Pruning Green Giants ok?

behaviorkelton(7-ish)August 10, 2007

I have read that Green Giants (a cypress like a Leyland) can be trimmed as a hedge or for size.

So does this mean that I can lop the top off of, say, a 10' tree and make it square in shape?..or just to make it stay within a certain size?

If I trim the side branches, will it put out new growth to fill in the empty/bare spot?


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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Thuja 'Green Giant' is not a cypress! It can be used in place of Leyland Cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii) and has many advantages.

It can be trimmed as you describe. Unlike many conifers, Thujas do have latent buds and will regrow to fill out empty/bare spots exposed by pruning. Keep in mind if you have very many of these (like in a hedge row) it will require significant perpetual work to keep them tidy.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 4:45PM
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I have some dried and sunburned sections in a Thuja Green Giant. Is there a certain time of year that's better to prune these off?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 5:38PM
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Ho-Ho-Ho, I'm staying off that topic ot it'll just get me in trouble. :-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 6:34PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Branches that are dried are dead. Dead branches can be removed any time of year on just about any type of plant.

I gotta ask; why will it get you in trouble? Am I missing a joke or something?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 6:47PM
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The Jolly Green Giant...Ho-Ho-Ho...pruning green giants!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 12:53AM
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The green giants I have in my backyard are young and quite tall (8-10 ft). Problem is they are very skinny. The main goal for planting them was to create a privacy screen quickly. I don't need them to grow very tall (don't mind if they do). A height of 20- 25 feet should suffice.

I have read in many forums that cutting of about 6 in to a foot of the central leader to just above a branch crotch will help thicken the body of the plant.

My question:
How far above the side side branch should this cut be? Besides distance, are there any considerations while making the cut.
I would like the new leader to grow from the central stem. How can I ensure this?

Thanks for you help & advice.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 2:43PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Hey Ashok,

Cutting the top 6"-12" off of a 8'-10' Green Giant may encourage some bushier growth (mainly near the top), but that extra horizontal growth will be fairly limited AND the difference will probably be pretty short-term. I'm not sure the results will be nearly what I think you are probably expecting.

IF you do decide to proceed, your cut should be just a little above the branch bark ridge of the side branch you want to become the new leader. I'm going to say don't leave more than about a quarter of an inch above the branch bark ridge. Angle the cut, slightly, away from the branch (the opposite side of the leader will be very slightly lower than side just above the branch crotch). The side branch will probably grow vertically on its own, but you could splint it for a year to ensure it's vertical growth, if you wanted to.

If your Green Giants are in full sun, I'd expect them to broaden on their own without your help. And, I'd bet they'd probably do so to about the same degree as if you did the procedure mentioned above.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 12:03AM
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Thanks Brandon! I will just leave them alone. They are getting plenty of sunlight.

Appreciate your advice!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 3:31PM
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