To trim a tree in Portland, Oregon, you should set aside $80 to $1000 per tree. For small, non-risky trees, you should expect a tree trimming cost between $80 and $150. The tree trimming cost increases with size, generally moving from $500 for the average-sized trees and maxing out at $1000 for the large trees.
In addition to tree size, the cost of trimming a tree is also affected by other factors, including accessibility, tree health, and tree stability. In the following section, we will take a look at how different factors affect the tree trimming cost.
Tree Trimming Cost Factors in Portland, Oregon
1. Size of a Tree
As the height of a tree increases, the size of its crown also increases. If you have a mature white oak in your home, it will probably have a height of about 100 feet and a crown spread of 50 to 70 feet. The cost of trimming the white oak will be higher compared to the cost of trimming a 30-foot crape myrtle whose crown spread will be less than 20 feet.
Trimming large trees is riskier compared to trimming small trees. During trimming, the branches removed from a 100-foot tree will be much bigger than those removed from a 40-foot tree – if the branches fall 100 feet to the ground, they may cause a lot of damage to any utilities below the tree. To avoid the damage, the tree trimming experts have to take extra caution – and use more advanced tools – when pruning the large trees.
To reach the crown of a large tree, tree trimmers need more time compared to when working on small trees. More advanced tools, additional time, and bigger risks often increase the tree trimming cost for the largest trees.
Below, we have outlined the tree trimming costs to expect for trees of varying sizes:
- Large trees – These trees have a height of above 60 feet. To work with professional tree trimmers, you will need to spend $200 to $1000 on each of your large trees.
- Medium trees – Also known as average-sized, medium trees have a height of 30 – 60 feet. Professional trimming for medium-sized trees costs $150 to $875.
- Small trees – Maturing at a height of below 30 feet, small trees are extremely easy to trim. In addition to having a small crown, their branches are generally much thinner and easier to manage. To trim small trees, you will need $80 to $400 per tree.
When trimming a tree, instead of using manual climbing to reach the crown, nowadays professionals use a bucket truck. Bucket trucks, however, need parking space and an unblocked path they can use to get to the tree. Making tree trimming easier, quicker, and safer, bucket trucks lead to a lower tree trimming cost.
In the event a tree is blocked and inaccessible to the bucket truck, the tree trimmers are forced to climb it manually, relying on old safety gear like harnesses. The increased risk and the extra time needed to trim the trees increase the tree trimming cost by 30% to 40%. If your tree would cost $100 to trim under normal circumstances in which a bucket truck is usable, the cost may increase to between $130 and $140 if manual climbing is the only option.
3. Proximity to Utilities
Tree trimming has the potential to cause significant damage to utilities nearby. The only way to avoid damage is to keep the cut branches from falling on houses and utility lines.
To do this, the tree trimmers have to tie the branches with ropes before cutting. The ropes are then used to lower the branches down slowly, taking care not to touch any of the nearby utilities. Since additional time will be needed for this procedure, the tree trimming cost for trees near utilities is generally higher than that of trees standing on open ground.
4. Tree Health
In Portland, Oregon, trees are often affected by both pests and diseases. Both health problems weaken the tree’s wood structure, making the tree riskier to work on – in the case of manual climbing, the tree trimmers have to be extra careful to avoid stepping on weak branches and falling.
The tree trimming procedure takes more time when working on pest-infested and diseased trees. This has to do with the fact that all infected branches have to be removed – this calls for the inspection of every branch. This leads to a higher tree trimming cost for trees with ill-health.
After trimming a tree with health problems, the tree trimmers may have to invite an arborist to your home to inspect the tree. The arborist will recommend the best treatment option for the tree. The cost of the arborist service plus the medications/pesticides your tree will need can add an extra $50 to $500 to your tree trimming cost.
5. Tree Stability
Since unstable trees feature the risk of falling, the tree trimmers may need to use stabilizing mechanisms – for example, cabling – to improve the tree’s stability before climbing to the crown. Stabilizing mechanisms increase the time needed to trim a tree – this results in a higher tree trimming cost.
Some of the issues that affect the stability of trees in Portland, Oregon include:
- Extreme weather – Lightning strikes, high winds, tornadoes, and storms are known to occur in Portland, Oregon. These conditions can destabilize trees, increasing their probability of falling. In most cases, trees that have suffered insignificant weather damage can be stabilized. In rare circumstances where the trees have suffered significant damage – say, when they are too close to falling – tree removal may be the only way to avoid property damage.
- Human activities – It is not uncommon for constructions in Portland, Oregon to use heavy machinery. When the equipment passes close to your tree’s roots, it may end up doing a lot of damage to the tree’s anchor point. This could minimize its stability.
- Extreme lean – When leaning increases beyond a certain point, it may put the tree at the risk of falling. Extreme leans have to be corrected as soon as possible – otherwise, the tree may end up falling and causing damage.
- Cracks on the trunk – Cracks indicate that the tree has a significant underlying problem. If identified early, the problem can be fixed, restoring the tree’s stability.
6. Number of Trees
Whether tree service providers are working on one or multiple trees, they will have to take care of various fixed costs. These include travel expenses and the cost of licenses and permits. However, when working on multiple trees, the tree trimmers receive a higher compensation but the fixed costs remain unchanged – this often makes it possible for them to charge a lower tree trimming cost.
If you had been charged $300 to trim your 40-foot California juniper, trimming 10 California junipers of the same size may cost you a total of $2500. You will end up saving $50 on each tree.
7. Travel Fees
The travel fee does not apply to every tree owner in Portland, Oregon. It is generally charged to tree owners who would like to work with tree service providers living too far from their homes.
The travel fee is generally $0.5 per mile. Some tree service providers, however, may charge you a fixed cost of $50 – $200, depending on the distance covered.
Per Hour Tree Trimming Cost
In Portland, Oregon, tree service providers charge a fixed cost – you will be hard-pressed to find a team charging an hourly cost. This is because the time needed to trim a tree is affected by a variety of factors, including the level of experience, the number of workers, and the tree trimming tools.
A tree that would take one tree trimming team one hour can take a different team the whole day. The fixed cost minimizes the possibility of losses for either the company or the tree owner. In the fixed cost, however, the tree trimmers may factor in a cost of $25 to $50 per hour for each of their workers on site.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
When trying to decide whether to do it yourself or work with a professional, you will need to consider the costs and risks associated with the DIY option.
DIY Tree Trimming Risks
- You may end up with injuries resulting from falling from the tree.
- If the branches fall on nearby utilities, you may end up with expensive repairs.
- Your cutting tools may cause injuries.
- Without tree trimming experience, you may damage your tree irreversibly.
DIY Tree Trimming Costs
You will need to purchase the tools listed below to trim your trees:
- Ladder: $150 – $500
- Safety gear: $50 – $150
- Gas pole pruner: $150 – $300
- Heavy-duty gas trimmer: $50 to rent per day
- Hand-held pruners and loppers: $50
You may also need to spend $50 to $150 on cleanup and waste dumping.
DIY tree trimming becomes a good option when the risks are minimal. In the case of large, extremely risky trees, working with professionals is always a good idea.