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Trimming arbs...

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by fga, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    i looked at a hedge of arbs.... there are 17 arbs about 15' tall and up alittle. they want to trim them down to about 10, maybe 12'. not looking for a price, just wondering what would your method and timeing would be to do this. at the recommended height, the trunks are too thick to use my echo trimmer, maybe 2 1/2". would you use a chainsaw, or a hand pruner/saw? would you wait until the season gets alittle colder, for the safety of the plants? and would you let them heal on their own, or use that paste?
  2. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    Cut them at ground level it would be faster than the slow death you will cause
    them by topping.

  3. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    He's right, Adam. Arborvitae don't take well to severe cut back.I hate dealing with them, most people let them get way out of control and then expect to see a disney topiary after trimming them. Ususally there's so much inside foliage that is dead, you can only go back in about 3-4 inches, max. I always go for removals when they are overgrown and out of control / split tops, etc..
  4. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    do you mean topping them off, or routine trimming? the regular trimming , their pretty tight considering they've been neglected, there just about a few feet too tall for the customers liking.
  5. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    how low do you mean? it would actually make my job easier the lower i go. half the hedge is behind and inground pool. great if i didn't have to climb a 10' ladder. are you saying lower then 6'? they want to block out the huge TV antenna the neighbors have, so that's one of there major concerns.
  6. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

  7. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    thanks for the link....
    but just for arguement sake, what method would you use. hand pruner, or otherwise?
    I guess i could warn them, and give them options that if they don't survive, we could put some new ones in their place. :)
  8. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,234

    Are we talking about pyramid arbs?
  9. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    Would the customer consider replacing the current screen with a more suitable plant material, something that will tolerate shearing?

  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    maybe i got lucky but....i took a row of arbs down from like 15 ft to 12 two yrs ago,used a chainsaw, they were bald at first but grew in nicely. just trimmed some more growth this summer.

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