How to - Techniques

Quick tip: Make kinder evergreen cuts

By
Beckie Fox

Take care when hacking branches off your trees and shrubs for holiday projects


Decorating with fresh-cut evergreens is part of the holiday fun, but if you’re trimming branches in your own garden, prune with care. Cuts you make 
this winter will affect the shape of your tree or shrub in years to come: a cut just in front of an upward- or 
downward-growing branch will trigger growth in the same direction next spring.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
  • Always make clean cuts close to the base of the branch you remove, without 
cutting into the branch that remains.
  • Don’t leave stubs; these invite infection.
  • Take trimmings from sections 
not at eye level and from areas next to walls or fences, if possible.
  • Densely branched cedars (Thuja spp. and cvs.), yews (Taxus spp. and cvs.) and boxwood
 (Buxus spp. and cvs.) can be cut anywhere on their 
leafy stems, but don’t concentrate cuts in one section.

 

 

Read more in How to and Techniques

  • Page 1: Be kind to your evergreens

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