How much can I take off the top of these?

Discussion in 'Tree Climbing, Pruning, Felling' started by cold-beer, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. cold-beer

    cold-beer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    I got a customer that wants a few hedge type trees topped and trimmed up.

    I always forget the name of these things, but they're very abundant where I live in the Pacific Northwest. I've trimmed them many times, but my customer is talking about cutting these down to 10 ft. Right now they're at about 14-15ft.

    Am I in danger of killing these things if I take this much off the top of them? Will it be too much shock to cut 4ft off of them while also shaping them?

    I do a lot of Hedges, but I rarely 20190809_153042.jpg 20190809_153055.jpg mess with stuff much taller than 10 ft.
     
  2. North Idaho Dream

    North Idaho Dream LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,159

    Arbs aka Arborvitae
    Where are you located in the Pacific Northwest?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    cold-beer

    cold-beer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    Western Oregon
     
    North Idaho Dream likes this.
  4. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 7,347

    You can do with those IMO. Do it now or wait until spring growth flush.
     
    Cam15 likes this.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,121

    Sure are nice but topping will ruin looks.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    cold-beer

    cold-beer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    He just wants to keep them under control.
     
  7. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 7,347

    Depends , those would look great if trained , sheared and including thinning as a formal hedge. In that case you would never see the cuts from the ground if done right. Taking pyramid arbs that where left natural their whole life and then trying to make something out of them, Ya your right.
     
  8. oqueoque

    oqueoque LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Jersey
    Messages: 4,604

    I haven't but did anyone ever try topping & taping a new leader on arborvitaes? This is what topping and taping looks like & a brief description from Fine Gardening.

    With conifers, select the most vigorous lateral branch below the nub of the former leader and simply bend it up. Using masking tape, attach the bent lateral branch to the main stem of the tree. Masking tape is effective because it eventually breaks down, loses its adhesiveness, and drops away without girdling the newly trained leader.
    [​IMG]
     
    hort101 likes this.
  9. hort101

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 19,193

    Ive done a few arborvitaes they usually have multiple trunks that splay in snow loads usually I tie them together for a pointed tree

    In coldbeers case depends if customer wants a square hedge or individual trees
     
    dishboy likes this.

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