When and How to Prune Gold Mops

summerstar(Z7VA)October 14, 2008

I live in Zone 7 and have three Gold Mop evergreens. I'm not sure what species of evergreen this is as the landscaper didn't keep the tags on the plants.

There's a golf course nearby and their Gold Mops are near six feet tall and fairly wide. I would like to keep mine about four feet tall, but I don't want them to end up looking like gumballs! I like their featherly appearance. How can I retain that look and still keep them more manageable? AND the big question: Isn't pruning time for evergreens in the spring?

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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

I selectively prune my golden mops 3 time a year in the growing season to keep them the size I want. I think in the neighborhood of 2 - 3 inches on each cut.

My wife is the expert trimer -- and the one who prunes the mops. She is also willing to trim other conifers at my request.

These two mops are about 10 years old. It can sometime be difficult to keep them as twins.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Dave, thanks for your input. I notice there is one or two prominent stems that are central leaders on my plants. On another gold mop the leaders aren't as noticeable and more like the plants in your photos. These leaders or stems are thicker and located in the center of the plant. It wouldn't throw off the growth pattern to trim them back?

The reason I ask is the gold mops at our golf course grow rather pyramid shaped and these central leaders are prominent; very noticeable. I just want a plant that I can keep at a manageable size. I guess I wouldn't care if they took on a more round shape.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 6:03PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Summerstar, over time they will develop one or two central leaders that will eventually cause them to take on the pyramidal shape described in the above thread.

Just cut the leaders out and over time you can reshape the plant as it puts on new growth. This practice will enable you to maintain a more rounded shape. The ones in the photo I posted were pruned before they could start a central leader and they have been restricted to this size for 6 years. Once you are satisfied with the shape you want they are easily controlled with minimal effort on your part.

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop' are easily controlled for size and will maintain their beautiful color all winter.

I am of the opinion if pruned for certain size or shape the color is more vibrant then if you let them grow free range.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:51PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Dave, what's that gem of a little blue conifer right dab in the front middle of your mops?


    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 8:12AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Hi Dax,

That is a good question. I picked this guy out of one of those Iseli 12 pack containers for $10.00 7-8 years ago. Remember when they used to be $10.00.

The Iseli tag said: Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Intermedia'. This conifer is quite compact and at the most only puts on 1/4-1/2 inch of growth a year. It has never been fooled with in regards to trimming to keep it that way.

If you go to the ACS conifer data base it appears to have kept its bright grayish-blue feathery juvenile compact foliage and never wanted to move on. I wish I had purchased 3 of them to put in a grouping.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 8:51AM
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