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Sep 3, 2020 2:38 PM ET

Trimming vs Pruning: What’s the Difference?

iCrowd Newswire - Sep 3, 2020

Tree maintenance is necessary, especially if you want healthy, vibrant and safe trees that are esthetically appealing. As trees grow, they develop leave and branches to best find light to grow. Sometimes this process leads to trees leaning, unbalanced or too thick for their own good.  Tree maintenance techniques such as pruning and trimming are usually employed as the tree is growing to render a healthier and safer tree.

Difference Between Trimming and Pruning

Pruning and trimming are two terms that people often find confusing. In fact, they are mostly used interchangeably. However, they are not the same. They are maintenance techniques that are used differently to enhance the healthy growth of plants. So, what makes them different? Well, let’s find out.

What is Pruning?

This is a maintenance technique that involves the removal of loose, infected, or dead branches. Pruning is usually done to rapidly stimulate the growth of plants. According to research studies, pruning can help plants to produce more flowers and bear more fruits if it’s done appropriately. There are several pruning methods and they include:

What’s trimming?

It’s a process of removing overgrown or infected trees. While pruning is usually done to enhance productivity, trimming, on the other hand, is usually done to enhance the esthetic appeal. However, there are some instances where it can be done to improve the health of the plant. This could be to facilitate a better flow of moisture and light into the shrub/plant.

Hiring a pro tree cutting service

When looking to hire a professional tree cutting service in your area, Ben from Go Tree Quotes suggests you do these 3 things:

  1. Skip page 1 of Google: Ben suggests companies pay a premium to be on page one so they will charge you more to cover marketing costs
  2. Certification: Make sure they are a certified arborist with public liability insurance and a local license to trim tress in your city. You will need to ask the tree service for these when they quote the job.
  3. Experience: Look up your local business register and see how long they have been in business. Experience in this game is key to safety and quality. Make sure they have at least 5 years experience.

The Type of Equipment Used

Trimming and pruning are different hence they involve the use of different equipment.

Equipment for pruning

There are two main types of tools that are commonly used for pruning: looping shears and hand shears. Looping shears have long handles, usually one to two-foot-long. They are designed for use with long and thick branches. They are ideal where more pruning force is needed. On the other hand, hand shears are designed for use with hand one. They are normally used to remove small branches, leaves, and buds.

Note: in case the branches are too thick for both hand and lopping shears, then you can opt to use pruning saws.

Tools for Trimming

The most ideal equipment for trimming is the hedge trimmer for large plants and or small scissors for small plants. Trimmers are highly versatile and you can find gas or electric-powered trimmers.

Time and Frequency of Trimming and Pruning

Both of these techniques are usually done at specific times of the year. This helps to ensure that the plants remain healthy. Additionally, the frequency also matters to avoid killing the plant. Normally, trimming is usually done twice annually. Meanwhile, pruning is mostly once.

Timing normally depends on the plant’s cycle. In case you are dealing with trees that flower in spring then you should do pruning right after the blooming cycle i.e. in June. Overall, trees that usually flower in summer should be pruned in winter and spring.

If you want to trim hedges and shrub hinges, then the appropriate season should be the flowering period. Make sure that you do the rimming earlier enough before the unwanted branches reach a length of one foot.

Pruning and Trimming: Which One is the Best for trees?

Should you trim or prune your shrub or tree? You might be wondering which technique is the best between the two. However, neither of these methods can be considered to be a suitable alternative for the other.

Its, therefore, important for you to understand that both of them have their own place and time. For instance, if you prune a bushy plant, then you will end up with something unattractive and it might actually take longer for the plant to go back to its original healthy state. Alternatively, if you trim a plant with an airy branch, then there are high chances that the plant may end up with an infection. This is because airy plants don’t have correction points.

Their Benefits

Although they are quite different, these two techniques work towards the same common goal. To promote the healthy growth of the plant. Some of their benefits include:

Trimming Tips

If you want to properly trim your plants or shrubs, here is how to go about it.

Pruning Tips

By now, you understand the basics of pruning. But what are some of the tips that you can implement to optimize your results?

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