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Guide to Pruning Cedar Trees

Cedar trees are giant that can grow up to 61m tall when they are not trimmed. It is easy to assume that any kind of pruning can work for this type of tree but that is not the truth. You should proceed to cut back your cedar with great care, seeing that not pruning at all is a recommendation by experts. You can easily kill the branches if you prune a lot deeper into them.

The main problem encountered when cutting back cedar trees is that they all have a dead zone at the center of the canopy. When you trim, there will be a dense new green growth. It will block the older part of the tree beneath from getting enough sunlight, which eventually causes its death. This outer green growth never extends deeply into the tree. Therefore, cutting branches in the dead area means that there will be no regrowth. The main rule to always remember when you have cedar trees is that you should rarely prune them. Even if some types of cedar need to be pruned so that they may establish a graceful, balanced, and strong shape, the three types of cedars available in Atlas, United States, Lebanon, and Deodar do not need this. They naturally grow into the desired pyramid shape. However, it is suitable to trim them when they grow two leaders, seeing that they are more beautiful and strong when they have only one leader.

The young and weak leaders should be trimmed out when there are two of them. This weak leader should be removed at the point where it joins with the main stem. When trimming, you should ensure that you have sterilized the tool for cutting to prevent spreading pathogens to the tree. Other than when there are two leaders, you can cut back your cedar when you notice dead or damaged branches. However, when the cut falls into the dead zone at the center, you should cut out the trunk
When you had projected the cedar to fit in your space, like is the case with those in cedar parks, and then it overgrows out of the available space, that is the time to trim it. To remove the overgrown branches, you should proceed branch by branch. Every cut should be made well above the lateral bud for every branch that you trim. You should check well before every snip to make sure that there will be green branches on the branch tip.

Always make sure that you shear the outside of the tree in the middle of summer. You should only remove the out three inches of the branch and leave the green part on the tree. Removing completely or mostly green branches is risky because they will not grow back. You should avoid topping the tree where possible and should only shear the top foliage. Topping will, however, be suitable when you want to reduce the height greatly. In such a case, you should remove less than a quarter of the tree’s height. With this, the tree will regrow slowly at the top. You will need loppers, rubbing alcohol, handsaw, and hedge shears.

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