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Pyramidal arborvitae trimming, takes too long - part 2 (pics)

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Roger, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    The trimmer being used, and the final result.



  2. Liberty1

    Liberty1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    your not really supposed to prune those, they're just supposed to take shape naturally, and if you cut to far into it they will never come back, i see those things die all the time because people prune them with the machine
  3. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Those Arb's look fantastic! Do you want to come to Arkansas and join our team?
    Liberty1--You are correct about some people trim the Arborvitae too far inward and too short causing loss of energy, scorch and usually death from insect attack or fungus.
    In cooler climates such as Pennsylvania, it will not kill these shrubs usually. It is our climate that has more affect on the outcome of Arborvitae's than this. The best time to prune our Evergreen's as these is early spring and before fall as this is when they need it the most.
    Formal garden's are maintained in England this way, as well as with my customer's here in the mid-south. If I tell them that we are not supposed to cut the Arborvitae, they will want to know why!! We prune them when it is not so hot here.! By keeping a consistant shape to these shrubs, will inhibit shade spots that usually happen when let grow natural. Disease, poor air flow, insect attack, starts to hurt these shrubs. When they are let grow too natural, the tops will start to lean outward and sag.............!

    Good Job!!
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Liberty1 - Honestly, I think you to be right. I think I mentioned in my first post that I wanted to talk the owners out of a trim job this year. For the first couple of years after planting, they really did need shaping. Some were wanting to grow double tops. But, I managed to get those in control. Keeping the tops pretty tight is important in this area, lest they get deformed with snow in the Winter. The heavy weight of snow will pull off one side, and getting it back into shape is very difficult, if not impossible.

    I work another job across the street that has cedars in a pyramidal shape. They are about 10-11 feet tall, about four feet in diameter at the fullest part. One season, I apparently didn't get it tight enough, and one branch got too much snow weight, pulled it out, and it broke off. The hole is a hard to get filled.

    The owners of these arborvitae want to keep them as small for the sake of their garden design, hence their desire to keep them trimmed. They don't want them to grow together, and don't want them any taller -- now fitting well within their garden (this garden is an award winning garden in the local area; not well kept this season because of health issues).

    Think Green -- thanks for the comments. I am not fast, but I am usually quite pleased with outcomes. Sometimes I think I am just spending too much time, being too particular, wanting to get each one "just right." But, I've never had anybody complain with my trimming work, and have heard good things. It is hard work for an old man!

    Here are other yews we did afterwards, on the other side of the house. These were so much easier, and took about half the time. [Before, during, after sequence]




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