View Full Version : Limbing up a tree

08-20-2007, 11:58 PM
I have a bunch of pretty large pine trees in my back yard. Can someone tell me the average cost to "limb up" a tree?

08-21-2007, 02:05 PM
Hi Ericlemson,

I think you'll find that it varies by where you live and who you get the estimate from. I would definately not get anyone with a pickup and chainsaw. Call a certified arborist as pruning is part art and part science.

One other thought is that once you have limbed up the pines you will have to deal with the pine needles under the tree and the invasion of weeds. Grass doesn't usually grow well under pines. You might want to rethink having your trees limbed up.


08-22-2007, 03:36 AM
Hi Ericlemson,

Yes, I agree that grass doesn't grow well under pines, but sometimes things have to be trimmed and that's all there is to that. Pruning too much this late in the year, though, can send a false message to the tree to send out new growth this fall that may look like it was " burnt" next spring if the winter's rough. You may choose to take that chance or not. It's better to prune pines before the end of July. As fas as the base of the tree is concerned, I've found that improved English Ivy or periwinkle really take off and look nice in that environment where grass simply won't grow.

08-22-2007, 01:01 PM
Marcos, great point about the timing of pruning pine. With no disrespect meant, I would not recommend English ivy as it can quickly climb trees. The only info I could find on the 'improved' was that it's more cold tolerant. Periwinkle might do well but is not recommended near a woodland as it escapes and chokes out native vegetation. There are some groundcovers that will grow under the dry and lower pH of pines.

Ericlemson, here's a calendar to help with the best times to prune evergreens.


Kate Butler
08-22-2007, 09:28 PM
Vinca (periwinkle) is something that will usually grow well - even in dense evergreen shade.

08-23-2007, 11:30 PM
Thanks eveyone...im not worried about the ground below. I will prob leave it natural. I am just worried about the look. I am looking to cut off the dead looking branches below. See photo...it kind of sucks though. Because its a new neighborhood and they cut into a group of trees, most of the growth is a the top.

08-24-2007, 02:07 PM
Eric, I can't tell from the picture the distance to the trees, but I think you should be concerned about the potential for construction damage to the trees as conifers are sensitive to root damage. Here's some helpful sites.


08-30-2007, 09:04 AM
HOOHOOO, there's newt and his websites. Listen, don't worry about damaging the trees. It is dead material you are removing. It will be a very inexpensive job. couple hundred at most.

08-30-2007, 10:52 AM
Yes, NNL & LS is right. Someone with even a decent 10'-12' Wolf Garten pole saw should probably be able to handle this job from the ground or a small sturdy step ladder. And cutting dead wood late in the season doesn't spur along flush growth like I blogged earlier.

08-30-2007, 11:01 AM
don't worry about those pines. this deep in the south the only problem you could possibly have is inducing stress during a drought. this stress could lead to insect damage. i would be much more concerned with damaging the roots than taking some limbs from the crown. if the limbs are dead there is absolutely no problem with removing them. this late in the season they will be fine. from the looks of it you probably have loblolly, and or slash. they also look crowded. if you lose a few, so much the better. if pines are too close, nature will take care of the crowding itself. pine stands planted at 600 trees per acre will self-thin to <100 trees/ac at maturity.
the tops of the trees will thicken up, though you will not see any new limbs below the crown.