The high cost of landscaping is a problem for stopping wildfires — Quartz

Garden waste such as dry leaves, branches and unkempt trees are fuel for the rapid and violent spread of forest fires. California law requires property owners in fire-prone areas to maintain their properties in order to slow or stop the spread of wildfires. And as forest fires become more common and intense, the need for every homeowner to maintain their property becomes more important.

But fighting the spread of forest fires costs money. According to a report by the Oakland Firesafe Council, the cost of renting pruning shears was the main reason homeowners failed to maintain their properties. For some homeowners, the cost of maintaining their property can mean spending thousands of dollars at a time. Few people – let alone a 94-year-old – can afford it, no matter how necessary.

People’s lives are at risk as more and more buildings are destroyed by the fires. Budgeting for tree care extends the money for those on lower incomes. Help is needed for poorer homeowners, not only in forest fires, but also in adapting to other effects of climate change as the weather becomes more extreme.

Landscaping and horticulture costs have become more expensive

Data shows US homeowners are paying more and more for landscaping. The cost of landscaping and horticulture in the US rose 39% from 2010 to 2020, according to statistics from the Bureau of Labor. In July 2021 alone, the costs for gardening and landscaping services increased by 1.7% compared to the previous month.

What does tree care cost?

According to Angi, consumers have doubled their tree pruning expenses in the past 5 years, likely due to a combination of higher equipment and labor prices and consumers who have chosen to spend more. “Much of that increase – about 60% year-over-year – came in 2020 when consumer spending shifted to the home and the skills shortage increased noticeably,” said Mischa Fisher, chief economist at Angi.

Currently, Angi estimates that most tree and shrubbery or pruning jobs are between $ 200 and $ 760, with an average of $ 460. The cost will vary based on the type, size, health, and location of the plants. Tree services are often billed by the hour, averaging between $ 50 and $ 100 an hour. If the trees are near power lines, the prices are usually higher.

Tree removal costs more than pruning and pruning, on average about $ 1,300 for a large tree. The stump removal can add an additional $ 65 to $ 350 depending on the size and location of the stump. Removing fallen or dead trees is likely to cost anywhere from $ 75 to $ 150, but it can reach $ 1,500 or more for taller trees that exceed the capacity of typical equipment.

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