What kind of tree is this and how to prune it?

mrsfettermanJune 21, 2014

We have a giant tree in our backyard that looks like at one point it was topped, and it has spread really wide and bushy and will soon be blocking our view of the bay. We would like to control its height, and thin it out, making it smaller all around.

So first of all - what kind of tree is this, and how/when can we prune it to control its size without hurting the tree or making it look funky?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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Up close of branch tip

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:05PM
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It looks like a Leyland cypress....


Here is a link that might be useful: Leyland cypress

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:12PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

with that view.. i would get rid of it ...

it is apparent to me.. that whomever planted it.. had no concept that conifers.. being trees.. never really stop growing.. so they do not remain that cute little plant that they bought ...

it would not bother me to HURT the tree as you say .. because i would be replanting something much more in tune to to space ... without blocking the view ...

presumably.. you paid a vast premium for the view ... get rid of the $15 plant ... eh????

i am seeing.. a foot or two growth PER YEAR ... i dont know how you beat that back ... thru pruning.. and yet.. keep the plant looking good ..

be done with it..

replant in the next proper planting season.. with something... anything... that does not have the potential.. to completely obliterate the view ...

a garden is not an historical museum... get rid of your historical.. and future problems ...

if leyland is correct ... see link.. and note that it is easily within the fastest two annual growth rates ... and again ... that is not good with the view ...

we can help you choose a new conifer.. if you wish to replace with such ... but i suggest a pic of the empty space... for the best suggestions ...

shall we presume.. the state of WA??? .. if so... where.. as there are two different.. divergent areas....


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:53AM
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Definitely a Leyland - that growth habit is unmistakable. And extremely commonly planted in western WA (no "bays" in eastern WA, ken :-))

And yep, this one you want to consider removing as pruning to maintain any sort of compact size or to conserve view will be routine and frequent. If you need some sort of shorter privacy screening and still have a view, there's a lot of possibilities that do not necessarily have to include conifers. Just let us know a size that is appropriate.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 5:23PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Looks like 'Castlewellan', numbers of it have been sold and planted in the area. Like the others wants to grow into a tall tree, much bigger than it is now. If you know how to do it or are willing to pay to have it done every year by someone who does it should be possible to poodle it.

But: ugh!

Especially if there is a bad topping cut that would come into view.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:31PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

The best way to prune a Leyland is a single cut at ground level. ;)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:23PM
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