Return to the Shrubs Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Can I reduce height of an arborvitae

Posted by enjayare z6 NY (My Page) on
Sun, May 11, 08 at 9:36

We have an arborvitae that is way too tall. Is there anything I can do to reduce the height and still have it look nice?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can I reduce height of an arborvitae

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 11, 08 at 15:58

What you are thinking of is that the interior has no foliage so if you cut back beyond the outer layer you end up with bare stems that may not sprout vigorously enough to fill back in again well or even remain bare. How far down you can go depend on how far down your plants are green.

RE: Can I reduce height of an arborvitae

Isn't the question really about "topping"? My understanding is that you can (there are sheared arborvitae hedges, after all) if you're prepared for the tree to have a flat top and to eventually be apt to grow multiple leaders. It's not too likely to kill the tree, and topping won't make for bushier bottom growth. And you can use a pruner to taper the remaining top greenery to lessen the effect of the topping.

There are quite a few university extension services with on-line pruning guides. Most of them will prefer selective pruning to topping arborvitae, but none say that topping is NEVER the answer.

RE: Can I reduce height of an arborvitae

I did 'topped' arborvitae 3 or 4 years ago and see nothing wrong with a plant. At once it was looking somewhat funny with flat top, but in a year or so it developed somewhat oval top and I have no problem with such appearance vs conical-pointy one.
Mine was over 10' tall and it was reduced to 7' at the time of topping. Now approaching 9'.

RE: Can I reduce height of an arborvitae

thanks, I was referring to the flat top but I forgot about the dead leaves also. BUT that said I am going to do it. Thanks again. It's great to have all this experience at your fingertips. :)

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Shrubs Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here