A comparison between tree pruning and tree trimming

These are tree care practices which are carried out to ensure trees, shrubs, and hedges grow in an organized manner. Have you ever visited a place and seen rounded and oval shaped trees? A tree which looks very geometrical from the outside? Well, that is what trimming does to a tree. Trimming is not however limited to trees as opposed to pruning.

Main differences

  • Trimming is essential for your tree for it to grow in a way you want it to follow while pruning is done to enhance natural growth in a tree. Both practices help the plant in one way or the other.
  • Trimming is mostly on hedges and shrubs, but pruning is on big trees. It is hard to control the growth pattern in a large tree in comparison to a hedge.
  • Aesthetic reasons to enhance the beauty of an area are the reasons behind a trim, but pruning is done to maintain the natural beauty in a place.
  • Pruning requires large machines like a chainsaw while trimming requires light cutting tools which can be easily controlled to maintain the desired design.
  • Pruning requires the use of three cut system and above all the relief cut to get rid of the weight of the branch while trimming requires only the final cuts.
  • Trimming is systematically and carefully done when compared with pruning. More tools are used in a trimming operation rather than while pruning. For example, hand-held scissors are used to give a final trim to a tree.
  • Pruning exercise results to bigger wounds on a tree than a trimming exercise. Due to these, pruned trees take longer to heal and if done wrongly leads to infections and bad patches on the tree.
  • Pruning is mostly meant to enhance flowering and fruit growth while trimming is regularly intended to increase leaves growth and form cluttered crowns for comfortable shaping.
  • In pruning, dead branches and twigs are removed while in a trim the dead twigs are not necessarily removed since they can be used to maintain the geometric shape required in a tree or shrub.
  • Branch collar determines where to make the pruning cut, but trimming targets the protruding branches and twigs from the form taken by the tree since the trimming started.
  • In pruning branches which cross each other are removed, but in trimming branch, interlocking is encouraged to form a thick cover as possible.

Despite the main differences, these tree maintenance practices have some few similarities

  • They both help in pests and insect control which in turn reduces diseases and maintenance cost of the landscape.
  • They share the majority of the tools like the bow saws, loppers, the secateurs, and handheld pruning scissors.
  • They enhance the proper growth of the plant.

Confused on whether to do pruning or trimming, this is the simple principle to follow.

If there is in any way you need to control the growth design of the tree or shrub, then you need to do both with a more emphasis on trimming aspects.

If you want the tree to take a more natural growth pattern, then you need to do both with more emphasis on pruning principles.

Check out this video or visit this website to learn how to prune a tree: http://www.wikihow.com/Prune-a-Tree