The Difference Between Pruning and Trimming Trees

Your trees can benefit from both pruning and trimming. You may not realize it, but they are two different treatments. When you know the difference between pruning and trimming, you can determine which is best for the type of trees on your property.

Spruce Up Tree Care offers expert tree trimming services in Memphis, TN. We are locally owned and we provide professional tree services at an affordable price.

Tree Trimming

When trimming a tree, a professional will remove branches in order to maintain the shape and height of the tree. It promotes healthy growth that takes on a thicker appearance. Trimming young, overgrown plants once per year keeps them from developing branches too big for the tree, which can lead to the trunk splitting. 

Trimming small trees helps them appear well-maintained and can keep them from growing above a designated height. It thins out overgrowth and allows more light to shine through the branches onto the foliage below.

Trimming is great for trees, but don’t cut too much. Trimming more than 20% of a tree at once can cause significant damage.

Tree Pruning

The goal in pruning is to benefit the overall health of the tree. Cutting healthy branches that compromise the tree structure can help the tree grow stronger. Removing diseased or dead branches not only approves the appearance of the tree, but it improves tree health. 

Pruning provides a healthy structure for the tree to thrive. It helps the lower branches receive plenty of sunlight, increasing the number of branches and helping the tree produce more fruit.

Pruning is not as simple as trimming. Always hire tree care professionals to take care of trimming and pruning services on your property. 

When you work with a professional tree service business, a professional will identify and remove any branches that could fall and damage your home or property. 

Trees that undergo pruning develop disease less often and are less susceptible to insect infestation. 

Key Differences

While trimming and pruning are similar, there are some key differences

  • Pruning only occurs every two to three years.
  • Trimming occurs annually on young trees. 
  • Pruning typically benefits shrubs and ornamental trees. 
  • Trimming typically benefits deciduous trees like oak and maple.

The main difference between pruning and trimming is this: Pruning helps the health of the tree, whereas trimming is purely cosmetic. Trees that go their whole lives without pruning or trimming are not aesthetically pleasing and could spread disease throughout the property. 

Professional Tree Trimming & Pruning

Spruce Up Tree Care in Memphis, TN offers professional tree services with excellent customer service. We know how often to trim trees to help them grow strong and healthy. 

Tree services are physically taxing and require special equipment. Don’t take on tree services yourself unless you feel comfortable. 

The difference between pruning and trimming done by a professional as opposed to DIY job could mean a longer life for your trees. Call Spruce Up Tree Care at 901-833-8242 for a free estimate.


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(901) 833-8242

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