Shrub Trimming Costs

Shrub trimming (or pruning) is a routine maintenance task for many types of shrubs, and may further be necessary for any type of shrub due to safety concerns or to enhance the appearance and accessibility of your property.

How much does it cost to trim a shrub?

You will find the cost to trim average shrubs will vary with shrub size and type, proximity to buildings and/or power lines, accessibility of its location, shrub health, and labor rate.

Cost breakout

In the following table the Labor Cost figure is what the able DIY person should expect to save by performing the complete task.

Trim twenty-five healthy shrubs (4’ tall) on a residential lot: each with ten years growth since last trim; no power-line or building issues.

ItemUnit CostQuantityLine Cost
Wood chipper: 40 HP; chip all cut material and spread decoratively onsite (requires vehicle for transport to and around site).$244per day1$244
Chainsaw: 18” gasoline powered, including gas and oil.$68per day1$68
Hand tools: shears, axe, etcetera.$45per day1$45
Equipment Cost$119per day3$357
+ Labor Cost (2 persons)$38per hour16$608
Total Cost$39per shrub25$965


Additional considerations and costs

  • Taxes and permit fees are not included.
  • Electric utility companies often perform tree and shrub trimming around their overhead lines at no cost to the homeowner, check with them if this is your case.
  • When searching for a service provider, be sure to request a detailed written offer (usually fixed-price) from several providers that includes proof of:
    • business license
    • professional arborist license (not typical but is nice)
    • liability insurance and workman’s compensation insurance
    • customer references
    • a time commitment to complete the work tied to payments
  • Additional information and proof should also be available regarding:
    • certification by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
    • registry as Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accredited Business
    • use of shoe-spikes to climb trees (should NOT be the case)
    • removal of living material from the tree-top (should NOT be the case)
    • disposal of all limbs, branches, and cut material; and full clean up the area
    • a background check on the persons who will be on your property
    • provision of a signed contract that details the work to be done including an estimate of time on the job site and the fixed-price to deliver on terms
    • a valid contractors bond on work that exceeds $500

DIY considerations

  • This activity may be suitable for DIY while not working at heights, but with risky chainsaw work. It also requires knowledge of how to correctly trim the shrub.

References

  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY and arborist Web sites.

Cost to trim shrub in my city

Cost to trim shrub varies greatly by region. To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.