Pruning/controlling arborvitae hedge

Old 04-16-09, 03:09 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 46
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Pruning/controlling arborvitae hedge

I planted a rather extensive arborvitae hedge about 3 years ago -- about 40 plants, overall length must be about 200 feet. They were 6-footers when purchased, and they have grown in really well. They're now about 9 - 10 feet tall, and almost wide enough to touch each other. I have not pruned these at all (yet).

My goal is to have a solid hedge for privacy, but still be able to maintain it myself, with a hedgetrimmer and step ladder.

So the question is, when should I start to prune, and how? The big thing I am worried about is height. I have seen some arb hedges that have grown way, way tall and can't be maintained by the homeowner any more. I don't want that to happen.

Will I cause problems if I "top" the arbs? How can I keep them from growing too tall, without injuring them or creating some other problem? Should I trim the tops frequently (like once a year)? Or is there some maximum amount to take off, like "don't trim more than a foot off the top" or "don't prune more than 10% of their height" or some rule of thumb?
Old 04-18-09, 03:44 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,654
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Understanding pruning arborvitae.

Here's a site on when and how to prune an evergreen.

See 'Pruning Junipers and Arborvitae' here.

Pruning dos and don'ts for conifers.

Some good info here on pruning hedges here starting at the bottom of page 10.

You might also find this video helpful.


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: