junipers

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  #1  
Old 03-24-07, 05:49 PM
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junipers

I have a long row of junipers along the outer edge of my front lawn. They provide a nice barrier or green "wall along the street".

My question - how conducive are junipers to trimming? I know hedges can be trimmed into different shapes but can junipers be trimmed into like rectangular shapes? We tried a number of years ago and the areas trimmed kind of died. Took many years before they came back. The junipers are getting very high now (except the areas that we had trimmed) - I need to cut them back but I'm leary of hurting them.

What's the story on junipers?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-24-07, 06:06 PM
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Junipers can not endure drastic pruning. They produce foliage on new wood. Overgrown junipers should be replaced. All junipers appear to be dead in the middle because area is shaded and the wood is old. If foliage is pruned back to the dead zone, you will have a problem with an ugly juniper with no way to produce foliage in the middle. When pruning, some foliage must be left to cover the middle of the plant. Pruning is best done in spring before buds are formed. Cut out dead branches that have no foliage. Light pruning will encourage growth of new foliage. The best pruning is one that selectively removes certain branches in order to open up the plant and allow light in center. This should be done in such a way that there are not large holes visible on the exterior. Diseased, broken, and crossing branches that rub can be removed. If pruning due to height, you must avoid removing too much foliage in order to prevent exposing the dead zone.

Depending on variety of juniper, pruning tips may vary. Semi-upright cut back main branch to a good lateral and lightly prune the sides. Pyramidal junipers require removing some leaders and branches in order to maintain pyramid shape, avoiding exposure of dead zone. Shearing is not recommended. It stimulates too much foliage growth and the plant grows taller and wider each year, looking unnatural as it consumes the landscape. If this is what you have in mind, using hedge clippers, it should be done in spring before new buds form and only after doing the selective pruning of problem branches. Again, care should be taken not to expose the dead zone.
 
  #3  
Old 03-25-07, 03:52 AM
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junipers

thank you for answer

I was thinking of using electric hedge trimmers

From your post, looks like I should use hand hedge clippers to selectively choose branches to cut.

I probably will try the electric hedge trimmers on the edges that are overlapping into the street - these are tips that are growing so I think I can cut trim them without too much harm. I would like to use the electric trimmer as there are lots of them to trim - too much work for hand shears

I looked at them and it is exactly as you say - lots of woody branches underneath the green cover - but now I understand why if you trim the tops, there is no growth on the wood below leaving an ugly dead look. Thanks again for explaining all this!
 
  #4  
Old 03-25-07, 08:39 AM
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While I defer to the moderators expertise

I thought the best time to trim & prune shrubs and trees was in the winter ['between the solstice and the equinox']?

And there was no mention of the 'rule' to NEVER remove more than one-third of the plant material when drastic measures are required, although the post did advise gentle and directed pruning.
 
  #5  
Old 03-26-07, 01:08 AM
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junipers

ok - with advice above and checking some other sites which said it was ok to trim in March and no later than end of April, I set upon my line of junipers today.

I trimmed the edges with the electric trimmer.

I also spent a lot of time taking out the dead branches. Some of these were quite extensive - it took a lot of effort and time to extricate them and to check all the way to the end of the branches - in a couple cases I cut what looked like dead brush only to sadly find some live ends.

Bottom line, though, cleaning out the dead parts I think will allow a lot more air in and hopefully encourage new growth that will fill the spaces in.

Again, thanks for help and information!
 
  #6  
Old 03-26-07, 01:33 AM
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Can you post a picture at www.photobucket.com and post the link here for us to see your work?
 
  #7  
Old 03-30-07, 01:05 AM
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junipers

looked at it a couple days later - still looks a little rough - will need to go over it again this weekend to make it smoother. I consider this a first cut. Will send a picture after I make it look better.

BTW, this was tiring, back breaking work. We spent about 3 hours doing this. Felt it the next couple of days in sore back, legs and arms.
 
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