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Thread: Pruning a Cedar Shrub....HELP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    15,807

    Pruning a Cedar Shrub....HELP

    When we rebuilt our house, the local law says we have to have some green space, so we put these shrubs in, I think they are called "Pyramid Cedars" or maybe they are "Thuja Occidentalis Smaragd" I'm not really sure.

    Anyhow the darn things are growing like bad weeds

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    There were originally 6 trees, but I took two out a while back, as there was not enough room. I also built the steel frame to hold them up, the "Genius" architect left the "pot" that he trees stand in only 8" deep Dunno how he thought the trees would be able to stand up in that short pot very well.

    I really need to cut these suckers back, a LOT, they are now getting blown around by the wind badly, and sometimes the branches kind of stick out there into the sidewalk area, the local municipal busybodies say they have received complaints I guess with the sidewalk only being about 8' wide, some people cannot navigate past the shrubs without scratching themselves.

    Removal is NOT an option, the same municipal busybodies check to make sure we still have our "Green Space", if we removed it, we would face stiff monthly fines

    How do I trim these things?

    I'm thinking of taking one or two out, to give the two largest ones a bit more room to grow.

    Other wise, I guess I have to trim them back a bit, but the last time I did that, they looked bad for about six months.......

    Any help and or some links to somewhere with some pics and explanations would be great.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    If they are red cedars, related to junipers, they are pretty much 'weeds'. We have a lot of those growing in the Ozarks. I'm no plant expert but I suspect severe trimming will not harm them. Hack away.

  3. #3
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    I don't suppose you could rip them all out and put in pansies. Sure would allow more natural light into the window hiding behind the shrubs.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

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  4. #4
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    I've had similar evergreens, and as Frank said, you can trim them pretty heavily. The only problem is if they get too big, a heavy trimming will remove all the greenery, leaving a ball of bare branches for the local plant police to moan about.

    I'm with Rennie...I'd swap them out with easily-replaced color plants if possible.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    i too have them stu and you can trim alot buthtose are to p[oint where your further ahead to replace, with differnt variety of greenery.. chk with your local officails and ask then what they suggest???? they look like pyrmidal arbovitae.. and are from a differnt family than the trees frank is refering to.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    Stu,
    What about removing them, and (immediately) replanting with something like Italian Cypress? The Italian Cypress tend to grow straight up, and are only maybe three feet in diameter when they're ten or twelve feet tall. You see a lot of them in California. Don't know if they're available in Japan, though.

    Another possibility would be an arborvitae variant. Some of them grow upright and slowly, and they're much more readily pruned than junipers or cypress, without the ugly brown interior showing.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Stu,

    You can trim them, but they will look like heck, until they grow back, at which point it will be time to trim them again.

    What made you choose those? Do they *need* to be evergreens? Most quick growing evergreens are going to give you the same problem.

    I'm not familiar enough with the climate there to make recommendations. Are they facing south? How much direct sun do they get? What's your average winter minimum temperature?

    Frankly, you might be better off with one of the smaller bamboos. At least you could trim those to size, and only have to worry about containing growth once a year...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Inside the Beltway
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    looking for tokyo gardening links:

    http://balconyofdreams.blogspot.com/...ny-garden.html

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...pagewanted=all

    http://www.rothteien.com/topics/plants.htm

    The more I look, the more my first guesses are confirmed: your best choices for something that will look good (and not like a shorn sheep most of the time... seem to be bamboo, ornamental maples, camellias, rhododendrons, and some of the near-evergreen azaleas. All of those need at least some sun, although some of the camellias and rhododendrons can stand significant shade and still look good, even if flowering might be reduced. Over the long haul, it's probably worth thinking about changing them out...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 06-18-2008 at 07:51 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    I'll look at replacing them. I do like that idea

    I had nothing to do with picking them, when the time came to pick them, I was laid up in the hospital with the first leg infection, Summer of 2001

    The exposure is a Southern exposure, they get good sunlight all day, the temps here rarely go below freezing, and it's hot and humid in the summer.

    Bamboo is messy, I'd not want them, they need to be cleaned up all the time or they look poorly, maybe some other kind of evergreen.

    I'll have to have one more go at pruning these ones before we head to Canada for the summer vacation.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Stu,

    I won't try to change your mind about bamboo, even though there are many kinds, and many growth habits. A few bad actors give the clan a bad name.

    But this is your ticket:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Camel...ient=firefox-a

    perfect for your situation. And it will flower...

    Thanks,

    Bill

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