Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning – How Do They Differ?



tree trimming and pruning


Mature and growing trees abound in almost every neighborhood across the country. If the proper care procedures are not regularly observed by homeowners, they could cause serious injury to their property and the trees themselves could end up in poor form and health. Most of them may need some trimming and some may require serious pruning. But what really is the difference between these two?

Many homeowners, even some tree services contractors just use these two terms interchangeably. Strictly speaking however, trimming and pruning are actually different, albeit closely related, processes.

You may think of tree trimming as “grooming” or shaping it according to a design you have in mind. You are more focused on the outer perimeter of the tree, removing most of the new growth of leaves or small branches on the tree’s external portion. Tree pruning on the other hand, is thinning out a tree to remove diseased limbs and dead branches. It usually involves cutting off of selected branches back to the new growth, to the larger branch, or to the main trunk itself.

Simply put, trimming is more of a procedure done for aesthetic purposes, while pruning is done primarily for safety and health purposes. Pruning for safety reasons is when you cut off branches that could fall on a person or on a part of your home or property. Pruning a tree to maintain its health typically includes removing insect-infested or decayed branches and thinning out the crown for better air passage. You can also prune to promote fruit production in fruit-bearing trees, and stimulate blooming in flowering trees.

The ultimate decision on whether a tree needs trimming or pruning would be dependent on the type of tree you have and the problems you may have with it. For more tree care tips, consult with a tree trimming or pruning contractor.


Author: Andrew Johnson

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  1. Glenn Nollan

    From tree trimming to tree removal services. Leave all your tree care needs to our professionals and our more than a decade of experience in the industry to ensure a great looking and safe garden!

  2. Mats Wolff

    Its cool when you said that trimming is a technique performed for aesthetic reasons. My aunt wants to trim some of the trees at her backyard and she asked me to call an arborist. I will need to talk to a professional so that I can get the best tree service for my aunt. Thanks loads for the article!

  3. Henry Killingsworth

    I appreciate you helping me to understand that tree pruning is the process of removing dead and diseased branches. I think the tree in my backyard needs to be pruned because it has a couple of branches without leaves. The branches could be alive still, so it might be best to find an expert tree service that can help me out.

  4. Mats Wolff

    It’s interesting that you stated that in order to maintain a tree’s health, pruning usually entails removing diseased or insect-infested limbs and thinning off the crown for improved airflow. My aunt wants to remove some of the trees in her backyard, so she asked me to call an arborist. I’ll need to speak with an expert if I want to get my aunt the best tree service possible. I like this article.

  5. Anna Collins

    I noticed insects swarming around one of my fruit trees, so I plan to have the issue resolved soon before they start spreading diseases to us and the remaining healthy trees. It’s good that you explained how pruning is the best method for this since it helps maintain the health of the trees by removing the insect-infested branches and thinning out the crown for better air passage and fruit production. I’ll be sure to call tree pruning services as soon as possible to get the job done right away.

  6. Taylor Abrams

    The dogwood tree at our backyard can pose as a threat if a storm hits our city and topples over my house so my husband think we need a tree service. However, we have no idea if it needs to be trimmed or pruned because this is our first time dealing with a tree. I am so grateful you said that pruning is done largely for safety and health reasons, whereas trimming is more of an aesthetic technique.

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