What is Shearing and How is it Different From Pruning?

Tree care professionals in Vancouver want to educate homeowners about the proper shearing, pruning and trimming of their trees and hedges. 

What is Shrub and Tree Shearing? 

Trees and shrubs add character to a landscape, but as most people know, they need regular maintenance to keep them looking great and growing healthily. Regular maintenance can include watering, fertilizing, and especially pruning, trimming, and shearing. 

Left alone, most plants will overgrow or grow in a pattern that isn’t helpful for the long-term. Additionally, most trees and shrubs in a landscape require some shaping to keep them aesthetically pleasing. It is for these reasons that processes like shearing and pruning are done. 

How is Shearing Different from Pruning and Trimming?

The terms “pruning,” “trimming,” and “shearing” are all terms that refer to the skillful removal of plant matter. However, the goal and method of each process is different. Shearing refers to the removal of the outermost layer of growth around the whole plant. No attention is paid to removing dead branches or overgrowth. The main goal of shearing is for improving the shape for aesthetic purposes. 

Trimming and pruning focus on removing dead plant matter, enhancing the natural growth habit of a specimen, and thinning out overgrowth so air and light can circulate within the tree or shrub. Often, pruning and shearing methods used in conjunction is the best practice for most trees and shrubs. Employing both methods will ensure that the leaves are growing more densely throughout the shrub, leading to a bushier appearance that is less susceptible to disease or infection. 

What Trees And Plants Benefit From Shearing?

Shearing most often refers to shrubbery and bushes. Shrubs and bushes are usually placed in a landscape because of their potential for shearing into pleasing shapes. Some varieties of small trees can also be trained and sheared into a habit that will make them behave more like shrubs, particularly evergreen varieties. 

Like trimming and pruning, shearing can be excessive. When shearing occurs, the outermost plant growth is repeatedly removed. Periodically, it is important to trim and prune specimens that are repeatedly sheared to keep them growing healthily. 

Why You Should Work With A Professional

Any time plant matter is removed from a tree or shrub there is a risk that damage could occur. While pruning, trimming and shearing are all done with the health of the plant in mind, when they are done improperly it can be detrimental to the plant by allowing bacteria, fungus, and insect infestations to take up residence inside the plant. 

Another common problem from shearing work done by non-professionals is the damage caused by overshearing. When shrubs are repeatedly sheared to the same level, the growth of the plant is concentrated in the outer layers of leaves. This constricts light penetration and air circulation to the inside of the plant. When the outer layer is repeatedly damaged by overshearing, the plant loses the majority of its healthy growth and can go into shock. 

Working with the Best

Working with professionals is important to ensuring that trimming practices are healthy to the plant instead of damaging. VI Tree Service in Vancouver has over 20 years of experience caring for local trees and shrubs. Their crews are experienced and professional and they are ready to handle anything from small projects to large landscaping.