Tree Pruning vs Trimming: What’s the Difference?

Tree Pruning vs Trimming: What’s the Difference?
on December 31, 2018 in Tree Pruning, Tree Trimming

Is your garden looking a little overgrown?

Sure, a bit of shade is nice in the summertime, but you don’t want to be completely surrounded with darkness. Too much shade won’t only put a damper on your summer pool party, but it can actually start to cause damage to your other plants.

The quick solution? Snip snip.

But, this begs the question, should you trim or prune your plants? And what’s the difference, anyway?

Read on to learn the difference in pruning vs trimming, and which is right for you.


To trim, or not to trim?

Trimming is performed in order to “tidy up” loose or unsightly leaves and branches. Homeowners who are looking to keep their yards aesthetically pleasing might opt in for a trim.

Many trimming experts use electric tools. A hedge trimmer is used for many of the heavier branches. Hedge trimmers may be either electric or gas powered. For smaller, easier trimming projects, hand shears are typically used.

Since trimming is primarily performed for aesthetic reasons, the frequency depends mostly on the appearance of the plant. Trimming is suggested before any excessive branch growth reaches 1 foot.

If you’re considering trimming your trees yourself, you’ll need to know a bit more than just the basics. Check out these tips for DIY branch trimming.


Unlike trimming, pruning is not intended to stunt the growth of your plant. On the contrary, pruning is performed primarily to improve the health of a plant. Excessive overgrowth of leaves and branches can harm your lower lying plants, as it reduces the amount of moisture and sunlight the plant receives.

Pruning eliminates disease and insects from leave or branches. Dead or loose branches are also removed to prevent possible damage to other plants or even people.

There are two primary types of pruning:

Pollarding – pruning annually to stimulate the plant to produce new shoots

Topiary – shaping trees into an animal or geometric shape

Pruning is performed using one of two types of shears: hand shears and lopping shears. While required maintenance varies based on the plant species, pruning is typically performed annually, or each blooming cycle.

Since pruning is intended to keep your plants living healthy lives, professional services are recommended. If you’re feeling brave and are looking to tackle the project yourself, you’ll need to brush up on some pruning tips.

Pruning vs Trimming: What’s Right for You?

Your garden is as unique as you are, so when it comes to pruning vs trimming, you want to get it right. The health of your garden is as stake.

So, will you trim? Or Prune?

Once you know which service is right for you, it’s time to call in the experts. AAA Tree Experts have been enhancing gardens for over 20 years. Give us a call today, your garden will thank you.

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