winds hail or dry spells leave a tree damaged with dried leaves or weak limbs. Such trees need extra care and maintenance to avoid the risk of getting attacked by parasites leading to severe damages.
Other damages can be caused by pests such the emerald ash borer, mites, or ants, which dig into the tree leaving it weak and damaged.
Such trees, when trimming them, they will cost you more since they cannot be handled the same way as a healthy sturdy tree. A trimmer will examine the damages and give a quotation that covers the cost of taking care of such a tree.
Most service providers have trucks that allow them to reach to the top of most trees regardless of the height. Some surroundings may lack enough space for the trucks which may force tree trimmer to climb up the tree to work on it. The cost will go up with a margin of almost $400 if your area is inaccessible by the trucks and a climber has to trim.
Distance to the location of the tree
A service provider will charge for the distance they will travel to get to the location of the tree especially if it’s far. You can avoid the extra cost or reduce it by hiring a tree trimmer near you or ask around for a local company to do the trimming for you.
The cost of trimming will depend on various factors, the most significant being size of the tree and the number of trees. Remember that the well being of a tree is important and so, the additional costs of handling a damaged tree are necessary. Allowing your tree trimmer to take time and assess the tree is essential. It will help determine if the tree is infected and if it is worth to keep it or cut it down.
Here is a table summarizing the average cost of tree trimming services depending on the height of the tree.
|Height pr.sq.ft||Average cost
|30 feet and below ||$75-$450
|60 feet and above||$200-$100
It’s important to note; the costs can vary depending on the issues discussed earlier, and also with the region. However, the table above will give you an estimate that will help you pre-plan and have basic figures for price estimates.
DYI VS Professional Tree Trimming Services
For some homeowners, they might be tempted to carry out the trimming by themselves without involving the services of a professional. However, you should note that tree trimming is risky and can be hazardous especially if you do not have the right equipment and knowledge.
It takes time for a professional to understand trees and their maintenance. Tree trimming requires special skills and a precise timing for trimming. As a homeowner, you might not have sufficient knowledge on when and where to trim. There are some things that you can carry out successfully involving trees such as general landscaping, simple pruning, and mulching.
However, tree trimming is a technique that is at times best left to professionals to do it.
Here are several reasons why tree trimming is not best for DYI;
Types of equipment and Materials Needed
Tree trimming requires specific equipment to carry out the job successfully. Remember some trees are too tall to be handled by a simple ladder. Some types of the equipment needed; depending on the size of a tree, might be too expensive to hire. A tree trimming company already has the required equipment and materials for the job.
The task of trimming may require you to rent heavy duty gas tree trimmer and trucks, and this might not be cheap at all. Other expenses include a purchase of safety goggles, helmet, handheld pruner, proper saws and many others.
The cost and the hassle of acquiring the necessary equipment and materials might not be worth as compared to getting a professional who already owns them
The risks involved in tree trimming are too high, especially with taller trees. Remember that the reason why professionals charge more for their service is due to the risk involved. Sometimes, a branch may appear sturdy, but it’s dead and rotten inside which may lead to a severe fall if stepped on. A professional tree trimmer will able to identify a fault in a tree and take the necessary measures. Unless you are handling a small tree, it would be best to leave the trimming to a professional.
However, there are incidences where experts may allow someone to DIY. They include;
- If the branches are easily accessible
- If the branches are of a manageable size
- If you have the right equipment and know how to use them
- You know the technique and skills of trimming
- You have someone close to help with the trimming process
Experts in tree trimming emphasize that trees should be trimmed when they are dormant unless you want to slow down the growth of the tree. It’s also important to assess the branch before removing it. A branch that is approximately five centimeters or lower can be removed.
If you decide to trim your trees by yourself, it’s advisable you get an expert opinion so that you know the exact areas to trim without causing harm to the tree or yourself. You can do a research and get some useful facts on how to go about the trimming.
Ways to Reduce the Costs Of Tree Trimming
Some of the costs involved in tree trimming services can be reduced with constant maintenance. There are several ways in which you can ensure the overall cost of trimming a tree remains on the lower end.
You can cut down the costs through these useful tips;
Alert the utility company about the hanging branches near power lines. The company will take care of the trimming for free, and they have staff trained to handle electrical lines better than the tree trimming companies.
