Tree Pruning Vs Tree Trimming

Tree Pruning vs Tree Trimming | Tree Health & Aesthetics For Your Brisbane Backyard

Parks and gardens play a big part in our community without us realising it. Whether it be a public park where kids go to play and families enjoy picnics, or your own backyard where you go to spend some relaxing time and gather yourself, the aesthetics of the green space make all the difference. 

If not maintained, a backyard can look untidy and even intimidating, and keeping the grass mowed is very important to maintain a neat look. Equally as important, is the state of the trees. The extra sunlight of the summer leads to healthy growth and many trees can become overgrown, so there is a need for maintenance, but the question is should you prune your tree or trim it?

Related information: Tree removal Brisbane

What is Tree Trimming?

Trimming your tree can be compared to going to a barber and asking for a trim. It’s to maintain order and shape. To get rid of excess leaves and branches and uphold the aesthetic appeal. 

Trimming a tree also allows for new leaves and branches to grow back in a healthy way. The same applies to bushes, shrubs and plants. It’s important to not let the growth get out of control.

If the tree is on your property, then its aesthetic plays a part in the look of your house. An unruly tree which hasn’t been trimmed and is losing a lot of leaves scattered over the ground can project a message of negligence and laziness.  

What is Tree Pruning?

Gardener Pruning Old Tree With Pruning Shears

Tree pruning is perceived to be slightly more complicated than tree trimming as it can be a more technical process. As opposed to focusing on the aesthetic of the tree, pruning focuses more on the health of the tree.

When you prune a tree you remove damaged, dead, weak or diseased branches or leaves. You check the health of the soil as well as the leaves and branches and try to identify and then rectify any problems you encounter. It’s common to find diseases and pests which are hindering the growth of the tree.

Another desired result of tree pruning is ensuring that the growth pattern is correct and that no branches and leaves are impeding others. By rearranging or pruning you should also ensure that lower branches are also receiving adequate sunlight. As tree pruning can require experience and know-how, it may be worth ringing an expert tree care management service to do it for you.

What is the difference between tree pruning and tree trimming

The main difference between pruning a tree and trimming a tree is the purpose behind the action. Pruning targets the health of the tree. The objective is to remove dead branches, diseases, pests and damage of any sort. Trimming, on the other hand, is done specifically to ensure the tree looks good.

The skill levels required to carry out the tasks are also very different. Trimming can be done yourself, though it’s not always easy, however, to prune a tree correctly, you must have some form of training or ideally be qualified to do so. 

What type of equipment do you need to trim and prune a tree?

Hedge And Trees Trimming

Pruning Equipment

The most important tool needed when pruning is shears. As you are mostly removing branches, roots, debris etc. shears are the most effective tool to do so. There are two kinds of shears you should have when pruning. The first is lopping shears which are mostly used for cutting thick branches, these are very sharp shears designed to cut through thick density. The second kind of shears you need are hand shears. As suggested by the name they are hand-held shears which are used to remove dead leaves and smaller items. Occasionally the tree or branches can be too thick for shears in which case a saw is more suitable.

Trimming Equipment

There are several tools you can use to trim however the most effective tool is a trimmer. These are designed specifically for trimming and getting rid of unnecessary excess. You can also use hand shears or even clippers to get rid of specific parts which are sticking out.

There are two kinds of trimmers you can invest in or rent, electric trimmers or gas-powered trimmers. Whichever one you decide to go for be sure to read the instruction manuals and handle with care as they are sharp tools which can prove to be dangerous. 


Tips to trim and prune a tree

Woman Touches A Tree

Three tips to trim a tree

If you want to try and trim a tree yourself and have the right equipment to do so then there here are our top three, key tips you should stick to;

  1. Unless absolutely necessary, try waiting to trim your tree during dormant seasons. Dormant seasons are during the early weeks of the winter season when daylight and temperature reduce. During this time trees become inactive and stop growing whilst shedding the leaves they don’t need.
  2. A little goes a long way – especially if it’s your first time, don’t cut too much to start with. Cut a little bit at a time and then take several steps back to see how much you’ve taken off. Be sure to prioritize balance above everything else and try to achieve a symmetrical look.
  3. Have a plan before you start. Analyze the tree and decide beforehand how much you want to cut, what shape you want it to be, and if there are any particular parts you want to take out. 

Three trips to prune a tree

Pruning a tree is a complex process, so we recommend you hire a professional to do it or receive the necessary training before you go for it. If you still want to give it a go then here are three useful tips;

  1. Try the method known as crown thinning. Mostly used on mature trees, you target specific branches for removal to reduce the overall density of the tree. This is done to increase air circulation and increase the spread of sunlight.
  2. This is a long-term method called crown raising. Achieved over a sustained period, branches are strategically removed from the lower section of the tree to increase the clearance between the ground and the lower branches and increase airflow. 
  3. Crown cleaning or reducing is the act of targeting and removing dead or diseased branches. This stops the spread of disease and promotes healthy growth. This is an important part of tree pruning and tree health in general. Always keep an eye on your tree and if you feel the branches are not right or something looks wrong then consider crown cleaning or calling in the experts to take a look at your tree.