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Shrub Trimming vs. Pruning: What’s the Difference & How Will a Landscape Company Near Me Perform These Services?

Jack Moore
Feb 19, 2019 1:40:20 PM

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

The answer is not so simple. Yes, shrub trimming and pruning involve removing shrub growth, but they are two entirely different approaches. First, let’s explore the definitions of trimming and pruning, then we’ll dig into why these landscaping services matter, what your plants need (and when).

What Do Shrub Trimming Services Involve?

Shrub trimming is cutting off the tips of branches to clean up 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 Denton or Collin county, TX property has a hedge row of shrubs, shearing off the tops and sides will maintain a uniform, ‘green fence’ look.

landscape maintenance technician trimming shrubs

Trimming can involve clipping off an inch or two of unruly growth for species like boxwood, or aggressively trimming down a plant like Spirea to a fraction of its size. (You can remove about 90% of growth for this species and it will grow back the next season.) To know what’s right for your specific shrub varieties, it’s best to consult with a knowledgeable professional.

How Often to Trim Shrubs

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 cooler season in Texas, 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.

shrub trimming performed by landscape maintenance technician

For example, boxwoods grow relatively slow and only need to be trimmed about once a month during the growing season. On the other hand, faster-growing holly and privet shrubs might need weekly trimming in spring and summer.

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—What to Expect

Pruning is beneficial to shrubs because it removes branches that are dead, dying or diseased and makes room for new growth. 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 longevity of plants, so you’re ultimately protecting your landscape investment.

landscape maintenance technician pruning tree

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 Texas

Pruning frequency and timing is also very different than shrub trimming, which can occur throughout the year without harming the plant. Pruning is best done in winter when plants are not stressed from high temperatures and dry weather. Winter pruning prepares a shrub for healthy, new spring growth.

In Texas, you can prune shrubs in late fall or early winter. What we like about mid- to late-winter pruning is that you won’t wait long for new growth in spring. (If you prune in late fall, you’ll have to be patient with shrubs that don’t look full until the warmer season.)

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.

landscape maintenance company crew trimming shrubs

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 frequent care. On the other hand, some property owners like a less formal look, so shrubs can be trimmed less often.

A landscape pro can evaluate your property and, based on shrub varieties and your personal preferences, provide some guidance and a customized landscape maintenance plan so you can get results without all the extra work.

Forget the Hassle and Hire a Pro

Figuring out when and how to trim and prune shrubs on your Texas property can be confusing. Not to mention, actually doing the work takes time you could be spending on something else.

Grassperson landscape company technician trimming shrubs

We also understand that there’s some degree of stress involved because you don’t want to cut off too many branches or trim back shrubs to the point that they look bad, or become unhealthy.

The good news is, you don’t have to become a pruning expert or spend extra time doing yard work, and you can still get the best lawn on the block. The key is to find an expert who provides quality service, and who can honestly assess the level of pruning and trimming your plants really need and execute a plan to make things happen at just the right times and with the right methods.

Seriously, skip the extra work of trying to figure out shrub trimming and pruning by finding out more about our Total Maintenance package. Get a Free Quote, then you can enjoy the best lawn on the block!

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