How to trim this pine tree?


Old 06-11-06, 10:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2
Talking How to trim this pine tree?

I have 4 pine tree on one side of my house. one of them is dead.

they were 2 feet before 4 years ago. now almost 5 feet(out of control and ugly). here is the photo of the pine tree leaves.

I appreciate if anybody can give me some advices on these questions

what's the name of these pine trees?

How to trim the tree? to what shape? I checked my neighborhood. it seems nobody have this tree except me.

where can I buy another same kind of tree to replace the current dead one.

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Old 06-12-06, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 929
That looks more like a Cedar tree than a pine tree. Knowing what area of the country you are in would help..and a pic of the entire tree.

I would trim it in the winter to the shape of a Christmas tree. Any branch smaller than a pencil can be cut anytime.

Any clue as to what killed the tree? Many things will spread from one tree to the next. Any bark damage? Visible bugs? Look under the bark for holes bored through bark and into the trunk. Any spider web looking stuff in the tree?
Old 06-12-06, 11:54 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Pooq,

what's the name of these pine trees?
Your 'trees' are junipers, not pine.

How to trim the tree? to what shape?
I'm thinking you have one of these upright ones, maybe pyramidal. A photo of the shrubs would be helpful.

I would keep the same shape. From this site with more helpful info:
For those of us with plants that need some reining in, 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.
See #4 here for pruning.

From this site with lots of helpful info.
Upright and broad-spreading junipers sometimes outgrow their sites and must be reduced in size. You can make thinning cuts within the canopy to reduce plant size without destroying the natural shape. You can also shear, but shearing is recommended only when you desire formal shapes.

Like pines and spruces, junipers do not generate new growth from old wood, so you should never severely prune more than one-half of the foliage. You can reduce the length of individual branches by cutting them back to a lateral branch. This technique maintains a natural appearance while it decreases the size of the shrub.
From this site with lots of info:

Junipers, arborvitaes and falsecypress (Chamaecyparis) are the most difficult to maintain at a particular size. This group's buds are present only where there are green leaves; a branch cut back to a non-leafy region will not produce new foliage. If you shear one of these plants, do so carefully while it is actively growing in the spring. The naked brown interior indicates that the leaves are intolerant of shade. Each plant in this group forms a thin shell of green growth surrounding a zone of leafless twigs and limbs. Take care not to open this shell during pruning, since the unsightly scar may not be covered for many years.
where can I buy another same kind of tree to replace the current dead one.
Without knowing just which cultivar you have, it might be difficult to get one that is exactly the same. You could look up some from this site. I'm thinking you have an upright one so look at these. Substitute Juniperus for the 'J' and go to and put the full name in the search box. You can click on 'Images' and get pictures. If yours aren't columnar look at the names of the shrubs just above the columnar ones.

Columnar types:

* J. chinensis ‘Blue Point’ grows 7 to 8 feet and has dense, blue-green scale and needle foliage.
* J. chinensis ‘Robusta Green’ is a brilliant green, dense-tufted column up to 20 feet.
* J. chinensis ‘Spartan’ grows to 20 feet.
* J. scopulorum ‘Gray Gleam’ is a slow grower, which reaches 15 to 20 feet in 30 to 40 years and has gray-green foliage.
* J. scopulorum ‘Pathfinder’ grows to 25 feet and has gray-green foliage.
* J. scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ is the narrowest blue-gray spire, up to 15 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide.
* J. scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’ is a broad, silver-blue pyramid, 18 feet or taller.
You don't say where you live and it's not in your profile. Therefore I have no clue as to what nurseries are in your area. If you still can't id which one you have, I would suggest you take a photo of them and go to a reputable nursery in your area. Also take a cutting to match leaf color and id if possible.

If you figure out which one you have, and can't find it locally, you might be able to find it through mailorder. This site has references of hundreds of mail order nurseries. You can search by state, country and even by plant material.

Old 06-18-06, 01:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2

thanks you all for so much information. learned a lot

I am in Northern Virginia

the 2nd tree was dead at around the end of 2002. no idea why it happened.
no spider web
current dead tree

2002 junipers
2006 junipers

After checking images of all the columnar types junipers, i found that
this photo is quite similar to mine
So mine is J. scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’?

About pruning of junipers
"Early spring pruning is best, but additional light pruning later in the season may be necessary."
sounds like now (middle june) is a ok time to do some light pruning

not sure if i should contact with HOA firstly before i work on this tree project. (remove the dead one and put in the new). out-of-control.JPG

any more ideas will be greatly welcome!

Last edited by pooq; 06-18-06 at 01:21 PM.
Old 06-18-06, 07:29 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
You are so very welcome! Now that I see where these are planted, logic would lead me to guess yours might be "J. chinensis ‘Blue Point’ grows 7 to 8 feet and has dense, blue-green scale and needle foliage." I'm considering the mature size as I would hope the builder or landscaper wouldn't put a tree that will grow broad and to 18' or taller in front of a window. Personally, I wouldn't replace the missing one, but would plant a low growing or mounding juniper in front of the window. Usually plants are grouped in odd numbers. That would give you 3 with one shape and one with another shape. I also wouldn't want to block my window. Just my opinion.

Gosh, Northern Va and I'm in Maryland. Howdy neighbor!

Go ahead with a light prune. We're supposed to get some hot weather this week.


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