Tree Pruning Cost

by | Feb 25, 2019 | Tree Services

To maintain their structural integrity and aesthetics, landscape trees do require regular pruning. Until you need to get rid of dead/broken branches or to improve your tree’s appearance through pruning, you may be unaware of how much the service costs. While the tree pruning cost does vary in Austin, there are various things that one can look at to estimate how much he/she should expect to pay.

In this guide, we will look at the various factors that increase or decrease the tree pruning cost. To make your work easier when planning your tree pruning budget, we will show you the average costs you should expect to pay the tree pruning professionals.

Austin Tree Pruning Cost

In Austin, the tree pruning cost ranges between $196 and $756, with most homeowners paying an average of $455. Tree pruning is extremely important – this means that parting with this amount of money is totally worth it.

When you fail to prune your trees, they will end up growing too dense. This will eventually prevent water from reaching the roots and the sunlight from touching the tree’s interior. This can easily leave the tree looking lush on the outside while it is dying slowly from the inside.

Austin Tree Pruning Cost Factors

As noted earlier, tree pruning cost is not constant in Austin – it varies depending on a number of factors. The main factors affecting how much you have to spend on the tree pruning are:

  • Tree size
  • Tree location
  • Tree type
  • Tree health

If you have big trees in your home, your tree pruning cost will be higher compared to someone with smaller trees. If the trees are located too close to power lines – meaning that the tree pruners have to take excessive precautions to avoid messing with the electricity lines – you should expect to pay the professionals more money.

Compared to thin branches, thick branches are generally harder to cut. This means that trees with thick branches have a higher tree pruning cost.

If your tree is pest-infested or diseased, more effort and time will be required to prune the tree properly. This means that the cost of pruning the tree will be higher. Healthy trees are usually easier to prune – this means that they have a lower tree pruning cost.

Tree Pruning Timing

The ideal time to prune trees depends on a number of factors. These main factors are:

  • Aesthetics – Pruning helps keep the tree looking aesthetically appealing. This, however, only works if you do not try to give the tree an unnatural size or shape.
  • Safety – It is not uncommon for tree branches to grow too close to utility lines or too low such that they obstruct your vision when you are driving. Dead and broken branches can fall off unexpectedly, causing harm to your home or injuring someone. Pruning can easily eliminate all these risks.
  • Health – A lot of tree health problems can be solved with pruning. For example, if you catch a disease early enough, you can cut it away before it spreads to the rest of the tree.

If your tree is healthy and it does not pose a safety risk, the most ideal time to prune it is when it is dormant. By “dormant” we mean when the tree is not actively growing. Different trees will have varying growth periods. Determining the growth period for each tree is the best way to get the timing right.

Austin Tree Pruning Cost for Large Trees

As you would expect, Austin tree pruning professionals charge more to prune large trees compared to smaller trees. This is understandable considering that the larger trees have more branches and are usually more difficult to reach because of their width and height.

On average, you should expect to pay $800 to $1000 to prune trees over 60 feet tall, depending on the trees’ location and the number of trees you would like to prune. Extremely tall trees usually incur additional costs.

Additional Austin Tree Pruning Cost Considerations

It is pretty common for Austin tree owners to incur some extra tree pruning charges. For example, if the tree pruning professionals have to drive a long way to get to your home, you may incur a travel fee. Often, tree owners do have to pay for the materials/equipment and labor.

In some instances – although very rare – you may need to pay some extra fee for the tree’s location. If your tree is diseased or pest-infested, you may have to pay for the pesticide application or disease control.

The most ideal way to avoid unexpected extra tree pruning costs is to ask the Austin tree pruning professionals to include all the possible additional charges in your quote. This will help you ensure that everything is catered for when planning the tree pruning budget.

Seasonal Factors to Consider When Pruning Trees

Years of observing different types of trees have led to the establishment of a seasonal pattern that tree owners can follow when taking care of their plants. Below, we will take you through the pattern:


The spring is the most appropriate time to water and fertilize your trees. This will ensure that the plants are healthy enough to handle the summer. If you would like to add more trees to your home, the spring is the ideal time to plant the trees.

Most trees grow actively in the spring. Therefore, unless the trees are a safety risk, you should avoid pruning them.


During the summer season, you should leave the trees alone – avoid touching them. If, however, there is a need, you can do the minor trimming. Unless you are trying to get rid of diseased branches or stems that may fall and cause damage to your home or injuries, you should avoid pruning your trees. If the weather is too dry, you can always water the trees.


Most trees stop growing actively in the fall. Since the trees will be in their dormant stage throughout the season, this is the right time to perform major trimming and pruning operations. You can do the following in the fall:

  • Get rid of dead and diseased branches.
  • Improve sunlight access and tree shape by trimming the tops and the sides.
  • Perform other important maintenance practices that involve a lot of cutting.


In winter, the only thing you should consider doing is protecting the healthy trees from snow and cold. If you have dead or dying trees, the winter season is the right time to remove them from your compound. Also, consider removing all the trees that may damage your home.

If you have some trees that you didn’t trim or prune in the fall season, you can prune them. In the winter season, experts and tree pruning professionals are generally less busy – this means that their services are usually more affordable.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Having diseased or dead branches on your fruit trees means produce featuring lower quality. Also, the quantity of the product will go down.

