Pruning Vs. Trimming: Know the Difference for a Lush Lawn Year Round

Landscape gardening is an art form, which is why so many homeowners choose to outsource their landscaping efforts to a professional. Two essential aspects of landscaping are pruning and trimming. Most individuals use these terms interchangeably, but doing so is a mistake and can lead to trees and bushes that are shaped oddly or that contain dead or diseased branches. To understand the difference between the two actions, keep reading.

What it Means to “Prune”

To prune a tree or bush means to cut off dead or diseased portions of the tree, which could include buds, branches, twigs or even roots. This action is meant to preserve the overall integrity of the tree before the disease is allowed to spread. Sometimes, a homeowner may prune away branches that hang over their home, swimming pool or some other area in which damage would be catastrophic.  

What it Means to “Trim”

Whereas pruning is done more for practical purposes, trimming is done for aesthetic reasons. Trimming is done to shape plants—mostly bushes—into aesthetically pleasing shapes. While more grandeur homes like to trim their bushes into the shapes of animals and other complicated designs, most homeowners choose to have their hedges trimmed into a box-shape or mound. This action also serves a practical purpose. In addition to improving your home’s curb appeal, trimming also promotes healthy growth.

Because trimming is an art, it has its own scientific name: topiary. Many experts specialize in this field and are skilled at keeping shrubs and trees healthy and beautiful for years.

Whether or not you have a green thumb, landscape gardening is one of those things best left to the experts. This is especially true of pruning and trimming. If you want to extend the lifespan of your tress and bushes, and if you want to ensure that your landscape looks tidy and attractive at all times, let an expert take over.