Tree Care Tips & Techniques: Is It Time to Prune or Trim?
If you’re asking me, no garden is ever complete without trees. They evoke a serene, forest-like atmosphere and give your outdoor space a refreshing shade that adds much to its looks and it’s the perfect spot to lounge during hot summer days. However, if you let the trees in your garden grow out of control, they can easily disturb that much sought after ambiance and balance. It has happened to almost every tree owner; they go on a vacation and focus on other things for a while and before they know it, their trees’ branches have grown so rapidly and abundantly that they have started weighing the tree down, stunt its growth and present a possible safety risk. Yup, you know it, it’s time for trimming! Or pruning? Wait, which one was it?
Most of us are no horticultural experts, so tree trimming and pruning probably seem like the same thing. After all, both involve cutting unwanted branches. However, in reality, tree trimming and pruning are used for completely different purposes and involve entirely different techniques and tools. If you’re not well informed how to properly perform both, you risk causing greater harm than good. So here’s a friendly advice: don’t try it on your own. Improperly cutting the branches could lead to some tree disease or decay, and in the worst case scenario – loose branches that can fall down any time. For that reason, only an experienced arborist or horticulturist should handle these tasks to minimise the risks and make sure the process runs smoothly.
What Is Pruning?
Pruning is not meant to decrease growth but to stimulate the development of the tree and preserve its health. Regularly pruning your trees stimulates the cells in the bark to renew themselves, which allows the trees to grow faster in size. Moreover, pruning is also performed to thin a dense canopy and open up the way for sun rays to reach the tree’s inner parts. This technique is also used whenever a branch is infected with pests or it is diseased in order to prevent it from spreading to the healthy parts of the tree.
What Is Trimming?
Trimming is the act of removing unwanted branches or leaves due to safety or aesthetics. For instance, if a tree branch is starting to interfere with your house’s beautiful siding and threatens to destroy it, it’s only reasonable that you’re going to want to have it removed. Similarly, if the tree is in close proximity to power lines, it’s important to trim excess branches before they cause any damage. Trimming is also commonly used in landscaping for trimming trees or hedges into peculiar shapes. This artistic technique is called “topiary” and it requires a great deal of skills.