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Need pruning advice for huge Arborvitae

Posted by steve22802 7a VA (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 12:15

I do some landscaping work for a rental property owner and there was one property where a huge sprawling Arborvitae was crowding the parking area. I cut it back pretty hard to solve the immediate crowding problem but now I'm wondering about the future growth of this shrub. Should I suggest pruning the entire thing back hard to around 4 feet? Would it grow out again ok from that point over several years? What would happen if I cut it all the way to within inches of the ground? Would that generate lots of bushy growth? I assume it would be best to wait until spring for major shearing so that it would start growing out again immediately instead of having ugly bare branches all winter. Here's a couple photos:

arborvitae_side

arborvitae_whole_shrub


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need pruning advice for huge Arborvitae

hmmmm

someone who does landscape work....

should know that these are conifers ....

perhaps.. in 10 years.. those bare sticks will be green again ... perhaps not ... personally.. they would not remain in my garden.. long enough to find out .....

ken


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RE: Need pruning advice for huge Arborvitae

Arborvitae do not rejenerate off of older wood......these branches will not go back....you will be left with what you have now.....a dead hole in the middle of the tree......anymore pruning will make things worse......
If it was an old Yew, you could cut it back severely and it would regrow and look good........


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RE: Need pruning advice for huge Arborvitae

It looks pretty bad now. Those stubs aren't going to resprout. The plant is overgrown - time to replace it.


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RE: Need pruning advice for huge Arborvitae

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 1:34

What I see is a nice 'Umbraculifera' that was spoiled so the noses of some cars could stick over the edge of the paving.


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RE: Need pruning advice for huge Arborvitae

Thanks for the advice. The branches were actually hanging a foot or two over the pavement and continuing to reach out further each year. I think it's just time to replace it. It was also splaying open in the middle and had at least one major broken branch. Maybe it would be possible to cut it back further on that side and then plant one or two narrow upright shrubs to hide the dead wood.


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RE: Need pruning advice for huge Arborvitae

By the way, this is not a very deep concrete parking pad and the residents could barely get their vehicles off the street before I pruned the shrub back. It's really just gotten too big for the location.


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RE: Need pruning advice for huge Arborvitae

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 13:36

Yes: if it's starting to break up that is a definite hint.


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