The Difference, How & When, Trimming vs. Pruning

The Difference, How & When, Trimming vs. Pruning

Having your plants, shrubs and trees trimmed and pruned is an important part of tree health. It not only improves fruiting but can aid in protecting them from pests and diseases. However, the timing of trimming and pruning is vital to ensure beautiful, healthy, robust growth and productive plants, shrubs and trees.

Best Time to Trim and Prune

In New Jersey, the best time to trim and prune is in the late fall after the leaves have fallen and up to the early spring before spring blooms emerge. After the fall season, a tree’s growth is halted as they go into a dormant stage for the winter. With no active growth, the inactivity makes this an ideal time to prune and trim. Also, pests are also less active during the winter; therefore, they are less likely to attack freshly pruned cuts.

Now let’s talk about the difference between trimming and pruning.

Trimming vs. Pruning

For the average person, the terms ‘trimming’ and ‘pruning’ are often used interchangeably to represent cutting plants, shrubs and trees, but there are some important differences between the two. ‘Trimming is a term used to refer to taking care of it, and ‘pruning’ refers to maintaining its health as well as when cutting for safety purposes.

Along with these two different definitions are four different categories that are often used when referring to trimming and pruning.

Appearance: Trimming or fine pruning is used to change the look.

Structure: Standard pruning includes more cutting and is used to improve the structure. 

Safety: Care pruning or menace pruning is used to remove branches because of safety reasons due to branches hanging low or in a way that can be dangerous.

Crown reduction: Includes removing the branches at the top and sides of the tree. This is usually done to prevent trees from interfering with utility lines or harming roofs. It is also used to allow air and sunlight to reach inner branches. 

Can I Prune and Trim Myself?

While it is possible to do the pruning and trimming and plants, shrubs and small trees, we do not recommend you try to cut large trees yourself. This is a time when a professional tree-cutting expert must be called. If you do decide to do it yourself, you must make sure to follow these crucial safety rules.

  • If you are trimming a larger tree, do not work on your own. You will need a partner to raise your cutting tools up to you so that you don’t handle them yourself as you cut and trim.
  • Fasten yourself to a tree using at least two secure points, and don’t use climbing spurs as they can damage tree trunks and bark.
  • Use protective wear such as gloves, safety glasses and a hard hat.
  • As you cut, make sure the bark on the edges of the pruning cuts is firmly attached.
  • When dealing with big heavy branches, always use ropes when lowering big branches and don’t let them fall to the ground.
  • Cut large branches into segments to prevent the bark from tearing or splitting.

If you decide to trim your own trees, keep in mind that flowering trees get the most ripeness in spring and can be trimmed or pruned right after flowering. For those that bloom in summer, pruning should be in early spring. For trees that bear fruit during late winter, the recommendation is to give them a shape that allows sunlight to reach the tree’s center.

With these tips in mind, you can get to work keeping your trees healthy and safe. Just keep in mind that professional trimming and pruning companies make their job look easy, but there is much more to it than just cutting here and there. The right pruning has to do with what portions to cut, how much, and when to do it. If the enormity of the task causes you to reconsider doing it yourself, it is worth using expert tree companies for large trees and landscapers for plants, shrubs and lower trees for trimming and pruning services. A professional will provide the best possible outcome and ensure that your plants, shrubs and trees get properly and professionally trimmed and pruned.

Contact a Professional Landscaping Company

If you are in the northern New Jersey area, you don’t need to look further than Fernandez & Sons Masonry and Landscaping. Fernandez & Sons offers reliable and quality residential and commercial landscape design, landscaping and property maintenance services. Contact Fernandez & Sons today to start pruning and trimming, keeping your plants, shrubs and trees healthy with a robust life.