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How do you trim these junipers and blue spruce?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by DLS1, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    1. First picture is what I think is a Pfitzer Juniper. I have about 20 common areas to estimate for an HOA. They have not done shrub pruning in a few years according to the property manager.

    How would you prune it. I have never had a need to prune this type of spreading juniper in the past so not sure how to handle this. There are several common areas where these junipers are sticking out into the road or sidewalks.

    It would take to long to selectively prune back the long branches to shape it up. I was thinking about using long articulating hedge trimmers. Other option is use chain saw by the cars area and final trim with articulating hedge trimmer. Thinking about only trimming the side where the bush sticks out into the road and leave the rest alone.
    What would you do and how long do you think it would take? It is about 50 long and 12' wide for the one in this picture.

    2. 2nd picture is blue spruce where someone messed up the original cone shape. Property manager was asking about cutting the top flat. House across road has one that is cut flat on top and bottom of tree but not sure why. Would you cut it flat on top or just leave it as it is?

    3. 3rd picture is another juniper by walkway that i thinking of trimming straight up and down on th sidewalk side and leaving the rest alone. How would you trim it.

    HOA shrubs estimate 8-13-2005 065 (600 x 450).jpg

    HOA shrubs estimate 8-13-2005 035 (600 x 450).jpg

    HOA shrubs estimate 8-13-2005 024 (600 x 450).jpg
  2. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    looks like a nice montgomery spruce.

    Dwarf blue spruce... grows like a hershey kiss.
  3. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    I found a picture of the montgomery and it does look like it. Never knew a blue spruce could grow flat on top. From what I read they eventually grow into a cone shape or can be prune.

  4. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    The Junipers you can cut pretty much anyway you want round the sides off and jus trim the tops of em, they are a very fast/wild grower. The blue spruce I would just let go they are a slow grower and and more difficult to trim.

  5. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    DONT GO WILD WITH THE JUNIPERS! IF you cut PAST the green growth THE TRIMMED SECTION WILL NOT GROW BACK! Blue Spruces SHOULD only be trimmed in the spring when there candles are about to open. Essentially they are a slow grower and shouldnt need much trimming ever....if they where planted in the correct spot.

    I wouldnt post such questions in the future as you might get a thinks-they-know-it-all who gives you wrong advice. Research this subject on google.com and only trust respected sources such as extension services/ university websites.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I would forget the fact you have yourself convinced it would take to long to selectively prune these.If you take a chainsaw or an articulating hedge trimmer to them you will make a mess of them for sure.I would take a pair of long handled LOPS or a tool like Fiskars smaller pruning stick that you can reach in there and slect the overhanging branches and head them back individualy.
    It wont take that long once you get the hang of it plus it is better my dear to do some jobs slower than faster and this is one of those jobs.
    As said above if you cut too far back you will show ugly undergrowth and it wont grow again.If you take the limb off completely it won't ever grow back again,and you end up with a big GAP in the shrubs.
    SO if you do anything..take your time and look to see just what your cutting off and what it will look like once cut off.
    I say head back the overhanging stuff like you were going to do and leave the rest alone is a great idea
    I dont remember the name of my stick but I love it and use it all the time.
    Check Fiskars web site..Its a stick about 3'long with an adjustable head and two ways to pull the head closed to cut one from the knob on the end and one witrh the handle in the middle of the stick.
    Wear long sleeves ..gloves ..and watch out for Black Widow spiders they love Junipers..If you have them there..
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I'm a know it all and he can sure as heck trust the info I give him on pruneing,alot more than he can trust what a web site can tell him..
    so put a sock in it unless you know who you are talking about.
    There are alot of professionals on this site with more combined knowlage that you wil ever find in a book or extension service and who were cutting Junipers when you were just a twinkle in your Daddys eye
  8. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    Dittos Sheshovel

  9. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Personally, I would shear the junipers w/ gas powered shears as opposed to the pruning technique that she-shovel so well described to us. Either way will work for that plant. A lot depends on your client and what they're lloking for. Actually, I would because of the size of that sucker probably use a combo of the 2. Use lopers to remove select large barnches, then the articulating shears to clean-up the whispy ends. Good luck. Remember, sharp shears are best!!!!!
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Hey CoffeeCraver! Missed you how ya been?Have you tried the Fiskars stick yet?You gotta get one!!

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