How much does it cost to trim a tree?

As a rough guide, you should expect to pay a starting rate of £100 – 150 for a small tree and a minimum of £500 for a large tree.

The cost to trim or prune a tree depends, among other things, on the type of service required and the condition of the tree. It is therefore difficult to give a price without first assessing the tree or trees in question.

In this guide, we will:

  • Explore the factors that influence the cost
  • Explain the different types of tree trimming services
  • Answer some frequently asked questions

trimming a tree branch

Tree trimming and tree pruning cost factors

The following factors influence the cost to trim or prune a tree:

The species and number of trees

Tree trimming and pruning are generally priced at an hourly or daily rate. The more trees or the more difficult the species is to work with, the longer the job will take.

Tree size

The larger a tree is, the more expensive the job will be because the tree surgeon will need to climb it. This involves more equipment, more time and a bigger team of tree surgeons to assist the process (as well as for health and safety reasons due to the complexity of working at height in a tree).

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Labour costs vary across the country, with London and the south-east costing more than the north.


If a tree is difficult to access, additional labour will be needed to get equipment to and from the tree. What’s more, the job may require more care and effort due to the increased hazards that come from restricted access.

Condition of the tree

The more that needs to be done to the tree or the ‘worse’ condition it is in, the more the job will cost. For example, a tree that requires a simple trim will cost less than a tree with multiple dead or diseased branches.

Technique of trimming

Labour requirements vary across the different techniques, with some being inherently more demanding, irrespective of the type or condition of the tree. For example, crown reduction will cost more than crown thinning as it is a more intensive process.

Is there a difference between tree trimming and tree pruning?

When it comes to tidying up the appearance of a tree, there are several techniques, all of which serve a different purpose. As a homeowner or landlord, it is worth knowing about the various options available.

This knowledge will help you establish what your tree needs; or to better understand what a tree surgeon is recommending.

tree trimming cost

The technique used, plays a big part in tree trimming costs. Some methods are more labour or time-intensive than others and will therefore cost more. Below is a list of the different tree trimming services.

Tree trimming

Tree trimming deals with overgrowth and aesthetics. It tidies the appearance of the tree while promoting growth and general health.

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Tree pruning

Tree pruning refers to the removal of diseased, dead or otherwise unnecessary branches to prevent harm to the tree and passers by, and to protect the tree’s overall health.

Crown thinning

Crown thinning is the selective removal of stems and branches to produce a uniform structure, without altering the outer shape of the tree. Removing unhealthy or congested branches can benefit the health of the tree.

Crown lift/raise

A crown lift involves removing the tree’s lower branches to lift the height of the base of the crown.

Crown reduction

This is a reduction in the height or spread of a tree’s crown. It is more aggressive than the other services and the cuts can put considerable stress on the tree.


Deadwooding is the removal of dead limbs and branches in order to preserve the health of a tree.

Frequently asked questions

Below we cover some of  the frequently asked questions about tree trimming.

How regularly do I need to trim a tree?

It depends on the tree; its type, size, health and how old it is. You’ll also need to consider the time of year. A tree surgeon will help you figure out the optimal timeline for the species in question.

When is the best time of year to prune a tree?

It ultimately depends on the species of tree. However, the general rule is to trim or prune a tree in winter or early spring when the tree is dormant. If you’re unsure, consult a tree surgeon who will be able to tell you the optimal time for your tree.

Is tree trimming important?

Yes, it is hugely important. Aside from the clear aesthetic advantage, tree trimming and pruning are crucial for promoting and stimulating growth, maintaining the tree’s health, stopping the spread of diseases and ensuring the safety of the tree’s structure.

To get quotes from tree surgeons near you – post a job now.

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