Tree Care and Tree Service in Toronto

Tree Trimming Costs in Toronto


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Tree Trimming Costs in Toronto

Tree Service Prices in Toronto » Tree Trimming Costs in Toronto
Price of Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning in Toronto

Understanding the Cost of Tree Pruning

Understanding tree trimming costs is essential for homeowners in Toronto who want to maintain the health and aesthetics of their landscape. Pruning is crucial for tree care as it promotes healthy growth, prevents potential hazards, and improves the overall appearance of your trees. Regular pruning can also help maintain a desired shape and size. Storm damage pruning can help you repair damaged trees rather than face removing them.

In this thorough guide, we’ll examine the numerous elements that can affect the price, such as tree size, tree’s health , tree species and the difficulty. We’ll also discuss average tree trimming prices in Toronto, and how to compare quotes from top arborist companies and local tree services.

Toronto Average Cost to Prune a Tree

The price of trimming trees can range from around three hundred and fifty dollars to well over two thousand depending on all the factors we discussed above. Here are some ballpark figures for cost based on tree size.

  • Small tree (up to 30 feet): $350 – $1000+
  • Medium tree (30-60 feet): $350 – $1800+
  • Large tree (over 60 feet): $500 – $2200+
  • Storm Damaged Tree (any size): May increase price 0-75% depending on circumstances
  • Hazardous tree or emergency: $1000 – $3500+

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Overview of How much Tree Pruning Costs

What We’ll Discuss

Additionally, you’ll learn about related services like the different types of pruning, which can impact overall project expenses. Lastly, we’ll emphasize the importance of hiring a certified arborist for optimal results while comparing DIY tree trimming with professional services to help you make an informed decision on managing your property’s trees effectively.

Tree Trimming Cost Factors: Summary

Certified arborist pruning a honey locust in etobicoke

The cost of tree trimming is determined by several factors, including the size and health of the tree, its location, amount to be trimmed, the type of pruning you’re having done and the difficulty; understanding these can help you estimate how much it will cost. Keep in mind: you can’t prune a dead tree, dead trees just have to be removed.

The cost of tree trimming is determined by several factors, including the size and health of the tree, its location, amount to be trimmed, the type of pruning you’re having done and the difficulty; understanding these can help you estimate how much it will cost. Keep in mind: you can’t prune a dead tree, dead trees just have to be removed.

If you’re looking for tree removal costs, read this article on large tree removal cost or what you can expect to pay removing a small tree.

e Pruning Cost Factors

Different tree services in Toronto charge different prices, but they also offer very different levels of service. The top tree care companies are going to quote you on the best, while others may quote you on “good enough” – even if you ask for exactly the same thing from both. It is important to understand how the pricing and quoting process works so you can get what you actually want for your budget.

It is not just an issue for buyers, it is also an issue for arborists trying to fulfill their needs. This is partly because there are many different ways to cut a tree, but also partly because of different approaches, levels of quality, professionalism and skill. Think about it this way: a cheap drip coffee maker, a mid range Keurig and a professional espresso machine will all produce coffee of some type. The taste, quality and options are will be very different – as will the cost.

You can certainly find someone to cut a tree, but they’re not really offering the same service as a professional company. This guide will help you to understand the price and service differences better.

Tree trimming brush clean up by arborists with chipper on street in toronto

Price of Trimming Larger Trees vs. Small Trees

Tree size is a big factor in the average price of tree work. Large trees typically require more time and effort to trim, which increases labor costs. The larger the tree the more time and effort it takes to prune them. Tall trees (over 30 feet) tend to have higher trimming costs than small ones, generally. Deciduous trees that are more spreading, like a large maple tree, mature oak tree, honey locust or willow will also tend to be more expensive depending on what your goals for the trimming are.

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How does “Dose” of pruning impact the price?

How much should you cut off a tree? And how can the volume of work impact the price?

The more that is removed from a tree, generally the longer it will take and the more material will have to be cleaned up and disposed. The longer a job takes and the more expensive it will be.

Unsure how much might need to come off your tree?

There are some general guidelines that tree experts will follow when assessing a tree. The International Society of Arboriculture sets out some standards for how, where and how much to cut a tree when pruning. Ontario has its own standards that are similar, and another very similar standard is ANSI300 (American National Safety Institute – ANSI) from the USA.

Tree trimming brush clean up by arborists with chipper on street in toronto

ANSI Standards vs ISA Standards vs Rule of Thumb for Pruning

In 2017, ANSI revised the previous pruning standards dose recommendations. In earlier editions, it specified that no more than 25% of live canopy of a tree “should” be pruned off in any growing season. The revisions changed this to empower individual arborists to determine the dose of pruning as appropriate to the size, age, health and pruning objective.

