Brockley Tree Services


What Is The Difference Between Tree Trimming And Pruning?

Brockley Tree Services

With the holidays right around the corner, hearing the term “tree trimming” may remind you of decorating your Christmas tree with colorful ornaments and while “Trimming” your Christmas tree doesn’t fall under our line of work, we are happy offer tree trimming and pruning services when you need it.

Many people use the terms “trimming” and “pruning” interchangeably, but to their surprise, the jobs aren’t the same! What is the difference between tree trimming and pruning?

What Is Tree Trimming?

Tree trimming focuses on maintenance to ensure that it grows in a certain way and doesn’t get out of control. Arborists will do this by removing healthy shoots from trees, shrubs, and hedges they deem unnecessary, which also encourages healthier growth. Too much growth can be bad for the tree because it weighs down the branches and hides parts that need to be pruned before they become hazards to people and property.

Brockley Tree TrimmingThe most common reason to trim is for aesthetic purposes: when branches and leaves become too out of control, the tree will no longer look neat. Many business clients or people selling a home want the tree on the property trimmed to make the landscaping more attractive in the eyes of prospective clients or buyers.

In some cases, branches grow in the wrong direction. They push towards electrical utility wires or structures. Trimming can keep this unwanted growth in check, even while it improves the appearance of the tree itself. 

What Is Tree Pruning?

Pruning is not just limited to tree maintenance, and unlike trimming, it doesn’t stop growth – if done right, it stimulates growth. The term means to remove unnecessary, dead, loose, or infected branches, and sometimes even roots from the tree. If you prune at the right spot on the branches – directly above small nodes that contain growth hormones – the tree will repair or regrow the plant tissue.


tree trimmingIt can also help trees take a specific shape. Pollarding is one such tactic; this is the practice of pruning the upper branches of a tree to produce dense, new shoots every year. Another, more fanciful form of pruning is topiary, which is the art of shaping trees into a shape.

Another reason gardeners prune their trees is to eliminate the threats that diseased or pest-infested branches pose to the whole plant. Removing these branches can also allow the tree’s flowers and fruit to thrive.


When Should I Prune And When Should I Trim?

When you choose to prune is different from when you decide to trim. Pruning is a job that comes with the seasons. Spring flowering trees need pruning during late June, immediately following the trees’ blooming cycle. Trimming, on the other hand, depends more on the appearance of the tree, shrub, or hedge and the direction of its growth rather than health or seasonal cycles. 

When it comes to trees, knowing what growths and branches to trim and prune often takes a discerning eye. A trained arborist from Brockley Tree Services can make the choices for you that help your trees grow in the right directions and look tidy!