Tree Service Fort Collins CO

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Tree Service Fort Collins CO

How much does a tree service charge in Fort Collins, CO?

There are a few variables to consider when it comes to the cost of tree care in the Fort Collins area:

  • The presence of buildings or other structures below the tree (fences, statues, etc).
  • The size of the tree.
  • The condition of the tree (How safe Is it to climb? How much pruning is required? Is it a weak tree that will take some time to move around in?).
  • How accessible is the tree? (front yard, back yard, etc.).
  • Are there obstacles that have to be moved around while dragging pruned limbs to our truck? (narrow gates, gardens, etc)
  • The skill level of the person assigned to do the pruning.  A Certified Arborist or Certified Tree Worker has taken extra steps to acquire high-level skills and education. You can be sure that most of the time, trees pruned by a Fort Collins tree service employing these professionals will be done better than those who are not certified.

Here are some examples of trees and the price ranges for pruning or removal:

Cherry tree | tree service Fort Collins CO

A complete structural prune on this tree would cost $100-$120.


Pruning trees properly requires knowledge of tree biology and growth habits as well as an eye for shape and form.  Arboriculture truly is both art & science.


The cost to remove trees is based on the degree of difficulty and size of the tree to be removed.  Trees can be priced similarly even though there may be significant size difference due to the skill required to remove the tree safely.


Fort Collins tree service

Removal of this willow would cost $750-875. Not including stump grinding.

tree service Fort Collins CO

Removal of this tree would cost $1400-$1600 because of all the ‘targets’ below and the small yard.










Why does it seem like tree care is so expensive?

  • There is a considerable amount of liability insurance required for this industry.
  • A high degree of skill & knowledge is required to safely remove and properly prune trees.  Medium to large trees often require someone to climb the tree using ropes and safely operate a chainsaw while aloft.
  • Knowing which branches to prune and how pruning will affect the health of the tree is not something learned in just a day or two.
  • Tree work is physically demanding and not everyone can handle physical toll it takes on a person’s body.
  • The equipment required for tree care is expensive to purchase and maintain.  Ropes, chainsaw chains and hand saw blades are being constantly replaced.

Things to consider when looking for a Fort Collins tree service

  • Tree services are required to be licensed in order to operate in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley.  *A Licensed Arborist is different than a Certified Arborist.  It is easier to obtain licensing by the city than to obtain the Arborist Certification.  They are not the same thing.  A greater level of knowledge is required to be a Certified Arborist*
  • Ask about the skill level and training of the tree workers that will be working on your trees
  • Have the sales representative explain what exactly is to be done.  What percentage of branches are to be cut and why?  What problems do they see that need to be corrected?  Every cut on a tree should have a purpose.  This will help weed out those that just want to ‘cut some branches for some dollars’
  • See if they can explain what the 2/3 guideline is.  If you want to know you can email me here and I will explain


Applying a layer of organic mulch is the single best thing you can do for your tree.

If you do only one thing for your tree this year, apply organic mulch.

What is mulch?Wood chipper mulch | tree service Fort Collins CO

Any material placed on soil to protect and cover it is classified as mulch. This can include stone, straw, shredded rubber, bark, pine needles, sawdust and wood chips.

What is organic mulch?

Organic mulch can include shredded bark, wood chips, grass clippings, pine needles, dry straw, leaves and other organically derived materials.  The opposite, inorganic mulch, consists of things such as crushed rock, stones, polyethylene, etc.  Organic mulch is preferred because the risk of soil pollution is eliminated and the material breaks down over time into substances that the tree can use.

Benefits of organic mulch

Organic mulch benefits tree health in many ways.  The most immediate benefit of mulch is soil moisture conservation.  A layer of mulch can reduce evaporation by as much as 73%[1]. Water is also absorbed and held by the mulch where it is slowly released into the soil below.

Soil erosion and water loss are greatly reduced due to the slowing down of the speed of rain and irrigation water by the mulch.  This allows the water to better infiltrate the soil and the mulch also conditions the soil to increase the infiltration rate leaving less water available to runoff.

Mulch reduces the competition of weeds for nutrients and water.  A layer of mulch 3″-4″ thick will very effectively prevent weeds from becoming established.  The lack of weeds can also decrease soil moisture loss as weeds increase evapotranspiration.

The fertility of the soil is increased by the presence of mulch.  As soil organisms break down the mulch through their activities nutrients are slowly released into the soil as nutrients that trees can take up through their roots.  This a better alternative to using chemical fertilizers as there is a much lower risk of these nutrients leaching into groundwater and causing pollution due to the slow releasing.

Mulch improves soil structure by increasing the porosity of the soil.  Porosity is the presence of small pockets of open spaces in the soil.  These open spaces are filled with water and oxygen.  Both of which are critical for healthy root systems.  A soil with low porosity is far more difficult for trees to thrive in.

Soil temperatures are moderated by the layer of mulch making the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  Soils with a moderate temperature and good aeration are ideal for root growth.  Healthy roots equal healthy trees.  Mulch can also prevent roots from freezing during extremely cold weather.

Some soil-borne disease can be reduced as well.  Water drops can splash disease spores from infected soil to healthy soil.  As discussed earlier, mulch reduces the splashing effects of water thereby reducing this risk.

How to apply mulch to trees

Mulch should be applied around the tree in a layer about 3″-4″ thick.  Begin near the trunk as spread it outward as far as you can.  It should be a minimum radius of 3 times the trunk diameter to be effective.  For example, if the diameter of the trunk is 3″ then the mulch should be spread in a circle with a radius of at least 9″.  Make sure to avoid putting the mulch into direct contact with the trunk.  The tree trunk cannot handle having the mulch in direct contact as this creates a dark, moist environment perfect for insects and diseases to get established and damage the trunk.  Mulch should be refreshed annually or more in hotter climates such as in Phoenix, AZ.

Tips for Buying Mulch

  • Composted mulch is better for tree nutrition than wood chips or bark as it is already partially broken down
  • Wood chips last longer, are less expensive and can be dyed in many colors
  • Avoid mulch with preservatives or fungicides added as this can be toxic to the tree and prevents nutrient breakdown
  • Colored mulches are ok as long as there are no strong preservatives in the coloring
  • A good source for quality mulch in the Fort Collins area is Hageman Earth Cycle.


We would be happy to apply mulch around your trees for you.  Give us a call @ 970-218-2661 or request FREE consultation today.

1. RUSSELL, J.C.. 1939. The Effect of Surface Cover on Soil Moisture Losses by Evaporation.
Proc. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. 4:65-70

Related information: Pruning | Fertilizing | Videos | Emerald Ash Borer


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Mountview Tree Experts is a locally owned and operated Fort Collins tree service dedicated to helping the residents of Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and the surrounding Colorado communities have beautiful, safe, healthy and strong trees. 

Mountview Tree Experts
1281 E. Magnolia St.
Fort Collins, CO 80524
#1 rated Fort Collins tree service on Yelp 
Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor Colorado
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