What Is the Difference Between Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning?

Tree pruning and tree trimming are two phrases that are often interchanged. But, the truth is, the two are quite different. While the outward appearance may look the same, the intent of each is quite different. 

Pruning is geared more toward the inner health and wellness of our favorite trees and shrubs. Meanwhile, trimming is merely an aesthetic practice. We trim our trees and bushes when they're getting a little unwieldy or obtrusive. Allow us to break it all down for you.


Tree pruning involves the removal of the dead or diseased parts of a tree. This may include leaves or branches. Proper pruning helps to foster its growth. In fact, one of the best times to prune your trees is after the blooming season. 

Removing any of the leaves or branches that died toward the end of the season sets it up for optimal growth in the new season. But, believe it or not, pruning your trees isn't just vital for the trees' growth. 

When you remove any leaves or branches that may be carrying a disease, you also remove the possibility of them falling onto nearby plants or shrubs and contaminating them.


Tree trimming is more about glamour than health. It's about creating lush shapes and angles. We might trim our azalea bushes, for example, to keep them rectangular and flowing. This would be more for the aesthetics than the fact that any of the leaves or branches were dead or diseased. 

Also, sometimes our hearty trees and bushes are strong enough to grow through a gutter or a pipe in our homes. In these instances, trimming would be beneficial to redirect their growth into a less obtrusive path. 

Which Do You Need?

Both! Pruning and trimming each come with a variety of benefits. Pruning will maintain the health of your trees and bushes, making them stand tall and proud. Trimming will take those robust bits of greenery and keep them tame and beautiful. 

When bad weather strikes, your trees and shrubs will (hopefully) be strong enough to withstand high winds. And, thanks to your trimming, your house should be fairly clear of the potential damage that could be caused by an errant branch. 

Tree Trimming Today

Take a look around your property and see where you might need some tree trimming today. It'll not only be aesthetically pleasing but, possibly, sound protection for your home. 

If you live in the Winston-Salem area and need a dependable tree service, give us a call today! Here at TarHeel Residential Tree Service, we've been providing tree trimming, tree removal, tree topping, and more since the early 1980s.

Don't risk waiting until the next hurricane to trim back some of those hazardous trees on your property. Together, we can keep your family protected from harm and your home as tidy as can be. 

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