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Trimming Evergreens

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Comet, May 29, 2001.

  1. Comet

    Comet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    I seen some 15-22' Leyland cypress evergreens today that had many branches/limbs separated <not broke> from the heavy winter snow this past winter. They need to be trimmned and tied up pulled together secured etc.
    *1_What would you tie with please? Heavy twine or wire or possibly rubber? There on the heavy side.
    *2_Also (most important) the owner wants them shorter in heght,(several feet taken off from the tops)besides them being trimned.
    Is it this OK to do to this to a cypress tree or out of the norm?

  2. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    I would try and use plastic lock straps (looks like chain links yet made of plastic) to tie braches up, depending on size. If they are too heavey, then maybe some sort of steel cable with a protective cover surrounding the branch it is supporting. No matter what, your going to have to explain that over time, they will have to be tightened/removed (either by him or you) and that it is not a 'cure all' problem solver.

    As for trimming the tops............really a no win situation. No upright evergreen I know will look 'real' once they are topped. Perhaps, if they have multiple leaders and one is much more dominant than the other, then that can be trimmed off or if you top it and train a branch to become a central leader again. No matter how you do it the trees are going to look un-natural for a extended period of time or for most matters, forever.

    The key here is to explain to the client, that they have two choices. Either live with trees topped that look out of place, or replace the trees completely. Maybe they really don't care about the looks and will go for topping, maybe not.

    As always, a typical situation of the wrong tree in the wrong location. Nothing you can do about that. Also, could be a situation of the trees reaching their 'ornamental life span' as I call it. Basically, you sometime plant a tree knowing that it will eventually become too large and need to be removed, but sacrifice that aspect for the beauty of having it on you property for a period of time. I call it 'planting a long term annual that has a 20 year life span' It will look good most of the time, but eventually has to be 'yanked and replaced'.

    Hope to have been of some help, good luck.

  3. Comet

    Comet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Thanks steveair,, was helpful , I did feel weary about topping them,,Im glad I told the owner Id have to look into this matter more regarding topping the evergreens,, Ill return there and explain the situation ,, then again they might just want them replaced:))),
    Would be an nice removal and installation job,,
  4. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    There is a product called Arbor Tie which is specifically designed for tieing back limbs and branches. Arbor Tie expands as the tree grows, to prevent girdling.

    Hemlocks are the only evergreen tree that I know of which can be topped and sheared, it does not reqire a strong central leader to maintain it's health.

    Pines, Spruce and Fir trees will look horrible after a few years, and usually last only a few years after being topped. Most arborists will cringe when you tell them you want to cut the top off a pine.

    Good Luck,
    Jim L
  5. Comet

    Comet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    I went back there to take another peek at these 22'evergreens, They look real bad, I couldnt picture them topped, perhaps just pulled together again and trimmned accordingly. Maybe after securing them go from there <>

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