For example, 25% of a mature tree’s canopy would be far too much for an oak tree, but may be too little to clear a tree away from energized power lines. On invasive species in Toronto, a heavier pruning may be required to mitigate safety risks, while on other slow growing, mature trees we may try to limit the volume of pruning to reduce the number of wounds and shock to the tree.

Many other websites will specify a “rule of thumb” about 30% of the live canopy, or 15-25% on other websites. These are generic estimates that do not reflect the reality of tree science / biology or the complexity of a proper tree health assessment.

Pruning is not just what you cut off, but what remains and is put into the tree by the cut

Since pruning is not only what we are removing from the tree but also what we are putting back into the tree through the work (wounds, decay, etc as a result of the cut itself) we must consider the impact not only of the removal of the material and heath of the tree after pruning, but also the location and size of the cuts.

Large trees or mature trees can recover much faster from a few smaller cuts than one large cut. Thus, if you want a mature tree to be reduced in height, this involves climbing around the entire tree and cutting smaller branches and limbs across the canopy – also know as crown reduction.

When a tree may also become more vulnerable to pests and pathogens (Emerald Ash Borer, Oak Wilt, Blight, as so forth) we also must consider timing of the pruning and the scope relative to these existential threats.

Toronto arborist pruning silver maple tree in the beaches

Certified Arborists Balance Tree Science Against Client Desires

When we trim trees, Certified Arborists are balancing the desires of the client against the best practices of applied tree science to ensure the tree’s health. While it may appear simpler to just cut off some thicker branches, or a whole section, this is not always good for the tree or practical.

A few small branches close to the ground on a pine tree won’t cost as much as taking the same branches at the top of a 100ft oak tree. The more branches being cut, the bigger the cost and the bigger chance of affecting tree health.

Tree Health and Species

Trees in poor health or with rot or damage can require special treatment and are likely to be more dangerous or difficult to prune properly. The harder it is to do the job, the more it tends to cost. This additional time or difficulty could increase overall project costs compared to a healthy tree requiring routine maintenance. This is one of the reasons getting your tree assessed and treated earlier is cheaper than waiting.

Pine trees are generally easier to trim than mature oak trees, while Honey Locust are more time consuming to prune and clean up after than sugar maples. The volume we can cut from all of these trees is different, and the hazards they may pose is also different.

Invasive Vs Native Species

Siberian elms, Tree of Heavens and Norway maples are all invasive species in Ontario with very weak wood structure and tendency to break. This can make them more complicated to keep in good condition, as they tend to overgrow and are more risky than native hardwoods like American Elm and Red Maples. An unhealthy Siberian elm is likely to pose more of a risk of branch failure than a struggling Sugar Maple, so the volume to remove may be higher for this species than for others.

Toronto arborist pruning front yard norway maple tree

Learn the right way

The Best Tree Service Near Me

Vista Tree Management focuses on one thing: tree care excellence.

There’s no other company with “tree management” in the title — we’re passionate but also precise. We approach trees and tree work with an eye to total project management which allows us to carefully shape every stage of the process, whether that’s coordinating with multiple contractors for development or simply arranging for your neighbour to move their car.

Vista Tree provides full tree and shrub removal services in Toronto by professional arborists. We work with homeowners and businesses to remove unsafe trees, take out trees for construction, emergency tree removal and more.

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We’re pros in developing tree service delivery plans to match your schedule and budget.

Location and Accessibility

Trees located near power lines or buildings might require extra precautions during trimming, increasing labor time and expenses. Trees in tight backyards, overtop of neighbour backyards, with narrow access or only accessible through a house will also tend to increase the cost compared to a tree in an open area. The harder it is to get to the more costly it may be.

Other factors to consider may be stucco or sensitive objects under the tree, narrow alleyways or no direct access to the tree except through a house or garage. The harder it is to get in an out and the more likely there could be damage, the more time it will take to do the job.

Number of Trees to be Trimmed

Hiring professional, Certified Arborists to prune multiple trees at the same time often results in lower or discounted rates per tree since they can efficiently manage their work schedule while on-site. Going back to the same property for multiple visits increases the costs. However, each additional tree still adds additional time, cleanup, difficulty and material-removal expenses like chipping branches or hauling away debris after completion.

We are much more flexible in terms of providing multiple visits to sites to accommodate budget, schedule or the health of the tree than many other companies. It’s a big point of difference for us, though you may be able to negotiate the same schedule with other tree services it generally isn’t a priority in the industry.

Type of Pruning to be Done

Toronto arborist climbing tree

The biggest factor affecting price is the type of tree pruning required. It will also be the biggest difference between quotes you receive. For homeowners, it can be very challenging to sort out what different tree companies are offering.

