Difference between Tree Pruning and Tree Trimming

Tree Trimming & Pruning

If you’re a homeowner who keeps track of their yard, you’ve considered tree trimming and tree pruning. Both are excellent landscaping services. However, the distinctions are minor. Pruning is the process of eliminating undesirable branches from a tree. Trimming, on the other hand, promotes healthy growth. Both treatments are carried out at different year periods and with drastically different equipment to provide a more aesthetically beautiful and more beneficial landscape. Understanding the distinction, though, is crucial.

The seasons of Pruning and Trimming

The season and the plant and tree type influence the time and frequency of pruning and trimming. Most trees and shrubs require yearly Trimming. However, the timing is determined by the intended outcome. Dormant trees should be pruned in the winter to stimulate vigorous spring growth; trim branches to promote “dwarf” development in the summer. If you want to increase flowering capacity, prune soon after a tree or shrub blooms. Trimming is done twice a year for cosmetic upkeep, at least once after the flowering season.

Tools needed for Trimming and Pruning

Although both pruning and Trimming include cutting processes, the equipment differed. Pruning is commonly done with two types of sheers: hand sheers, which can cut stems of 3 quarters or more of an inch in diameter, and loping sheers, which have long handles and can cut through stems as thick as one and three-quarters of an inch in diameter. In works involving heavier branches, a pruning saw can also be employed. While sheers can trim trees, most Trimming is done with manual, electric, or gas-powered clippers.

Difference between Tree Pruning and Tree TrimmingBy Definition

Tree Trimming

Tree pruning promotes the healthy development of trees, shrubs, and hedges. Commercial clients frequently cut trees to make their property more appealing to prospective clients. A more attractive look usually attracts more visitors. Professionals often concentrate on eliminating green shoots, which promotes healthy development overall. In addition to promoting growth, Trimming improves the overall aesthetic of the tree.


Tree Pruning

Pruning is used for more than simply tree upkeep. The phrase frequently basically refers to removing excessive branches and, in some instances, roots. These branches & roots might be dead which  should be removed from the trees. Also,branches can develop in the wrong direction in many cases. They push against utility cables or buildings. Pruning aids in the control of undesirable growth.

Purpose of Trimming & Pruning


In general, it improves the aesthetics and looks of a tree or shrub. It also aids in the correct development of a plant.



It is usually used to remove sick or diseased tree branches or dead plant parts. It protects the plant against infection.


Equipment & Tools


A trimmer or a clipper is the appropriate instrument for pruning a tree expert’s use. Either electricity or gas may power it. Shears are often used to trim shrubs.


Tree pruning and Trimming are pretty necessary. Because of the influence, this upkeep has on the health and well-being of your tree. This may entice you to start working on your trees right now, but your landscape requires various tasks at different times. Shear is the instrument that specialists use to trim a shrub. Hand shears, which are used to remove leaves and buds, and lopping shears, used to trim thick branches, are the two varieties.

Frequency and Timing


Tree trimming specialists recommend pruning trees and plants twice a year, including at least once after the blossoming season.

Trimming season: Spring and Summer

Don’t panic if you don’t have time to prune your trees in the late winter. Trimming your trees in the spring and summer may also produce excellent benefits. As a result, these two seasons are regarded as the second-best time to cut trees.

Trimming in the spring may be convenient for homeowners since removing dead branches is simple. Not only that, but this time of year might make it simple to decide which trees can be saved. Trees that bloom in the mid-late summer have a greater chance of developing additional buds if they are explicitly pruned at that time of year!

Although spring is ideal for pruning, you may also prune your trees throughout the summer! During the summer, you can tell which branches grow brittle due to the leaves’ weight. The tree branches that begin to sag are the ones whose weight has weakened. Elms, walnuts, birches, maples, and dogwoods are among the trees that benefit the most from summer trimming. This is because these trees often do not sap as much during this season, saving you from the sticky mess.


Pruning is done following the plant’s flowering cycle. Winter is considered to be the best time to trim a summer-flowering shrub or tree.

Light pruning & the removal of deadwood may be done at any time – since pruning and Trimming help remove dead or broken branches and keep your tree healthy – but there are seasonal pruning and trimming regulations to follow. Here are some seasonal trimming rules.


Winter tree pruning

It is best to wait until a tree has gone dormant before trimming it. This usually happens between autumn (after the leaves have fallen off the tree) and spring (before buds appear). Pruning or cutting your tree when it is dormant results in a robust surge of new growth in the spring. However, if your tree has loose branches, remove them before extreme weather, such as heavy snowfall or ice. The extra weight might endanger you, your property, and others.

Summer tree pruning

While winter pruning is preferable owing to tree dormancy, summer pruning and trimming offer advantages. Before bad weather, dead and broken limbs and branches should be removed. To prevent the illness from spreading throughout the tree, diseased limbs and branches should be removed as soon as possible. Fruit trees should be cut in the summer to prevent disease spread. Summer is also an excellent season to perform structural maintenance on trees out of balance.

Plants go dormant in late summer.

Many perennials, woody plants, and Minnesota native plants become dormant later in the summer when water is short. They want to be thinned or decreased in size before the heavy rains in late autumn and winter. Many late-spring blooming plants can generate a second bloom if clipped immediately after and before setting the seed. When you remove ripening grain from a perennial, it stores more energy for the next season. On aggressive plants like wisteria, directing new robust development after bloom may save a lot of winter labor.

Bottom line

Pruning & Trimming are fundamental landscaping procedures that can keep your yard looking beautiful all year. Understanding the distinction between the two allows you to make educated decisions that directly impact the health and attractiveness of your trees and shrubs.