What’s the Difference Between Tree Trimming & Pruning?


What’s the Difference Between Tree Trimming & Pruning?

While the terms “tree trimming” and “tree pruning“, are often used interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing. These are the differences Tree Trimming & Pruning between the terms.

What is Tree Trimming?

Tree trimming is the act of cutting down overgrown branches and leaves to make them more attractive. It also helps to promote the proper growth of a tree.

What is tree pruning?

Tree pruning refers to the removal of dead, cluttered, or dying branches and leaves from your trees. Pruning is a process that considers the entire tree structure and promotes their growth and wellbeing. Pruning is used to remove diseased or infected branches. This helps protect trees against infections.

What are the benefits of trimming or pruning a tree?

Tree trimming is essential to ensure that old, weak branches don’t fall and cause injury or property damage. There are several reasons to trim your trees every winter.

  • Safety– You can avoid injury to yourself and others by removing dead or broken tree limbs as soon as they fall. Tree limbs can also be prevented from falling on your house or car. You can either cut down or remove dead branches from trees at any time.
  • Appearance – Another reason to trim your trees are to make them look beautiful. It is best to trim trees to maintain their natural shapes, rather than trying to make them grow into unnatural forms.
  • Tree Health – Trimming a tree to remove dead or diseased limbs is a great way to maintain healthy trees. Tree trimming is an important part of tree care. It encourages healthy growth and helps trees maintain their structure. Tree health can be improved by simply removing some leaves and smaller branches. This allows more sunlight and air to pass through and improves tree health.

How to trim or prune a tree the right way

It is safe to take out the following branches when trimming or pruning a tree:

  • Branchs that cross and intersect
  • Lower branches can get in the way when you are walking
  • Branchs that block light and windows
  • Branchs that block intersections and interfere with street signs
  • Branchs that block your home’s entranceway
  • For tree trimming or pruning, you will need the following tools and materials

Here’s a list with the materials you will need for tree trimming.

  • Pruning and lopping shears
  • Small chainsaw
  • Hand saw
  • Sharp knife or chisel
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Single-pole ladder or extension ladder

Tree trimming steps

Gather all the tools necessary to trim a tree. Make sure they are sharpened and clean. For sharpness, rinse them with warm soapy water.

To prevent injury, wear gloves and protective eyewear before you begin the tree trimming.

2) Use a single-pole ladder, or an extension ladder, to inspect the tree limbs. It should be firmly planted on the ground, and it should be stable against the tree. Always work your way down when trimming limbs to ensure that no one is underneath you and could be hurt by falling debris.

You should make a 1/4-inch cut in the trunk with a handsaw, two to three feet from the tree. This will prevent the bark from splitting.

4) Use a small chainsaw or hand saw to cut the relief section of the branch just outside the notch. This helps to remove the weight from the branch and allows you to make the final cut without it splitting or falling.

5) Next, locate the branch collar. This is the part that grows from the stem tissue at bottom of the branch. Do not cut through the branch collar. This is the part responsible for healing the tree and forming scar tissue.

6) Use a chainsaw to cut just beyond the branch collar. Angle your cut downwards and away from the stem. The best place to cut is in the area where the trunk of the tree meets the branch.

7) To encourage growth, prune small tree branches with pruning shears.

8) Remove any broken branches that have a stub or raped bark with a chisel to preserve the tree’s health and to prevent insects from entering.

Steps for Tree Pruning

Pruning is an important step that will help to maintain healthy trees. Pruning is an important task. A poorly done job could lead to your tree becoming more susceptible to disease and decay. You might harm your trees if you do it wrongly and need to have them removed by a professional.

You can make precise and effective pruning cuts using the three-cut pruning method

  • Begin by cutting the branch’s underside. The cut should be approximately 12 inches from the branch collar, and about a quarter to half way through the branch. You should not cut a heavy limb from the top. The bark could pull away from the trunk or main branch that is being left. This damage can be avoided by cutting the first undercut.
  • Next, cut the top of the branch. The cut should be approximately 6 inches from your first undercut. Continue to cut until the branch snaps back to the original cut and falls off cleanly.
  • Finally, trim the limb to the root collar. Avoid making flush cuts as this could cause damage to the growth layer and hinder healing. To prevent water pooling around the tree’s open wound, ensure that your cut is 45 degrees.


Although we prefer you call us for all pruning needs, many clients enjoy being outside and working with their landscape. Many people find working in the yard relaxing and therapeutic. You can also immediately see the beautiful results.

Be aware that every cut you make to your plant will have an impact on its future growth and health. These 8 essential pruning tips will ensure that your plants remain healthy and beautiful.

1) It is best to prune certain tree species during the dormant seasons. These trees include Elm and Oak trees, which are native to the area. If not pruned in the growing season, both these tree species can be infected by severe fungal diseases.

2) Trim any diseased, dead or damaged branches. They are not adding anything to the tree, and could allow decay to reach the main trunk.

If there are sprouts (root suckers), remove them.

4) Take out any fast-growing vertical branches (water sprigs).

5) Do not leave any stubs. If you are removing an entire branch, cut it back to the lateral or branch bark collar.

6) Make sure you use the right pruning tool. All hand snippers, loppers, and hand saws have the maximum branches they can prune. A 1 inch branch will not be cut with hand snips.

Professional arborists should handle large branch pruning. Large branches may need to be cut in sections or lowered using ropes to be safely removed.

8) If pruning will require you to climb into the tree or use a ladder, it is time to contact a professional arborist. These are situations where homeowners can get hurt or break something.