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Old 07-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
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How to trim the top of a tree


I got two trees tilting towards my neighbour's house. I'm thinkin of trim it somehow so that my old lady neighbour stops complaining about it.

First, I don't know what kind of tree it is. Looks like Juniper more than like Cedar, Fir or Pine. Do you know what is it?

Second, any suggestions on how to trim it? Can I trim the top? Maybe I shall hire a professional to do that?
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
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How to trim the top of a tree


If they don't have "candles" or cones they are not likely to be cedar or pine. Both are conifers. I would expect to see more symmetry for either as well although some species of pine can look more random. All pines have candles though.

My guess is they are really healthy but overgrown junipers. Or perhaps they are a cypress. I cannot really see the branches. Do they have berries? That would lean me toward junipers.

No matter I guess. Any time you trim the leader on any tree it, energy is shifted to lateral branches beneath the cut. You essentially decide the height of the tree when you make this cut. Of course lateral branches of some species can send up new vertical branches but they will look goofy.

So. Decide what height you want your trees to be. Yours are so nice I would make them slightly different actually.

Junipers and cypress are popular species for bonsai because they can, over time be shaped nicely. You should decide what shape you want to establish AND MAINTAIN below the cut you make to establish the height. If you drive around N California you will see the work of Japanese gardeners and some Hispanic gardeners who trained with them in junipers and cypress. They are almost like yard sculptures. You can go that far if you want or just trim and thin yours out a bit to reflect and accent the direction they have grown. Trim out some branches and give them some horizontal tiering and I think they will look great. In fact add some programmable LED firefly lights and enjoy them from that deck!

Not sure why your neighbor is freaked out. Junipers and cypress do not fall over. I guess that one branch could be scratching on her house when the wind blows. They can harbor some insects but regular spraying fixes that.

First thing is to zero in on what you have. Can you send a more detailed photo of a branch? And the bark on the trunk? Do you have a real nursery near you? They should be able to ID it for you and will probably have some great suggestions for someone to come out and trim them without butchering them.


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Old 07-31-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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How to trim the top of a tree


Ayuh,.... I'd top 'em out where they get scraggily, at the bottom of the circle...
Then trim up what's left,...
looks like a shooter headin' for the house, to the left....
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:59 PM   #4
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How to trim the top of a tree


thanks for the suggestions. BTW, here is the pictures of the bark and leaves so that you can help identify what kind of tree it is.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:45 AM   #5
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How to trim the top of a tree


It looks to be some sort of cedar. If you're not sure what you're doing then I'd recommend a professional. Topping it is going to make it bush out, and as it is a pyramidal form tree it iwould look bad for a long time.

If the concern is the lean towards the neighbor's yard, what you can do is trim back some of the branches on that side to take the weight off and it may straighten up.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:27 AM   #6
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How to trim the top of a tree


The berries and the bark look like some species of juniper to me. If you crush the berries do they have a gin like smell to them? That would cinch my assumption.

Once you get the trees shaped the way you want, you should be able to maintain them without too much trouble yourself. This depending on how good you are on ladders leaned into trees or with a pole trimmer. Junipers are not especially fast growing.

If it were me and I had the money? I would get a pro landscaping service or some horticulturist or gardener that knows how to shape them the way you want to do the initial pruning for you. Then see if you can keep up with the maintenance.

Depending on the species, the berries may be able to be dried and used in cooking. I have a fave pork roast recipe that calls for juniper berries, bay leaves, shallots and white whine. Little suckers are expensive.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:11 AM   #7
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How to trim the top of a tree


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
The berries and the bark look like some species of juniper to me. If you crush the berries do they have a gin like smell to them? That would cinch my assumption.

Once you get the trees shaped the way you want, you should be able to maintain them without too much trouble yourself. This depending on how good you are on ladders leaned into trees or with a pole trimmer. Junipers are not especially fast growing.

If it were me and I had the money? I would get a pro landscaping service or some horticulturist or gardener that knows how to shape them the way you want to do the initial pruning for you. Then see if you can keep up with the maintenance.

Depending on the species, the berries may be able to be dried and used in cooking. I have a fave pork roast recipe that calls for juniper berries, bay leaves, shallots and white whine. Little suckers are expensive.

Just be careful, not all of them are good for this,some are poisonous I also cook with them, but I don't know enough about different species to pick the right ones.I flunked dendrology in college
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
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How to trim the top of a tree


It's not cedar,they look like needles,and cedar foilage is flat.

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