Shearing Vs. Pruning

The following professional tips will keep Los Gatos, CA homeowners safe, and their trees healthy. 

Discussing the Differences Between Shearing and Pruning

Tree maintenance is just as important as any other maintenance around the house, if not more important. A tree that isn’t properly maintained poses a risk for the entire house, quite literally. If the tree becomes compromised during a storm, it has a higher risk of crashing into the house if it has been neglected prior. That is why it is also important for homeowners to understand the difference between shearing and pruning services. Depending on the trees they have in their yard, one service might be better than the other. It’s time for Los Gatos residents to learn the difference!

For more information, continue reading below.

Shearing: What Is It?

Shearing is a popular way for modern homeowners to maintain the trees in their yard. That is to say, a professional arborist will be doing the shearing of course. Shearing is different from other methods of trimming and maintenance because the tree is looked at more like an entire unit rather than a trunk with a bunch of small branches.

Rather than paying much attention to detail, the arborist simply cuts the entire outer layer. This ensures a nice even outer layer and encourages vibrant growth from the outside inward. A common downside to this is that it can oftentimes discourage growth throughout the inner layers of the plant or tree. When the outer layer is so full, it makes it hard for the inner layer to get any sunlight.

Many homeowners have shearing done to their trees for these reasons:

  • A quick way to remove infectious or diseased branches
  • Helps to restore structural integrity after a storm
  • May increase property value
  • Boosts curbside appeal
  • It is one of the quickest maintenance methods

Trimming and Pruning Facts

Trimming and pruning are like the other side of the coin. Shearing focuses on the outer layer of the tree as a whole while trimming and pruning target specific branches and leave the rest intact.

The benefits of pruning are:

  • Encourages overall growth
  • Removes dead branches
  • Removes diseased branches
  • Encourages natural growth

Another key difference between pruning and shearing is that with pruning, the end result isn’t an even freshly-cut look like shearing. Pruning still promotes a fresh look, but the result is a more uneven and natural growth rather than every branch being the same length.

The Types of Trees and Plants That Benefit From Shearing

Evergreen trees are notoriously known for being resilient trees that are relatively easy to grow. They make great privacy trees because of the natural growth pattern. Because it is one who’s density naturally decreases as it progresses up the tree – much like a pyramid – shearing is the preferred way to trim and maintain this type of tree.

Although shearing normally doesn’t encourage a natural growth pattern, in the case of the evergreen, it doesn’t really change much. The inner layer of the tree can still receive enough sunlight to grow strong and healthy as well.

It’s important for the homeowner to speak with an arborist about the type of tree they want shearing because there are certain species that don’t benefit from it. A professional will have the proper advice for the homeowner’s given situation.

Arborworks, Inc. Are the Tree Professionals For Every Home

There is no better tree company for the residents of Los Gatos than the professionals at Arborworks, Inc. they work hard and efficiently to bring excellent work to every customer because they know how important professional tree services are. Call today for more information!


Anyone who really cares about their trees knows how hard it is to find a good tree trimmer. I’ve used both major name brands, and self employed tree trimmers, and have never been very satisfied, until now. ArborWorks trimmed my trees as carefully as I would have, if I knew how to climb trees!Don McIntyre, owner, responded within two days of my call, and his estimate was fair and thorough. He personally brought the foreman of the crew to my site to go over the job the evening before the crew would actually arrive. Don also visits the site as the work is performed, to make sure everything goes smoothly.If my trees could vocalize, they’d sing about the space created for light to enter the crown, and how good it feels to have the weight off the ends of the limbs. Even neighbors have come by to complement me on how good the trees look. “Best ever”.I only wish I had known about ArborWorks sooner. It took me 32 years to find them. I hope my trees will forgive me for taking so long…
Karen K. Mountain View, CA


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