To get top-quality yield from fruit trees, you need to prune them correctly and regularly. Below, we will take you through the process of pruning different fruit trees:

Apple Trees

The most ideal time to prune apple trees is in early winter or late spring. For the first 6 years, it is extremely important that you prune the trees regularly. This will allow the trees to grow upwards in a conical shape. Older apple trees should also be pruned to make sure that they maintain the conical shape and to boost fruit production.

Lemon Trees

You should start pruning your lemon trees immediately after their fruit-bearing season is over. First, you will need to remove the diseased and dead branches. Next, get rid of stems whose diameter is less than that of a pencil.

To keep insects and pests off the tree, remove any branch touching the ground. Remove branches growing vertically and crossing other branches. To ensure that sunlight reaches the inner parts, be sure to thin the lemon tree.

Plum Trees

The most ideal time to prune plum trees is in the summer season, specifically from June to August. This will help protect the tree from fungal infections which are usually caused by wet weather conditions. When pruning the trees, ensure that the moisture in the air is as low as possible – prune the trees on clear and dry days.

Plum trees can be pruned on a yearly basis. Since plum trees are very resilient, over-trimming them a little bit shouldn’t be a big issue. When pruning the trees, you should remove the lower branches and also ensure that the sunlight can reach stems responsible for fruit-bearing.

Cherry Trees

The ideal time to prune cherry trees is in the early fall. You should focus on removing suckers or water sprouts appearing at ground level. Any branch meeting the cherry tree trunk shouldn’t be cut.

During the pruning, additional care is necessary to avoid making cuts all over the tree. You should only remove branches that take away from the tree’s beauty and growth. You can use the shape of the tree as guidance.

Fig Trees

After fig tree transplanting, you should prune it a couple of times over the first winter. You can remove more than 50% of the tree branch growth. This will allow the tree to develop a strong root system.

Over time, however, you will need to start pruning the tree in a way that encourages the growth of horizontal and low branches. Select 4 – 6 braches for fruit holding. Be sure to remove suckers from the base of the tree to ensure that it stays healthy.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Tree Pruning

DIY tree pruning is often viewed as an ideal way to avoid incurring high tree pruning costs. Before you start pruning any tree, however, it is extremely important that you understand the different tree pruning methods and techniques. This should help you avoid causing irreparable tree damage.

How to Prune a Tree

When selecting the branches to remove, you should consider the size. If the branch’s diameter is less than 5 cm (2 inches), you can cut it. If the branch’s diameter ranges from 2 inches to 4 inches (5 cm to 10 cm), you will need to consider the branch more carefully. If it is impossible to figure out whether to remove the branch or leave it, the best thing to do is to avoid cutting it.

Branches with a diameter exceeding 4 inches should be left on the tree. You should only cut these branches if they are a safety hazard.

The angle that a branch makes with other branches is also an ideal way to determine which branches should be removed and which ones should be left on the tree. You can cut branches making V-shaped angles. Branches forming a U-shaped angle should be allowed to remain on the tree.

You should aim for a tree height to crown size ratio of 2:3. Avoid cutting more than a quarter of the tree’s crown at once. Below, we have some crown work techniques you should understand:

Crown Thinning

This involves getting rid of excess branches from the top of the tree and the outer edges. This allows the branches left on your tree to grow stronger. When crown thinning, you should make sure that even spaces exist between all the lateral tree branches.

Crown Raising

This involves getting rid of excess foliage and branches from the bottom of the tree. This helps clear the roads and sidewalks. You should keep the branches at approximately two-thirds of the tree’s height.

Crown Reduction

When performing crown reduction, you should focus on removing foliage and branches from the top of the tree. This maintenance practice is perfect in the following situations:

  • If it aids in promoting the tree health
  • If it boosts safety
  • If it lowers property damage risks

Before cutting any branch, you should locate the collar and the ridge which is usually parallel to the tree’s branch. The cutting should be done away from the collar and outside the branch’s ridge.

Tree Pruning Materials and Tools

Using the right tree pruning tools is as important as using the right tree pruning techniques. If you intend to perform DIY tree pruning, you will need the following tools:

  • Bypass pruner – Perfect for cutting narrow-angled branches, this tool has a curved and sharp blade that cuts very cleanly.
  • Looping shears – These give you bigger leverage. They are perfect for the larger branches. If you would like to avoid too much arm fatigue, you should consider getting shears featuring shock absorption.
  • Pruning saws – If you intend to cut branches whose diameter doesn’t exceed 2 inches, you should invest in a fine-toothed saw. For branches with a diameter that exceeds 3 inches, you should use a coarse-toothed saw.
  • Pole pruners – These pruners have a rope and a long pole – these work together to activate the cutting mechanism. The pruners are ideal for pruning stems that are incredibly high. If you have to use these pruners in places that are too close to utility lines, it is crucial that you exercise caution.
  • Hedge clippers – These are a perfect option for people looking to prune shrubs and hedges.

When pruning different trees with the same tool, it is extremely important that you clean and disinfect the tool before moving to the next tree. This will help reduce the chances of transmitting disease from one tree to the other.

70% rubbing alcohol is the best cleaning agent. Using household cleaners and bleaches is not recommended.

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