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Old 09-27-2013, 12:25 AM
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: FRESNO, CA
Posts: 151
How to trim this Cypress

This tree is located at a rental house that we do not maintain. The prop. management co. contacted us today to see if we can reshape it. There is quite a bit of green growth still located inside underneath the drooping limbs. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a good time to do a lot of trimming. If anyone is familiar on how to best take care of this tree, please let me know. There is also another tree on the other side of this window that they would like trimmed to match this one. It is still in good shape. All help is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:03 AM
ashgrove landscaping's Avatar
ashgrove landscaping ashgrove landscaping is offline
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Location: upstate, ny
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Just trim it to match. It s fine and will have no ill affect.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:13 PM
Mike A Mike A is offline
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Location: Evansville, in
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Yeah, go ahead and prune it. Fall is a good time to trim evergreens.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:54 AM
M&L M&L is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Central Valley
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With the temperature drop, I wouldn't be hesitant to trim it back some. I think cypress kind of falls under the don't cut more than 1/3 of a branch rule. I just start at the tip and cut inward until the branch stands back up. If it doesn't a after a good bit of lopper action, then I use those green stretchy ties to hold the branches where I want them.

Not really a fan of those, see if they will spring for a removal, some trellis and some star jasmine. And them have me do it
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:15 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
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That's an italian cypress (cupressus sempervirens). Nice trees. They fray like that (branches hanging down) after they've gone through a big rain, hail or snow storm. You don't generally need to do a lot to Italian Cypress. The only thing I would do to that tree is just trim off the branches that have frayed, with some Felco hand pruners. The bare spots will fill in over time on their own. No need for any additional pruning. It would take 5 minutes to fix that tree. Those trees grow really nice and tight and columnar all on their own. You just have to prune off the occasional hanging branch. That's all you really need to do.

They're meant to have a natural, not perfectly pruned shape to them. One like this one below are what most people would consider to be perfectly pruned, as it has it's normal natural shape to it:

But if you WANT, you can prune shave them really tight, with hedge trimmers. You would just trim them very carefully about 1/2" to 1" all the way around. And keep doing that every month or two. Over time, you'd get something more like this:

But to me, that's a little too "Las Vegas". I mean, it's cool when you see them pruned like that in front of the Venetian or Caesar's Palace in Vegas. But in most residential homes, that's a little too perfect, IMO. Plus, then you have to keep up on the pruning way more often to keep that look too.

Up here in the NW, we have to wrap the trees in the winter to prevent the fraying, with all the rain and storms we get up here. So we will usually take some fishing line and a big ladder, start at the bottom and very loosely wrap the tree with fishing string all the way up to the top. This keeps them from fraying in winter storms and strong rains. Then you just cut the string in the spring and they're fine.
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon
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