How Much Does Tree Service Cost?

How Much Does Tree Service Cost?

Costs for tree services vary based on different factors. When trying to understand where the costs come from you must first look at which service is being performed.

Tree Removal Cost

Tree removal costs are mostly based on the labor. Because there are no significant material contributions to the job, the time a job takes is main factor. Of course there are costs to dispose of debris, replace and service equipment and travel time as well. In most cases, a professional certified arborist will be looking at time on site for a crew. So if a tree is going to take 5 hours to remove, the arborist would multiply the number of anticipated hours by the hourly cost. The hourly cost would include labor, general liability insurance, workers comp insurance, disposal fees and all overhead wrapped into one hourly rate. Workers comp is the most expensive part of the job after labor and can be a major difference in estimates received. Never hire a tree service without workers comp. Not only does workers comp protect you from lawsuits resulting from personal injury, it also demonstrates that the company has financial stability. Some states require tree service companies to carry workers comp, most do not, so you will have to specifically ask for that certificate. Typically, on a $2,000 tree removal you are paying for $1,300 in labor, $300 in workers comp, $150 in dump fees, and $150 in all other overhead such as fuel and oil and general liability insurance. These numbers can change a lot depending on the company structure, the safety culture, financial solvency, and professionalism. So how does this play out when you receive two bids? Lets say you receive an estimate for $2,000 from a professional and reputable company, and a quote for $1,800 from "Competitor B” who is not quite as set up but seemed otherwise ok. What value are you loosing for $200? Let's break it down. Competitor B has no workers comp and only has a cheap liability policy. The job should be $300 less at this point not $200. You are already paying and extra $100 for nothing at all and are wide open to losing your home in a lawsuit. It doesn’t stop there. Competitor B doesn’t do a nice clean up job usually and leaves ruts in the yard that you ave to fix. Now you need a landscaper to fix your grass for a cost of $400. This is a hidden cost that most consumers never notice. Competitor B uses unskilled day labor that is unreliable so instead of having a competent 5 man crew they show up with 2-3 people. So this one day job now takes 2-3 days. How much is your time worth? Now for the real problem. One of the unskilled laborers has been injured. Competitor B doesn’t have workers comp because he is financially insolvent. This means the attorney will after the property owner as the only recourse. You will be held liable as the default employer and be responsible for the medical bills, prescription drug costs, pain and suffering, and all of this will be to the tune of hundreds of thousand and possibly millions. It happens to somebody daily. The tree care industry has more fatalities and injuries than any other industry in the USA and you hired an under experienced crew with no workers comp and overpaid. Don’t be that person. What about a liability waiver? They never hold up in court.

Tree Trimming Cost

Much like tree removal, tree trimming is based mostly on time. The cost structure for such work will be very much the same as tree removals. The International Society of Arboriculture says that 9 out of 10 times a tree crew is hired for trimming, the tree will be trimmed incorrectly. Incorrect trimming can severely harm and even kill a tree. An ISA Certified Arborist should be the one to determine what pruning needs the tree has, how and when it should be done, and what qualifications are needed on the crew. Pruning types and styles can be very different and result in estimates for service that are widely different in cost. Most tree companies are pruning entirely too mush out of the tree. It may look like you received more for your money but actually they just caused your tree to go into shock. Next year when your tree is the wrong color you may end up needing the services of a diagnostic arborist to help rehab the tree. This is a hidden cost of cheap service. When a tree is pruned correctly it shouldn’t appear to be drastic in most cases. To the consumer who is accustomed to hack job trimming, it may appear as though they didn’t get what they paid for when in fact, the tree has handled correctly for the first time.

Tree Fertilization and Treatment Cost

Plant Health Care is the industry term that would include all fertilization, control of pests, and disease. These costs will include material which may or may not be expensive, the labor, and overhead. Again, workers comp should always be required. Spray guns can be extremely dangerous as are other PHC tools. PHC applicators are required by state law to have an applicators license issued either by the Structural Pest Control Board or the Department of Agriculture. This is very important as companies who do not have the correct credentials, usually don’t have the correct experience and can easily harm or even kill a tree by accident. Cheaper services often time use pre-packaged fertilizer blends and almost never check the soil. While some pre-packaged fertilizer blends are ok for some situations, you should have a soil sample taken by a professional arborist who can adjust the blend according to the soil. For instance, we find that often times the soil isn’t actually lacking the ingredients the tree is missing, the soil pH is simply too high. $10 worth of sulfur can fix the problem. So you pay an ISA Certified Arborist $100 for their time in a consultation, $50 for a soil sample, and $10 for sulfur to fix the issues. You are all in for $160. By contrast if you are not the type to pay for professional advice and you have a relatively cheap company come fertilize two trees for $250 each you have just paid $500 for no result at all and you still have the same problem. This is very common in Houston. Now, most trees do need to be fertilized once per year at least. So most likely you will need the fertilization but it will have no effect and possibly even be harmful if you don’t correct your pH first. Trees are the most valuable landscape asset and contribute significant value to your home and commercial properties so be sure to get the correct advice. Sometimes your trees may be struggling and it isn’t related to a nutrient deficiency or pH. Soil compaction is common problem and so is herbicide damage. You need an expert to help you understand what you should be doing so you don’t make matters worse.


Trees are a valuable asset to your environment, building and landscape in a big way however, sometimes they need to be removed on an emergency basis, if:

  • They become highly infested with harmful pathogens and are likely to pose severe threats to the neighboring healthy trees
  • They are falling or some of the branches are dropping due to harsh climatic conditions such as storms, droughts, lightning strikes, hail etc
  • They pose a threat to the basic safety of your home
  • A tree is dead or dying
  • Trees block a driveway or obstruct a new construction project
  • A tree overgrows its urban environment and needs immediate attention in terms of removal

We are an insured tree removal company rooted in Houston

ArborTrue delivers every time you call us

We take pride in serving many areas in and around Houston, including Memorial, River Oaks, Tanglewood, The Galleria Area, Friendswood, Huffman, Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita, Summerwood, Eagle Springs, Lake Shore, The Woodlands, Spring, Porter and Conroe.

Our services reflect our Core Values

When it comes to tree removal done in a safe, reliable and professional manner, there is only one name that comes to the minds of thousands of homeowners across Houston; it is ArborTrue! The simple reason behind this is our integrity, sincerity, earnestness and on time solutions to any kind of urgent situation whether it is removing a dead tree or clearing a tree that is acting as a hindrance in many ways.

Our Core service Values are:

  • Safety– we take enough preventive measures to minimize the chances of damage to your property. Being seasoned specialists in all kinds of tree services in Houston, you can rely on us for getting reliable and long-term solutions.
  • Care– being a market leader in the tree services industry, we know when to prune, when not to prune, what to use and how to go about it professionally. Our tree services are priced correctly.
  • Integrity – our tree services at ArborTrue are carried out in such a way that at the end you feel happy by the results. In addition, you can rest assured to get full value for your money through our professional tree services.

We leave no stone unturned to offer you emergency tree services that are quoted at competitive prices and are easily accessible to customers as needed. After all, being seasoned tree services specialists, we realize that emergencies concerning trees will strike unannounced.

We are ably backed by competent service personnel who are given constant training and industry exposure so that they keep abreast of the latest developments in the tree services industry. Moreover, we know what it takes to ensure that tree removal is done to the utmost satisfaction of our customers. We adopt the right combination of skills, knowledge and expertise to make sure that there is no damage caused to the landscape or the building.

We promise and ensure to not only exercise extreme care and caution but also to adopt all kinds of preventive measures to minimize the chances of any kind of risk.

Need Tree Removal Help?

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