Cut conifers properly


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The conifers include coniferous pine, cypress and yew plants. The trees grow only on their shoot tips, the other areas have stopped growth forever. The trees have no sleeping eyes in contrast to deciduous trees. Cut conifers too hard once, do not forgive them all their lives - they do not drive anymore. It remains permanently bald spots overlooking the withered tree interior or regular holes back. This looks particularly bad for spruce, fir, Douglas fir and life trees. The only exception are cut-friendly yews that can handle even radical cuts.

Conifers are robust but vigorous and therefore usually become too big with the years. Therefore, a cut is usually slow the growth, but in the long run does not work. Therefore refrain from wild species and plant rather like breeding or dwarf forms.

Important tips for cutting conifers at a glance

  • Always cut back only a little
  • Only cut green shoots, even with hedges
  • If one caps the center drive, the height growth stops. Over time, a side shoots up and forms the new center drive. However, at this point even after years, an ugly "kink" visible
  • Cut on cloudy days as the cut exposes deeper branches of the branches and can dry out in the sun
  • The Aufasten is possible
  • Ideal cutting times: Pines in May / beginning of June, other conifers in late summer from the end of July

Remove cones and dead shoots

The constriction and removal of dead shoots is easily possible with conifers

Care cut on garden conifers

Garden conifers do not need an annual cut, it is all about corrective and nursing cuts: all kinked, dead or dried branches come away, with very dense and thus wind-prone crowns you can cut out individual branches. Broad-leaved junipers or Thujen can be easily curbed: their shoots often have side shoots on the top, up to their point of attachment you can cut back the long branches well in early summer - ideally in wood interior, so that the cut remains invisible. Pines can also be slowed down by cuts in growth, which is also used in bonsai cutting. Every two years in May or June, the candle-shaped sprouts are cut back by two-thirds before the needles are deployed. At the interfaces, several buds form, which expel in the following year. So the branches remain small, but nice tight.

Hedge and shape cut of conifers

Conifers with dense needles such as yew trees or trees of life, but also spruce or pine are suitable as hedge and for shaping. Cut back only the young, green shoots, otherwise they will not go out and there are bare walls of dried shrubs that can only be ripped out or covered with climbing plants. For years of uncut coniferous hedges you have to make friends with the current width or replace the hedge completely. The only exception are the cut-friendly yews.

Divorce thuja

The best time to get a Thuja hedge in shape is in late July

Coniferous hedges cut in July. Pines with the first sprouting in May / June and spruce hedges after the second sprouting in autumn.
Shape cutting: When cutting figures, the rules of hedge cutting apply; for geometric shapes you make stencils of wire or wood. Mostly slender growing trees are cut into pyramids or spirals, wide into balls.

Educate conifers as garden bonsai

Bonsai-grown conifers are shaped by annual intersection of shoot tips, often with the help of wire. If you do this from an early age, the trees get short, dense shoots. In this way pines can also be formed into hedges. In the case of pine trees (Pinus mugo mughus), a stump-like growth is popular, shorten the renewal in May. With yew you can even take a hedge trimmer in June. On frost-free days in winter, you can possibly saw off to dense shoots on the trunk.

Video Board: How to Prune an Overgrown Hedge - This Old House.

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