Return to the Conifers Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Leyland lower branch removal?

Posted by Johniferous 6B - North Jersey Hi (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 11:13

Hi all. These Leylands were planted by the previous owner as a privacy screen in 2007. You can't tell from this view, but they do a great job.

But you will notice from the picture, the lower branches are starting to grow into each other.

Is this bad for the tree?

Can lower branches of Leyland Cypress be removed so that some trunk is exposed, or will that shock the tree?

I like the look, don't need the privacy that low and it would give the trees some room.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

They are not Leyland Cypress but rather an Arborvitae of some sort.

You can limb them up and as long as you don't go crazy the tree will neither "go into shock" or look ridiculous until it grows taller.


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

Wow, the whole time I thought these were Leyland. Can anyone identify what type of tree this is?

I'm in north New Jersey, zone 6B. Thank you!


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

proper pruning .. not leaving stubs... NEVER killed anything ...

the only caveat.. is on a recent transplant.. and you remove too many food making machines.. leaves/needles ...

they are yours.. do what ever you want with them ...

it will NOT give them anymore room ... in a few years.. they will be one solid mass ... the next level of branches left.. will probably be touching each other next year ...

if you want a full ID.. get us a pic of the needles ... the straight up leaders.. confuse me ...

ken


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

I would keep the skirt to the ground. Then you don't have to worry about seeing and cleaning underneath. Trees shed dead needles, now they are wonderfully hidden from view an act as self mulch. Also, you don't have to worry about weeds growing under there right now. As the trees keep growing they'll keep merging together to give you more privacy.
They may be Green Giants. Very popular, but I can't identify positively.
If in the future, if you want to grow flowers or plants with contrasting foliage in front of them, the continuous green to the ground will act as a nice green backdrop.


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

Thanks, I will make a separate post with the foliage pics.

Ken - my question is can I remove the entire branch, flush with the trunk? I will do some light pruning to bring them in a bit, but I also want to get rid of the lower branches and expose some of the main trunk. Is that ok with this type of tree?


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

  • Posted by SC77 6b (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 11:55

Those are Thuja standishii x plicata 'Green Giant'. Personally, I think they would look awkward limbed up, and don't recall every seeing one as such, but obviously you can do whatever you want, it won't hurt the tree unless you go crazy.

They will be fine growing together though, people do it all the time. This is one of the most popular privacy screens around these days. They can also take a decent amount of sheering too if you wanted to narrow their profile a bit.


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

I thought Green Giant was Thuja Plicata. If GG is a hybrid of Plicata and Standishii, what is the name of just Thuja Plicata? Western Red Cedar??? Thanks


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

  • Posted by SC77 6b (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 12:19

Thuja plicata 'Excelsa' is sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as green giant, but those are less common on the east coast, you would have to go out of your way to find it around here. True Green Giant is a hybrid cross of Thuja standishii x plicata.

'Green Giant' is the cultivar name. I think you might be getting confused between the cultivar names and the species. I honestly don't even know the common names anymore, it's much easier to learn the Latin names, but basically plicata is Western Red Cedar and standishii is Japanese Arborvitae.


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

"what is the name of just Thuja Plicata? Western Red Cedar???"

To be correct, Western Redcedar, two words not three - it isn't a cedar (Cedrus)

Resin


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

So if I have a Steeplechase Western Red Cedar...is that different from regular Thuja Plicata? Did they just pick Plicatas that had a different growing habit and emphasize the trait during reproduction?


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

steeplechase is a selection of green giant, so it is
Thuja standishii x plicata "steeplechase'
ron
I think


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

  • Posted by SC77 6b (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 22:18

Ron is correct. It was found as a sport on a 'Green Giant' by Alan Jones of Manor View Farm, MD. It is actually patented by them as well. It's supposed to provide a more dense screen, but seems sort of like hype. Can't imagine how it could be much of a difference or improvement over bulletproof GG's.


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

Ken - my question is can I remove the entire branch, flush with the trunk? I will do some light pruning to bring them in a bit, but I also want to get rid of the lower branches and expose some of the main trunk. Is that ok with this type of tree?

==>>> a tree is a tree is a tree ... and a conifer is a tree ..

any tree can be limbed up ... just dont leave stubs ...

personally.. i would not trim them.. give them a haircut..

they are what they are ... and you arent really going to change their genetic predisposition ...

but what you might do ... is create a pruning nightmare in the future ... such as.. when they are 20 feet tall.. and you have bastardized the bottom ten feet.. and cant reach any higher.. and the plant starts assuming its natural form ... way up top ...

do no haircut ... raise them a bit if you wish ... but if and when they displease you.. cut at the ground.. and they will be dead ... be done with them ...

they are simply gorgeous specimens.. i dont understand.. on some level.. why you cant see that.. and wonder why you want to inflict your will on them ... i mean the haircut part ...

its like you want to take a good tree.. and make a high maintenance girlfriend out of it ... it usually doenst work out ...

to sum up ... limb up if you wish ... no haircuts ... and get rid of them.. if and when they displease you ...

i am enjoying taking you on your conifer travels... at least you ask.. BEFORE ... you take action ... i get very frustrated at the peeps who ask AFTER ...

ken

ps: someone suggested that if you keep the camera eye upright when you take the pic.. the pic will be upright on posting ... yes.. i know it opens proper when i click on it ...


 o
RE: can we simplfy the genetics ....

i am not spending time researching this.. so on some level.. the numbers might be off... i am giving an example ... for a newb ...

a plain old thuja .. grows 6 or 8 inches ... per year.. depending where they are planted ... zone ...

standishii is probably the cooler zone plant in this cross ...

plicata .. grows much faster.. but is a warmer zone plant ... [i wouldnt be surprised if i had that backwards .. i will stand corrected of so]

in crossing the two.. they hoped to expand the cold tolerance of the plicata... and increase the growth rate of the standishii ...

and so.. and after many seedlings.. they came up with a green giant version on the cross... with expanded zone.. and expanded growth rate ....

my ground freezes.. but i swear .. GG grow every minute the soil is not frozen solid ... which would mean in warmer zones.. it probably grows near year around ...

this is EXTREMELY simplified... for the level you are at ...i am sure.. the wizards of smart are scoffing at its simplicity ... but i challenge them to do better.. without using more words than i did ...

so when you start contemplating haircuts... the base issue.. is that you are trying to defeat the genetic predisposition of the GG ... and to put it bluntly.. you will never defeat ma nature.. without making a mess of it.. lol ... either by making a pruning nightmare out of it [having to prune it two or three times per year.. for eternity] .... or it getting so large you cant do the job anymore.. and you come back to us.. asking us if we think 'topping' it will be ok ... at which point.. we tree peeps start having nightmares like at the link .. lol

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

Hi Joniferous,
Take a look at this pic of Leyland Cypress in Maryland. This is a common sight here after the brutal winter.
You can see that your arborvitae bear very little resemblance to them.
Consider yourself lucky that the previous owner planted arborvitae which have grown into beautiful plants with a full sweep of foliage all the way to the ground. Only a bumbling "Homer Simpsonesque" character with a chainsaw in his hand would consider cutting off the lower limbs. Such butchering destroys the overall integrity of the plant.
 photo 08-23-14001.jpg


 o
RE: Leyland lower branch removal?

Thank you for instilling some sense of taste as I am clearly new to this stuff. But I am learning fast thanks to you all. They will stay natural.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Conifers Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here