You can take care of your trees by doing an annual tree trimming that will ensure that problems such as diseases are taken care of early before they cause extensive damage. Constant trimming will keep random growth in check, and the cost of trimming will also be lower.
If you notice dead limbs, call someone to come and take care of them immediately to prevent further damage to the tree. A quick action will save you the overall cost of trimming a tree that has gotten worse over an extended period.
Proper care – make sure that your trees are well taken care of with constant watering to ensure that they are healthy and robust. Proper care also makes them less susceptible to diseases.
While hiring, you will need to ask some questions that will enable you to gauge the capabilities of the person you are about to hire. You need t protect your interests and get your money’s worth at the end of the day.
10 Questions to Ask Your Tree Trimming Contractor
Here are ten questions that are necessary for you to ask a tree trimming professional before hiring them;
1) Ask For a List of References
Any experienced professional will be ready to share references who can vouch for their services. Get at least three references and call them to ask all the relevant questions regarding the quality of the service the professional provides.
You can also ask for contacts of customers that they recently provided services for and follow up to find out how they carried out the project. Was it satisfactory and well done? All these questions will give an insight into their quality of work.
2) Ask For Their Insurance Status
This is the most critical question, and it should be on top of your list. Remember these people will be working on your property and tree trimming exercise comes with its risks. Get to know if they will provide you with up to date copy of insurance certificate so that you know if they are fully insured.
You do not want to incur medical expenses and be liable in case someone gets injured while working on your property.
3) Ask For Their Work Credentials
Some bodies and institutions provide tree service companies with certificates that regulate and guard their working conditions. Examples of such institutions include; International Society of Arboriculture or Certified Tree Care Safety Professional. These certifications are important for a company for it shows that they take their work seriously and they will not be doing at trial and error kind of work for your trees.
4) Ask If They Will Give You Quotes and Estimated Costs
It’s necessary to get cost estimates and the scope of work from at least two to three companies and make a price comparison. Cost estimation will enable you to settle for a fair deal and avoid being overcharged for the service.
5) How Will They Carry Out The Job And The Type Equipment They Will Use
It’s important to understand how the process will be done. What kind of equipment will they use? The company may use big equipment which might not be what you want on your property. Discuss with them and let them know what you are comfortable with and reach an agreement.
6) Get To Know What Their Policy Is In Case Of Damage
Sometimes the process of tree trimming can result in damages either caused by falling branches or equipment being used may damage your property. For example, they might drive some equipment through your flowerbeds causing some damages. Ask what happens in such scenarios. Are they liable? These details are critical before you decide to hire and help you avoid disagreements in future.
7) Ask How Long Will The Process Take?
For planning purposes and to avoid delays, it’s necessary to know how long the project will take.
8) Ask How They Will Climb Up the Trees
Some companies use spikes to climb up on trees which can cause unnecessary wounds to your trees. You do not want your trees to have unhealthy wounds after the trimming process. Settle for professional who does not make use of the spikes.
9) Will Their Workers Use Protective Equipment While In Your Property?
It’s important that the company has initiatives to protect their workers from bodily harm while carrying out the project. Safety should always remain the priority, and you should seek to know if the company has the proper measures to protect their workers from possible injuries.
10) Do They Clean After The Job Is Completed?
Get to know if they clean up afterward and get rid of the mess in your compound. Also, it necessary to find out if there are charges for cleaning up or if the service is inclusive in the whole package.
Well trimmed trees improve the aesthetic appeal of a home and reduce the risk of falling branches and limbs. It also keeps your trees healthy with reduced risk of diseases and attack by insects and pest. The process of trimming trees is not an easy one, and it requires a professional to trim and maintain a tree properly.
Dealing with large or tall trees can be extremely risky, and that’s why it’s advisable to seek the services of an expert in tree trimming. Do your research and get several quotes to make a price comparison and avoid being ripped off or paying exorbitant charges. Remember that the cost of trimming can be kept low by a proper management of your trees all the time.
To protect yourself from being scammed, ensure that you work with a reputable company that will deliver quality service. Protect yourself from unscrupulous people claiming to know all about tree trimming by being cautious and asking for the right documents.