Shrub trimming and pruning—what’s the difference? Both landscape projects mean that you’re trimming back shrubs, right?

The answer is not so easy. Yes, shrub trimming and pruning involve removing shrub growth, but they are two entirely different approaches. First, let’s take a look at the definitions of trimming and pruning, then we’ll review why these landscaping services matter, what your plants need and when.

What Do Shrub Trimming Services Involve?

Shrub trimming is trimming off the tips of branches to enhance the overall appearance of a plant. This landscaping service involves using power hedge trimmers to skim the tops and sides of shrubs so they look neat and manicured. For example, if your Mystic CT, Groton CT property or any other Shoreline CT and Southeastern CT property has a hedge row of shrubs, shearing off the tops and sides will maintain a uniform, ‘green fence’ look.

Trimming can involve cutting off an inch or two of unruly growth for species like boxwood, or aggressively trimming down a plant l to a fraction of its size.  To know what’s right for your specific shrub varieties, it’s best to consult with a local hedge trimming professional.

How Often Should Shrubs Be Trimmed

Some landscape companies might sell you shrub trimming services with every maintenance visit, but you could end up spending way more money than is necessary. In fact, during the Connecticut Winter, you might not need to trim shrubs at all. Plants are still growing, but not at a rapid pace that calls for constant maintenance.

Ultimately, weather conditions and the type of shrubs you have will dictate how often they need to be trimmed. Be sure the pro you hire to maintain your landscape considers what type of shrubs are growing on your property so they can get the level of care they need.

Shrub Pruning Services

Pruning is beneficial to shrubs because it makes room for new growth by removing branches that are dead, dying or diseased. Pruning can also be performed to live, healthy plant tissue to reduce size or form the structure of the plant. Pruning helps improve plant health and can increase the life of plants, so you’re ultimately protecting your landscape investment.

One key difference between shrub pruning and shrub trimming services is where and how cuts are made. Pruning typically involves making fewer cuts, but each cut is made individually vs. shearing with the pass of power hedge shears. With pruning, we use hand pruners and make selective cuts at an angle, where branches meet. Pruning can also include making thinning cuts to tame an overgrown shrub. That is accomplished by cutting entire branches off at the base of the plant.

How Often to Prune Shrubs in Connecticut

Pruning frequency and timing is also very different than shrub trimming, which can occur throughout most the year without harming the plant. Pruning is best done in fall when plants are not stressed from high temperatures and dry weather.

Trim Shrubs or Prune Them?

Trimming and pruning are both important aspects of maintaining a healthy, beautiful property. Chances are, you have some plants in your landscape that call for regular trimming, while others need annual pruning.

How often your property will require shrub trimming and pruning depends on the type of plants in your yard, and your taste. If you prefer a sculpted effect, your shrubs will require more maintenance. On the other hand, some property owners like a less formal look, so shrubs can be cut less often.

A landscape professional can evaluate your property and, based on shrub varieties and your personal preferences, provide some recommendations and a plan so you can get results you desire.


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