Garden

Prune the Thuja


Question: Pruning the Thuja


good evening ta the second and third year I pruned the top to an incorrect height. the plants are very good but grow only in width and not in height.
Please, I ask you for a great help.
Can I return to my mistake? if yes what should I do?
How many times do I have to prune the thuja and at what period?
I state that I use a professional combustion hedge cutter and always disinfect the blades.
thank you for your help.

Answer: Pruning the Thuja


Gentile Serafino,
the conifers have a different development compared to the deciduous trees, and you are noticing it at your expense after pruning; generally conifers should never be pruned, as they tend not to respond well to pruning, especially in the apical part: when we cut the apex of a conifer, it stops developing in height; over the years, one of the branches under the top will tend to fold, to take the place of the top that is no longer there. In this way, your hedge will start to grow again even in height, but certainly the general appearance of the individual plants will not be entirely harmonious, as it will always be noted that the new top is made up of a secondary branch and not of what in origin had predominance. In general, pruning is carried out (on all plants) to favor the conformation of trees and shrubs according to our needs; in recent years, pruning techniques have undergone a sort of revolution: if at one time there was a tendency to prune once every 2-3 years in a drastic way, today the pruning operations carried out correctly tend only to clean up the tree tops and conifers with damaged or broken branches. This is because it has been noticed how, in the deciduous trees, at every pruning intervention the response of the trees is very strong, and the new production of wood, to go to fill the pruned areas, is huge, and the plant thus stimulated tends to produce a lot more new wood than it would have produced if not pruned; therefore, the attempt to contain the crown of a large tree (they are a clear example of the street trees) usually has a winter effect, and over the years continuous pruning is necessary. As for conifers, the question is a little different, because these trees tend not to replace the removed wood, or to do it very slowly; therefore every pruning that brings to light the wood of the stem, leads to a plant that presents "holes" in the foliage. In nature the plants are not pruned, but despite this they show a balanced and well-formed hair, much more beautiful and solid than the one that the same plants get after years of drastic pruning. In the case of hedge tuje, the worst thing is to remove the tops; pruning, to be done at the end of winter, must be done only to slightly hold the hedge in width, removing a few centimeters (3-4) from the outer apices of the branches; if you prune a branch in half, until you reach the center of the crown, where there is no foliage, you will find yourself with a gap in the hedge, which is unlikely to be filled again.