This is a standard set of pruning types from the International Society of Arboriculture:

  • Crown Cleaning – Removing deadwood from a tree, and dying or closing branches
  • Crown Thinning – Removing excess branches from the interior of the tree
  • Crown Reduction – Trimming branches or tips on the outside of the tree to contain the height and spread of the canopy
  • Crown Raising – Removing the lowest branches to increase distance between ground and the canopy
  • Clearance Pruning – Removing branches the get close to or touch a house, driveway, patio, etc.
  • Storm damage cleanup – Removing branches broken by a storm

Average Tree Trimming Costs in 2024

In 2024, the average cost for professional tree trimming services in Toronto is between $350 – $2800 plus tax depending on the size and complexity of the job.

Compare multiple quotes from tree service companies to ensure you’re getting the work you want for a fair price.

How to Compare Tree Trimming Quotes from Local Professional Arborists:

  1. Gather multiple quotes: Contact three different arborists for estimates to ensure you’re getting a fair price.
  2. Verify credentials: Ask for proof of insurance and WSIB, and make sure they’re Certified Arborists by the ISA or Ontario.
  3. Compare the services described: All companies write quotes differently, however, each quote should be detailed in exactly what they are going to do. Simply writing something like “class 2 pruning” or “prune tree” should be a red flag. How will you assess they’ve done the job they promised to do if you sign a contract without any details?
  4. Ask for bulk pricing for more work or trees: While some people think it is a good idea to ask for a lot of work on a property to be individually priced on separate line items, this is less effective than it seems. When pricing quotes, arborists look at the total scope of work on a site to be able to identify the time it will take, volume of equipment, skill/difficulty and any disposal or clean up costs. Writing down every aspect of the job in a contract is important, but trying to pick and choose by asking for a la carte pricing is more likely to result in higher costs than lower costs since the job has to be financially viable for the company no matter what options are selected. In this way, you may end up with a higher total price as a result.
  5. Compare the prices: Look at the prices compared to the services. Some premium tree companies offer a much higher level of care and service to trees as a standard, while others will do the most minimal work. Some fly by night companies, individual arborists working for themselves and landscapers with no tree experience will charge very low prices. But you get what you pay for, and it’s more likely to be a steal for them than a deal for you. The quotes will have a huge difference in price because the work is not the same. If you like one company better but the price is too high, ask them if they’ll quote you for the “good” option rather than “best”, or take advantage of our fair price guarantee.

Budget accordingly and compare quotes to ensure you’re getting top-quality service at a fair price. Other options for reducing the cost include asking in advance, scheduling the work in the off season (fall/winter) and breaking out the work into multiple visits. Many companies won’t do this, but we would be happy to work with you on budget.

A Certified and Insured Arborist – Why It Matters?

Hiring a certified arborist is crucial for maintaining a healthy landscape and ensuring safety during tree care services. Making sure the company you hire is properly insured is also extremely important, as accidents do happen.

You can be held liable

In Ontario, you can be held responsible for contractors working on your property that cause damage or are injured. As a homeowner, it is considered negligence if you hire anyone to work on your property without ensuring that they have the appropriate skills and insurance to do the work. Occasionally, homeowners / their insurance are sued by the workers they hired when the workers hurt themselves on the job and don’t have insurance.

Don’t Pay Twice for the Same Job – Hire Professional Tree Services

Bad tree pruning, hack job on a spruce with lots of stub cuts in toronto by landscapers

The City of Toronto takes injuries to trees very seriously and so does the TRCA enforcement team for trees. When unskilled workers hack your tree, the city can send forestry inspectors and bylaw officers to order you to fix it.

These orders will specify the work to be done, that it be done only by a Certified Arborist and may require you to install mulch, or take other health measures to support the tree.

The costs of this are on top of whatever you would’ve paid originally for the work, and may also involve fines.

Benefits of Hiring a Certified Arborist

  • Expertise: Certified arborists have specialized knowledge in tree biology and proper pruning techniques, promoting healthy growth and reducing future problems.
  • Safety: Arborists use proper equipment and techniques to minimize risks to themselves and your property.
  • Disease Diagnosis & Treatment: Arborists can identify and treat potential issues early on, preventing further damage or loss of the tree.
  • Landscape Value Preservation: Properly maintained trees increase property value by providing shade, privacy, and aesthetic appeal.

