Written By: Build Team

Tree Trimming vs. Tree Pruning — What’s the Difference?

Tree Trimming vs. Tree Pruning — What’s the Difference?
Tree Trimming vs. Tree Pruning services fort worth, tx

If you’re a homeowner who cares for their yard, chances are you’ve considered tree trimming and tree pruning before. Both are excellent services within the landscape industry. The differences are subtle, though. Pruning is used to remove unnecessary branches. Trimming, on the other hand, promotes healthy growth. Both services are performed at separate times of the year, using vastly different pieces of equipment, to provide a better aesthetic and healthier landscape. Understanding the difference, though, is crucial.

What Is Tree Trimming?

Tree trimming is the process of removing overgrown or obstructing branches from a tree. This is done to keep the tree healthy, improve its appearance, protect nearby structures, and prevent it from interfering with power lines. Trimming promotes healthy growth patterns, removes potential safety hazards, and helps maintain a tree’s natural shape.

Professionals generally focus on removing green shoots, which helps encourage healthier growth overall. On top of growth, trimming also improves the appearance of the tree itself.

Is Trimming Healthy for Trees?

Yes, when done correctly, trimming is healthy for trees. It removes dead, diseased, or crossing branches, improves airflow and light penetration, and can stimulate new growth. Proper trimming also helps the tree maintain a strong structure, reducing the risk of damage during storms.

What Is Tree Pruning?

Pruning is a horticultural practice that involves the selective removal of plant parts like branches, buds, or roots. It’s done to improve a plant’s shape, control its size, promote healthy growth, and encourage flowering or fruit production. Pruning is often used on trees, shrubs, and roses.

Is Pruning Healthy for Trees?

When done properly, pruning is a vital part of maintaining healthy trees. It promotes strong growth, improves airflow and light penetration, and removes dead, diseased, or dangerous branches. Pruning helps trees develop a strong structure, making them less susceptible to storm damage. However, improper pruning can harm the tree.  That’s why Blooms Landcare recommends consulting a certified arborist for expert pruning services to ensure your trees stay healthy and beautiful.

In some cases, branches grow in the wrong direction. They push towards electrical utility wires or structures. Pruning helps keep unwanted growth in check.

Best Time to Prune Trees

The best time to prune trees varies depending on the species. Generally, deciduous trees are best pruned during the dormant season (late winter/early spring) for faster healing and reduced risk of disease. Flowering trees should be pruned after blooming to avoid limiting flower production. Always consult a certified arborist at Blooms Landcare for expert advice on the ideal pruning time for your trees.

What Kinds of Tools Are Needed to Prune or Trim?

Here’s a breakdown of the essential tools for pruning or trimming:

  • Hand Pruners: Ideal for small branches and stems. Choose bypass pruners (clean cuts on live growth) or anvil pruners (better for dead wood).
  • Loppers: These long-handled pruners provide leverage for thicker branches (up to 1.5 inches).
  • Pruning Saw: Tackle larger branches that pruners can’t handle. Folding saws offer safe storage.
  • Hedge Shears: Perfect for shaping hedges and shrubs into neat forms.

Differences Between Pruning and Trimming

There are a lot of people who believe that tree pruning and tree trimming are the same things. They are similar, but there are some notable differences to keep in mind. It can be helpful to take a look at a table that goes through the differences between tree pruning and tree trimming. Some of the most important points to keep in mind include:

Tree PruningTree Trimming
Tree pruning is typically used to remove unnecessary branches.The goal of tree trimming is to promote healthy growth of your branches and leaves.
Tree pruning is typically done using shears, such as hand shears or topping shears.In addition to shears, saws and trimmers are often used during the tree trimming process.
Tree pruning is typically done once per year. Dormant trees are typically pruned during the winter to ensure they grow well during the spring.Tree trimming usually takes place twice per year. One appointment usually takes place just after the flowers begin to bloom.

It is important for you to reach out to a professional who has experience with tree pruning and tree trimming. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you reach out to us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pruning the same as trimming?

Pruning and trimming are similar but have distinct purposes. Pruning focuses on removing dead or unhealthy parts for plant health, while trimming shapes the plant for aesthetics or to manage size.

What is the difference between trimming and cutting a tree?

Trimming shapes the tree for looks or size control, while cutting (often called pruning) removes dead, diseased, or problem branches to improve the tree’s overall health.

What branches to cut when pruning?

When pruning, target these specific branches for removal:

  • Dead, diseased, or damaged branches
  • Crossing branches that rub together
  • Suckers and water sprouts (vertical shoots sapping energy)

Why is it called trimming the tree?

The word “trim” comes from an old meaning of “to put in order” or “arrange.”  We don’t cut the tree itself when decorating but rather arrange ornaments and decorations on it.

Contact Us

If your home or business could use tree trimming or pruning service, contact Blooms Landcare by calling [phone]. We’ll determine whether trimming or pruning is required, and provide professional results that last and make a difference.