How Do You Prune a White Cedar?


Quick Answer

To prune a white cedar, mark damaged and diseased branches with fluorescent tape, cut them off, remove crossed branches, trim the buds, and taper the tree. The supplies you need for this 60-minute procedure are a ladder, fluorescent tape, a pole saw, a large garbage bag, a rag, rubbing alcohol, pruning shears and a hand saw.

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Full Answer

  1. Inspect and mark the tree

    Inspect the tree for damage and disease. Mark affected branches with fluorescent tape.

  2. Remove damaged and diseased branches

    Remove damaged and diseased branches with a pole saw. Use an orchard ladder to reach high areas. After cutting diseased branches, sterilize your saw with a rag soaked in rubbing alcohol. Immediately put the diseased branches into a garbage bag. Do not let them touch the grass or other plants.

  3. Snip crossed branches

    If your tree has tangled or crossed branches, remove the weakest in each pair with pruning shears or a hand saw. Dry, cracked bark is a major indicator of weakness.

  4. Trim the tips

    Shape the tree and prevent overgrowth by trimming some of the new buds.

  5. Taper the top

    Taper the top of the tree so that it is significantly narrower than the lowest branches.

  6. Clean the blades

    When you are satisfied with the tree's appearance, clean all of your cutting equipment with a rag dipped in rubbing alcohol.

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