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Tree Trimming Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

Trees and shrubs are an ideal way of boosting the aesthetic appeal – and hence the value – of both commercial and residential properties. However, the tree’s constant growth puts the crown out of shape, giving homes an unkempt appearance. 

By investing in regular professional tree trimming, however, property owners maintain an impressive crown shape and remove dead limbs from the tree crown. Tree trimming ensures that properties are looking their best throughout the year.

If you are planning a tree trimming project, you should understand the tree trimming cost. In this guide, we will show you the average cost of trimming a tree in Milwaukee. We will also take a look at the various factors that affect this cost. 

Average Tree Trimming Cost in Milwaukee, WI

To trim a tree in Milwaukee, you will need $80 to $1000, depending on how big the tree is. Homeowners who have small to medium-sized tree pay $80 to $500 for tree pruning. A healthy, medium-sized tree with minimal risks will have a tree trimming cost of around $150. 

Tree Trimming Cost Factors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Tree Height and Crown Width 

Tree height has a significant effect on the time needed to complete the tree trimming procedure. To climb to the crown of a 150-foot white pine, tree trimmers will need more time compared to climbing a 40-foot magnolia tree. 

Compared to a 30-foot California juniper, a 100-foot oak tree will always have a larger crown spread. In addition to having a 50 to 70-foot crown width, the oak tree will also have branches with bigger diameters. The fact that the largest trees need more time to trim forces the tree service providers to charge a higher tree trimming cost. 

Depending on your tree’s height, professional tree trimmers in Milwaukee will charge you the amounts listed below: 

  • Large trees – These trees have a height of above 60 feet. Trimming large trees costs $200 to $1000. 
  • Medium trees – These trees have a height of 30 to 60 feet. Professional tree trimming costs $150 to $875 for these trees. 
  • Small trees – These trees will have a height of below 30 feet. Professionals charge $80 to $400 to trim the smallest trees in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

2. Accessibility 

Tree accessibility has a significant impact on the ease of tree trimming. To start with, accessibility impacts the use of a bucket truck. 

Nowadays, tree trimmers have replaced manual climbing with bucket trucks. Instead of carrying their tree trimming gear up the tree manually, the professionals just get in a bucket truck and are raised to the tree crown. Instead of relying on branches and harnesses to stay attached to the tree, the tree trimmers are allowed all the flexibility they need when using the bucket truck, which lowers the risk of falling significantly. 

Bucket trucks, however, are only usable in situations where a tree has ample parking space and the bucket truck is not blocked by other things – for example, houses – from parking near the tree. In Milwaukee, trees that stand in the backyard are often inaccessible to the bucket truck – this forces the tree trimmers to climb up the tree manually. 

Manual climbing increases the tree trimming cost by 30% to 40%. If your tree would cost $500 to trim, you should expect a price between $650 and $700, if manual climbing is the only option. 

In addition to impacting bucket truck use, accessibility also impacts how branches are lowered from the tree crown. When a tree is standing on open ground, the cut branches can be allowed to fly off freely to the ground – this is because the risk of property damage is non-existent. 

In situations where a tree is standing next to powerlines, your house, or the crown is over other smaller trees, the branches can cause damage. To avoid the damage, tree trimmers often tie the branches with ropes and then lower them down slowly. This takes more time and hence increases the tree trimming cost. 

3. Tree Health and Stability 

Most health issues impact tree stability negatively. When trimming trees with stability issues, a lot of caution is required. Also, the tree trimmers have to take their time to inspect every branch to determine whether it has been affected by the health problems – this is necessary to remove all infected branches, keeping the disease from spreading. 

In short, instability increases the amount of time needed to trim a tree. In turn, this increases the tree trimming cost. 

In addition to diseases, the following conditions affect the stability of trees in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 

  • Pests – Pests like the emerald ash borer feed on sections of the tree. They destroy the wood structure with time, making the tree unstable. 
  • Fungi – Although fungi are not exactly pests, they also feed on the tree’s vital nutrients. This weakens the tree with time. 
  • Cracks – Large cracks on the tree trunk are an indicator that your tree has undergone significant trauma recently. Such a tree may have significant stability issues. 
  • Weather damage – Storms, high winds, and lightning strikes are known to affect the stability of trees – in extreme cases, they may break the tree trunk and branches. 

If your tree has cracks on its trunk or it has suffered recent weather damage, the tree trimmers may spend some of their time stabilizing it. Stabilizing mechanisms like cabling take additional time and hence force the tree trimmers to charge a higher tree trimming cost. The extra cost you pay, however, is worth it as the professionals improve safety on your landscape, keeping the trees from falling unexpectedly and causing a lot of harm. 

4. Treatment Costs 

If your trees are suffering from a serious health problem, removing the infected branches through tree trimming may not be enough. An arborist may be needed to diagnose the tree and recommend the best medications. The cost of the medications plus the cost of the arborist’s service can add an extra $50 to $500 to the quoted tree trimming cost. 

5. Travel Fees 

Some tree owners in Milwaukee prefer to work with tree service providers whose offices are located too far from their properties. This generally has to do with the trust factor – the property owners have worked with the companies before and received impressive services. 

Choosing to work with a team that will need a lot of time to get to your home may force you to pay travel expenses. The professionals may charge you $0.5 per mile or a fixed cost of $50 to $200, depending on the distance covered. To avoid this travel fee, you will just need to work with a team that is much closer to your property. 

6. Number of Trees 

Trimming one tree is generally costlier than trimming a group of trees together. The easiest way to see this is by considering the per-unit price. In Milwaukee, property owners pay approximately $200 to trim one 40-foot tree. However, when trimming 10 trees of the same size, the total cost may add up to $1,500 – this means that one will pay only $150 for each tree, saving $50. 

The higher cost when trimming one tree is often a result of numerous fixed costs that the tree trimmers have to take care of. These include license costs, permits costs, travel time, etc. Whether the professionals are trimming one or more trees, they will always pay the same amount for the fixed costs. 

DIY Trimming Versus Hiring Experts 

Tree trimming is much easier with experience, the right gear, and a team to help you. However, when property owners are thinking of DIY trimming, they are generally thinking of handling the task without help, without professional tools, and with minimal tree service experience – this can make the entire procedure dangerous. 

If your trees are large – that is, they have a height of above 60 feet – you should leave tree trimming to professionals. Even if you are confident in your tree trimming skills, the risk of falling and suffering significant injuries will be high. Also, the necessary tools can set you back thousands of dollars. 

Equipment Costs and Fees 

From hand-held pruners and loppers to bucket trucks, professional tree service providers have all the tools needed during tree trimming. Property owners who are thinking about DIY trimming for the first time, however, may need to purchase the tools: 

  • Gas pole pruner: $150 to $300
  • Heavy-duty gas trimmer: $50 to rent for a day 
  • Safety gear: $50 to $150. 
  • Ladder: $150 to $500. 
  • Hand-held pruners and loppers: $30 to $50 

After pruning your trees, you may need to pay $25 to $100 to dump the waste generated by the procedure. 


DIY trimming carries several risks, including 

  • Falling from the crown and breaking your legs and hands
  • Cutting yourself with the sharp tree trimming tools 
  • Property damage if the trees fall on your house or nearby utilities
  • Tree damage if you have no tree trimming experience 

When working on large trees, these risks are generally worth more than the cost of professional tree trimming. Therefore, working with professionals may be a good idea. 

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