View Full Version : Arborvitae Trimming

Darryl G
01-16-2003, 06:32 AM
I am bidding on a year-round maintenance contract for a small commercial account. They have several arborvitaes that will need to be trimmed. I normally only do yews, privet, forsythia and hemlock hedges/shrubs. It looks like the arbovitaes been sheared in the past.

My question is can gas-fired hedge clippers be used or will that shred them and turn them brown? Would hand shears be better. It will make a big difference in time.

Here's a photo of some of them.

mdb landscaping
01-16-2003, 07:51 AM
Ive always used my gas powered hedge clippers to do them. For any plant, its always better to hand prune, but nobody has the time to do that. I dont see any other way of pruning them without hedge clippers. Mine havent turned brown yet. there is a possibility they could turn brown during winter from wind burn or sun scald, but just dont trim them excessively close and i think you should be fine.

01-16-2003, 08:26 AM
You can use gas or electric hedge clippers on them. I suppose if you need the exercise and have the time you could do them by hand...but I wouldn't.

Take your time with them and you'll be fine.

01-16-2003, 12:40 PM
Arbs generally will not "brown" unless:

1. You remove way too much topgrowth and are staring at the inside needles
2. You prune when it is really hot (temps in 90's for many days) - shrubs generally recover
3. Shears are very dull and foliage gets torn more than pruned.

Best way to prune these is to go around the base ina circle, then work from bottom up evenly all the way around. Its a matter of reference if you round the top or leave as a point. Personall we round the top a little like in your picture so there's less chance of damage when it snows!


02-08-2003, 12:58 AM
if you want to shape them up really nice get a pair of little wonder electrics . i have a pair an they cut arbs very well much better than my gas ones . if the customer is picky she will love the look !!

Darryl G
02-08-2003, 01:24 AM
Badboy and the others who responded.. thanks! I forgot all about this post. The little wonders are nice, my local rental place has them.

I ended up passing on this bid, but the info is still useful. They wanted snow plowing too, and it's a gravel lot. I dumped all my gravel accounts going into last year and decided I really don't want any more. I also found out that they were dumping their current guys because he listed his house with anyother realtor (it's a Beazley office). Kind of petty IMO. Makes me think I don't really want to work for them.