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  • Writer's pictureBullard Tree Care

Difference Between Trimming & Pruning


Tree Pruning

We often hear the terms "trimming" and "pruning" used interchangeably, but there's actually a distinct difference between the two. Sure, they both involve cutting off parts of a plant, but the reasons behind it and the methods used are quite different. Let's break it down, shall we?

Trimming is like giving your plant a haircut. It's the process of removing small amounts of growth, like stray branches or leaves, to maintain the plant's shape and appearance. Think of it as a grooming session for your green buddies. You're not trying to drastically change the plant's structure, just neaten it up a bit.


Pruning, on the other hand, is a more serious affair. It's the strategic removal of larger branches, stems, or even entire sections of a plant. The goal here is to improve the plant's overall health, encourage new growth, or reshape its structure entirely. Pruning is like a major renovation project for your plants, where you're making big changes to their architecture.


One key difference is the timing. Trimming can be done pretty much anytime during the growing season, as long as you're not removing too much foliage. Pruning, however, is typically done during the plant's dormant period or just before new growth begins in spring. This timing helps the plant recover more quickly from the major cuts.


Another distinction lies in the tools used. For trimming, you can get away with a pair of sharp scissors or hand pruners. But for serious pruning jobs, you'll need to break out the big guns – loppers, pruning saws, or even a chainsaw for larger trees and shrubs.


Trimming is like a quick touch-up, while pruning is a full-on makeover. Both have their purposes, but it's important to understand the difference and apply the right technique at the right time. A little trimming here and there can keep your plants looking neat and tidy, but don't be afraid to give them a good pruning when they need it – it's all part of keeping your green friends happy and healthy.


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