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Trimming and Pruning

Posted on by Urban Eden

Winter is officially upon us here in the Vancouver, Camas, and Washougal, Washington area. Winter is the best time to prune and trim various shrubs, bushes and trees. During this time of year, these plants are, generally, dormant and, therefore, will not be shocked by the cutting process. This post will discuss the difference between, and importance of, trimming and pruning.

Difference Between Trimming and Pruning

Oftentimes, the terms “pruning” and “trimming” are improperly used interchangeably, or one is mistaken for the other. However, trimming and pruning are two different terms that are implemented to achieve different results.

Pruning refers to removing dead or diseased parts of a plant; when a broken or diseased branch is removed from a tree, for instance, that tree is being pruned.

Trimming, similarly, yet conversely, refers simply to the removal of overgrown parts of the plant; when overgrown portions of an arborvitae are cut away, for example, you are trimming that arborvitae.

There is a plethora of reasons that pruning, and trimming are important aspects of any landscape and why the timing of these tasks are imperative.

Best Time of Year to Trim and Prune

Obviously, any dying, diseased or damaged parts of a plant should be removed as quickly as possible, especially in the case of large trees, when questionable limbs can be hazardous and run the risk of falling to the ground, which often occurs during storm season. The best time to prune and trim is in late fall or winter. During this yearly period, these plants are dormant and are not blooming. Therefore, pruning and trimming will be less stressful on the plant and should not shock or otherwise adversely affect the plant. If absolutely necessary, pruning and trimming can be performed in very early spring, just before the plant blooms.

Why Trim and Prune?

Now that we understand that there is a difference between trimming and pruning, and that there are better (and worse) times of the year to perform these tasks, it’s time to explore why trimming and pruning is so important. There are several reasons to maintain proper pruning and trimming habits.

Encouraging Proper Plant Growth

Obviously, proper pruning and trimming improves the overall look or aesthetic of the plant. However, it also influences the way in which these plants grow and encourages proper plant growth. Adequately maintaining a plants growth is essential to a plants overall structural integrity. Furthermore, proper trimming and pruning also helps lower the risk of broken and falling branches. Trimming and pruning encourages new and healthy growth on any bush, tree, or shrub.


Another common reason to maintain proper pruning and trimming habits is for the safety of not only your property and belongings, but also of family, friends, and visitors. Large branches, specifically that of tall trees, can cause major issues, and even damage your home, if they are allowed to grow unfettered. Falling objects can disastrously harm you or your home. If branches are allowed to grow uncontrolled, they can cause a significant amount of damage to the siding of your home by brushing against it. Vines and other climbing plants, if left to grow unchecked, can find their way underneath or behind your siding, causing it to detach from the framing of your house, which can have costly results overtime.

Plant Health

One last reason to trim and prune your trees, bushes and shrubs, is to maintain the health of these plants. By removing the dead or diseased areas of the plant, you keep pests at bay. Insects may not necessarily kill your plant, but they often can spread disease throughout the plant, which obviously has harmful effects, causing branches to weaken and fall. Properly pruning a plant to thin out the branches, encourages more sunlight and air to penetrate into the plant, which also diminishes the potentiality of an infestation.

Urban Eden Landscaping is fully prepared and equipped to handle your pruning and trimming needs. Not only that, but we would also love to tackle any other landscape projects and tasks that you may need assistance with as well. To get your free estimate, call us today at (360)567-6399, contact us here, or simply fill out our free online estimate request form.



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