Pruning skyrockets


Old 07-28-08, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Pruning skyrockets

I have 3 Skyrocket Junipers (Arborvitae?) and would like to control the shape (narrow & tall) without leaving htem bare in the lower areas.

I am in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. They are on the north side of my townhouse, about 12' from the house, 3' out from a deck that is 8' above and they are about 6' apart. During the summer, they are in the sun most of the day (at 1:00 PM today they are all in the sun and wil be again after 4:00 PM) and partially shaded (bottoms) in the middle of the day. They were planted about 2 1/2 years ago when about 3-1/2' above ground and are now about 6' high. They appear healthy and the deer have not found them. The soil is a firm mixture of clay and sand.

Now that they have taken hold, some of the new growth seems a little "wild" and I would like to find out what is the best time/method to keep the vertical shape them. The newer shots seem a little limp, but they may become more vertical as they grow/strengthen.

Thanx for any and all opinions.

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Old 07-29-08, 04:27 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Dick,

From this site with other helpful info on pruning evergeens.

...there is a basic rule of thumb for ever-greens: Sun-loving conifers, those whose needles all need sun, can be pruned annually, but only gently within the living green foliage. This type of ever-green does not have green needles in the interior of the plant. Most do not even have growing buds on interior branches. As a result, if you prune that plant hard, into old wood, once it has become extremely over-grown, you will end up with an ugly brown bare spot in your tree or shrub. Most junipers and arborvitae fall into this category.
Here's an evergreen tree pruning calendar you should find helpful.

You should find this helpful as well.

See figure #4 here.


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