Conclusion: Tree Trimming Cost Factors in Toronto

It is important to hire a certified arborist for professional tree services. This ensures healthy growth and maintenance of trees. It also helps avoid risks associated with DIY tree trimming. If you are a ho

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Vista is an excellent company to deal with. The owners went above and beyond expectations to help deal with a unique situation. The guys who did the work were not only professional but also very polite. I will be using them again to help with other work in the future.
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We are very happy with all the work Vista Tree Management accomplished on our property.  James was very professional and gave us excellent advice concerning the trimming of our 12 foot cedar hedges and the pruning of our mature silver maple trees.  The crew was very friendly and hard working, they did a tremendous job on the work required and they did an excellent job with the clean up.  We would highly recommend Vista Tree services to our family and friends.  We will definitely use them again for all of our future projects.
John & Sonja
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They just did my front lawn, and boy, did they leave a lasting impression!

They were straightforward with the plan - clear and precise, ensuring that I was well informed of the process and outcome. The execution was meticulous and exceeded my expectations. Moreover, the cleanliness post-service was remarkable, leaving no trace of debris or disruption.

They were on time and was the epitome of friendly and cheerful—felt like I had friends over for a garden party!

Overall, their service was excellent at every stage. The inquiry, consultation, customer support, day-of service, follow-up, and payment process were all seamless.

I had peace of mind and very happy with Vista. I highly recommend them to those in need of reliable and thorough tree management service.
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I can’t say enough positive comment about James and Vista Tree. We were “ghosted” by 2 other tree management companies last fall. James came by and provided separate quotes for two very large trees on our property, both of which were a challenge to severely prune. They were a hazard and had to be addressed. The quotes were delivered the next day after assessment. The team was here on two separate days (April 30 and May 7). They were efficient, professional and most importantly safe. Hollis, the arborist who climbed the trees was friendly and communicated everything he was doing to the trees as well as any changes he made once he was up in the tree. The other members of the crew (Syd and Pete, I can’t remember the others) were professional and friendly. They cleaned everything up and were open to any suggestions we had regarding disposal of the wood. I would highly recommend this company. We will be having them back again to do more work, in the fall.
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Leaside neighbours take note!! Exceptional and professional service from start to finish. The team at Vista Tree Management responded to an urgent and critical situation. They were efficient, skilled and courteous. They handled the tree removal with precision and left our backyard immaculate. I highly recommend this team for your tree removal needs. They beat the competition by $1000+
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James and his team did a great job pruning and trimming our old silver maple. James answered all my questions, provided expert advice and had his team do the work shortly after. The workers were professional, cleaned the space well, and were really efficient. Would definitely recommend Vista Tree management!
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James was great! Very professional and you can definitely tell he knows what he’s talking about. They provided a quote in a timely manner booked us in for the tree pruning within a few days afterwards. The job was done quickly, professionally and the crew was friendly and polite. They cleaned up everything once the work was completed. Highly recommend!
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Safe, fast, personable team - did a great job with tree trimming and removal! Note: the removal of a tree was not on the original scope and they still made it happen!
By the end of the day, I wouldn’t have even known they were there.
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Very Happy with the professional advice and service we received from Vista which was promptly done. The follow-up to ensure we were happy with the work was appreciated.
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Highly recommend! Michal came by first to take a look at things and provide the estimate. He’s obviously passionate about what he does and I learned a ton about my tree that I had no idea about! He gave me the confidence I needed to schedule the work. James and the “J-Crew” arrived on the scheduled day and were super friendly. The team did an amazing job with trimming my large overgrown maple and a fantastic cleanup job. My yard looked better than before they arrived. Will definitely have them back for future maintenance! Thanks Vista!
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Great service from a great crew of people! The team was amazing from consulting on best ways to tackle the project, safely removing the trees and making sure the job was done to satisfaction. Would highly recommend and definitely use them again.
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These guys are incredibly professional and by far the best arborist that have visited our home. And we've had many!

What impressed me the most was throughout their only concern was safety for my family and our property. With that and that only in mind they made all the cuts and changes that were required. When they left, I felt the most relief I felt about the trees in our backyard in a long time.

Truly appreciate your hard work and will highly recommend you in the future!
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After doing a fair bit of research into Toronto-based arborists, we decided to go with Vista, and are very happy we did! From my first meeting with Mike when he came to give us a free quote, I was impressed with his knowledge and professionalism. Mike and his crew were punctual on the day they came to prune the deadwood from our very large Red Oak tree, answered my questions, and worked for 7 hours straight to get the job done. We were impressed from beginning to end, and wouldn’t hesitate to hire them again!
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These guys are the best! Very professional, easy to work with and very nice people.
James was amazing in communication and and arranging everything. He is a wonderful person and professional. I had 4 different companies for the quotes and Vista Tree were the best by every criteria I had in mind. After the work was done they cleaned the whole territory even the mess that was here before them. I would definitely recommend them and will call them again when I need any tree work done. Thanks!

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