What is Pruning?

Pruning, in horticulture, is the process of removal or reduction of parts of a plant, tree, or vine that are unnecessary for growth or production, are no longer attractive, or are harmful to the plant’s health or development.

What is the difference between Pruning and Trimming?

Techniques commonly used in tree care maintenance. You might think these two are the same, but they are very different. Below is a table of comparisons that you can use as a guide:



Applies to maintenance of trees and shrubs, to to improve flowering and fruiting.


Removal of unnecessary branches and sometimes even roots to prevent it from harming other plants or people.


Focuses on the tree's health, growth and safety.



Usually applies to maintaining small shrubs or hedges.


Thinning out limbs and cutting back unwieldy branches to improve the tree's appearance.


Focuses on appearance and for aesthetic purposes.

2 Methods of Pruning

1. Pollarding– Top tree branches are cut and pruned down to the trunk, leaving club-headed stems that grow a thick head of new branches. This method limits the area of top growth on trees. In some places, pollarding is done to prevent the tree branches from tangling with the overhead electric wires and street lamps.

2. Topiary– is from the Latin word “topia”, which means decorative garden work. It is the art of training and shaping trees into artificial and unnatural forms such as an animal, decorative objects, or geometric shapes. Topiary was once known as the art of the tree barber in the 18th century, but its practitioners now refer to it as the art of the tree mason and leafage sculptor. Topiary’s intricate, unique, and unnatural shape makes it temporary, lasting only for a very short time.

5 Most Common Pruning Tools

1. Secateurs. Also known as “hand pruners” is the most used tool in pruning shrubs, plants, vines, and small parts of trees. It can cut branches and twigs up to ¾ inch thick.

2. Loppers. It comes in the anvil, bypass, and ratchet styles. It can reach branches 2 ½ inches thick and is used in pruning fruit trees, nut trees, and vines. Although it looks similar to hand shears, it is very different because of the thicker blades and longer handles.

3. Hedge Shears. It can cut branches up to 2 ¼ inches thick. It is the tool best used on hedges, small shrubs, evergreens, and deadheading perennials.

4. Pruning Saws. It is a tool with sharp teeth that is great for cutting lumber. This tool can cut branches from 1 ½ to 5 inches in diameter.

5. Pole Pruner. This tool is for reaching deadwood in trees. It can cut any tree with branches up to 1 ¼ inch in diameter. This tool can reach heights up to 8ft or more, so there’s no need to use any ladder or stool.

However, having these pruning tools isn’t enough to keep your tree in good shape. Pruning particularly tall and large trees (up to 60 feet tall) necessitates the use of special equipment (construction or man lifts) as well as tree climbing tools (gears, ropes, pulleys, etc.). You should hire a tree care company because they have a team of highly trained arborists that have better understanding of tree biology which make it easier for them to spot plant problems and illnesses, and most of all, they know how to maintain and prune trees properly that can lengthen your tree’s life.

5 Tree Pruning Health Benefits

Roe’s Outdoor Services, Inc. Arborists are skillful in pruning and fully equipped with all the latest tools, gadgets, gears and equipment that can be used in safely eliminating tree defects, minimizing damages, and improving your tree’s health and aesthetics.

1. Better Nutrients Absorption. By pruning your tree and cutting some of the large branches allowing it to use less available nutrients maximally. Lesser number of branches means more number of nutrients the tree can get from the soil. This can help tree’s flowers and fruits flourish.

2. Tree Health Maintenance. Pruning removes dead, dying and sick branches that help prevent further spread of disease and decay.

3. More Sunlight Exposure. With proper tree pruning, the trees benefit from the increased sun exposure and air circulation. It also allows more sunlight for adjacent plants and trees, making shorter plants or trees thrive.

4. Prevent Root Damage. Root pruning is the cutting of roots before mechanical excavation near a tree. This is a vital procedure to minimize and prevent damage to tree root systems during a construction or tree planting preparation.

5. Disease Detection and Management. Tree parts (leaves, trunks, and roots) that are diseased or infected should be removed. This can be done through proper pruning. Pruning can be an effective method in the elimination, control and prevention of fungi, bacteria or pest infection from spreading throughout the tree and to neighboring trees.

Pruning is not only beneficial for your trees and plants but also your property. Proper pruning reduces the risks that can cause accidents such as falling of large branches to your rooftops, properties, sidewalks and your heads. Roe’s Outdoor Services, Inc. have extensive experience and complete pruning tools and equipment. Call us now for FREE Quotation.