pruning a dwarf hinoki cypress

lainey_6b_va(z 6b VA)June 17, 2008

I read somewhere that a dwarf hinoki cypress should be "artfully" pruned to accentuuate the uniquely shaped leaves. How does one accomplish an "artful pruning" and what time of year should it be attempted?

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Mike Larkin

I am not sure why you would need to prune. I guess it may depend which hinoki cypress you are speaking of. The problem with common names, anyway, use hand pruners and remove as little as possible. They take on a great shape of their own and unless it was planted to close to another shrub or house they should be prunned sparingly.
Save prunning for barberry or boxwood.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

I agree with Plantman, mostly they shouldn't need pruning - one of the beauties of the Hinokis is the natural shape, which can vary from specimen to specimen, even in the same cultivar. If it is too close to something, then consider moving it, and putting something smaller in its place. If that really isn't an option, then you CAN take stems or branches off - just be sure to go back to an outward facing, smaller branch/twig, and don't leave stubs - the dead wood can become VERY obvious! I would take off the bare minimum, step back and look from several angles. If you aren't sure you need/want to take off more, then wait, come back later and look again. As I have said before, it's easy enough to take more off later, but you can't put back a mistakenly cut piece!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 8:25AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

a good start is to understand that it is not a shrub.. nor a tree is a conifer .... each is pruning in a different manner ...

once you understand what it is... it will be easier to learn about what you might want to do ...

the best example of artful pruning would be bonsai ... what you want to do is the same principle... you just arent trying to shrink the plant ...

google 'bonsai conifers' or some such thing ... flip over to the images page.. and just study the pix ...

also ... find the latin name of the plant... again type what you know into google ... and then again.. flip to the images page.. and just look at how yours compares to what you see ... see if the muse of pruning strikes ...

i am of the opinion.. that conifers will attain their own beauty on their own terms.. and dont really need me pruning them all into a perfect xmas tree shape ....

yours is the first time i have run across a post by someone ... who like me... is thinking ... along the lines of.. the weirder the better .... or as you call it ... artful pruning ...

the simplest guide i can give ... look at your hand... never cut off a finger at the nail .... or you will get weird growth at the tip .... if you want to remove something... remove a branch where it attaches to another branch ... or remove a finger at the hand ... and most important .... this is easily a ten year project .... you can always take more off later .... you cant put it back on ....

good luck


    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 8:35AM
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lainey_6b_va(z 6b VA)

The article that I read suggested that the dwarf hinoki be pruned to accentuate its unique leaf shape and bark, not to control size or shape. I should have posed on the conifer site. Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 11:20PM
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Some of the branches on my dwarf hinoki cypress are turning brown and dry looking, how should I take care of this?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 3:37PM
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