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Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning

Tree Pruning

Trimming and pruning are both important in maintaining the health of your trees. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, pruning and trimming each serve a different purpose, should be completed at specific times of year, and require unique tools to get the job done.

Trimming v. Pruning: The Differences

Trimming involves the removal of excess and wayward growing branches that affect the aesthetic of your trees. Trimming a tree promotes even growth around the entire tree and creates a uniform look. When overgrown areas of a tree are trimmed and thinned out, sunlight and nutrients can reach trees more easily. Trimming out green shoots is another way to promote healthy growth and improve the appearance of trees. Overall, trimming is mostly important for uniform growth and a pleasing appearance. 

Pruning also improves aesthetics, but the main purpose of pruning is to preserve the health of the tree. Pruning involves the removal of dead, diseased, or interfering branches in order to protect the rest of the tree and the property. If branches are infested with pests, are dead or loose, or are interfering with electrical lines or other trees, it is in the best interest of the tree and the property to remove these branches. This work should be done by a trained arborist or experienced professional because they have the knowledge to determine which branches to prune and how to go about the process. When pruning is done correctly, it can encourage increased fruit or flower production. Conversely, if pruning is not carefully performed, the growth of the tree can be stunted and infestation encouraged.

Times of Year

Most trimming can be done on an “as-needed” basis throughout the year to maintain appearance. Pruning, however, should be done at strategic points. Pruning should occur after the tree’s flowering or fruit production cycle, so spring blooming trees should be pruned in mid-summer, while summer blooming trees need to be pruned in the winter or early spring.


When it comes to the tools necessary for pruning and trimming, there are also some differences. Hand shears or lopping shears are typically useful for pruning. While shears can be used for trimming, larger and more efficient tools like trimmers and saws are often appropriate for trimming jobs because they quickly create an evenly shaped look.

Whether your trees are in need of a spring trim or a major pruning job, Horhut Tree Experts is ready to help. Our experienced arborists and tree experts have the knowledge and experience to ensure the health and beauty of your trees. Give us a call today and schedule your spring tree trimming or pruning!

Jaime Horhut