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What is the difference between tree lopping and pruning?

November 24, 2020

A lot of people might confuse “tree lopping” and “tree pruning” since both are associated with tree trimming and are essential to tree care. Both jobs involve shaping your tree and both will lead to a healthy-looking and disease-free growth of trees in addition to the protection of your property, but only if done the right way and by a professional.

In simple terms, tree lopping is all about trimming the branches of the tree or cutting off the top and reducing its size. Whereas pruning is usually associated with the health of the tree. Pruning would provide immunity to the trees against certain diseases and helps prevent some branches from falling.


So what work is involved in tree pruning?

As mentioned, tree pruning is all about the health of the tree and it is usually performed for improving the health of the tree, ensuring better quality of flowers & fruits, and for aesthetics purposes.

Tree pruning is about prevention; preventing branches from falling or in times when trees are being prepared for transplantation. Arborists will make sure to selectively remove unwanted tree-parts in addition to diseased, damaged, and non-productive ones.


What about tree lopping? How is it different to tree pruning?

Tree lopping on the other hand, is a more complicated job that would normally cut the top of the tree or remove some branches and stems. Tree lopping can be performed for different reasons such as making the tree look better, or to prevent a tree from blocking views and allow more light to enter properties or even protecting properties from being damaged (especially in the case of damaging winds).

It is always recommended to refer to a professional when performing tree lopping as it can be quite hazardous if not performed by a skilled tree lopper.


So, what are the differences between tree lopping and pruning?

We will try to cover up the differences from different aspects:

Purpose of pruning or lopping

As mentioned before, always remember that the main reason for tree pruning is for the health of the tree and that tree pruning is a preventive method. With the correct trimming method used, tree pruning helps with:

  • Encouraging healthy growth
  • Helping with the immunity of the tree by preventing certain diseases when diseased branches are removed
  • Strengthening the core of the tree

As for tree lopping it really helps with the safety of the tree and properties around. With tree lopping, it is all about reducing hazardous situations and reducing the size of the tree when needed or eliminate a diseased area to save the rest of the tree

Level of experience required from your arborist

Tree pruning doesn’t require a high level of industry skill set, a gardener with a good knowledge of tree anatomy will be able to perform the job. Whereas when it comes to tree lopping, it is especially important to hire a skilled professional who has experience in the industry to do the required job. With tree lopping, it is essential to hire someone who knows what they’re doing since it can cause irreversible damage to the tree if not done correctly.

Frequency of pruning or lopping

Tree pruning should be done in the dormant period of the tree, so twice a year should be enough. Whereas, with tree lopping it should be done as few times as possible since it can put trees under stress, and it is only recommended when it’s a necessary action for the tree and its survival.

In the end, it is always recommended to check and consult with a certified arborist before performing a job since they will be able to give you the best recommendation to save your tree and its health.


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