Difference between tree and hedge trimming

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Tree trimming and hedge trimming are essential landscaping techniques that homeowners use to maintain and care for their gardens. Maintaining plants like shrubs and hedge applies to hedge trimming. On the other hand, maintaining huge trees is tree trimming; the correct term used by arborists for Tree trimming is Pruning.

Tree Trimming and Pruning are both terms that are interchangeably used by people but are the same process. So, what we are talking about here is the difference between trimming and pruning.

There are some differences when it comes to the equipment used and the time of implementation, but both processes are essential for healthy plants. Both Tree trimming and Hedge Trimming are two distinct services that serve different purposes.

To understand the difference between tree trimming and hedge trimming, let us start by knowing what each term means.

Tree Trimming/Pruning

Tree trimming is the process of removing the branches that are dead or loose to avoid people around getting hurt. Tree trimming also stimulates the growth of the tree instead of inhibiting it while eliminating hazards.

Another reason for pruning is to remove pest or disease-infested branches to protect the plant and prevent the disease from spreading.

Hedge Trimming

Unlike tree trimming, hedge trimming is a technique used to tidy up a small shrub or hedge’s appearance by removing overgrown branches. Hedge trimming is purely done for aesthetic appeal, while tree pruning focuses on a tree’s health and safety.

Hedge trimming gives the plant a certain shape and look. Another reason for hedge trimming is to avoid excessive overgrowth because it is harmful as it blocks the light.

Now that we know the definition of hedge trimming and tree trimming let’s move on to other factors that differentiate these two processes.

Equipment Used

Although pruning and trimming involve cutting, the tools used vary. For pruning, shear is used, which are available in two types, i.e., hand shears and lopping shears. If the branches are very thick, the tree service providers use saws to trim the trees.

To trim the hedge, shears are not used. For hedge trimming, a hedge trimmer, whether electric or gas-powered, is used.


Tree trimming or pruning should be done once a year, but the time of the year depends upon the type of plant and your goals. Dormant trees are pruned often in winters so that it grows well in spring. If you want to keep your trees small, you can get them pruned at the end of the summer.

Hedge trimming should be done twice a year for aesthetic maintenance, falling at least once just after flowering cycles. The tree experts also suggest trimming hedges before it reaches one foot to optimise the health of the smaller shrubs and hedge.

Both tree trimming and hedge trimming have their time and place, and the best approach is to use each wherever required. Knowing the difference between tree trimming and hedge trimming will help you decide whether you need to hire an arborist or not to get the work done. It is always a good idea to hire professionals for tree and hedge trimming to avoid potential hazards.


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