Fast Growing Evergreen Spacing forPrivacy Hedge

Does Pruning Hurt Privacy Trees (Green Giant Arborvitae Thuja, Murray Cypress, White Pines)?

Does grooming hurt your pet? Most of us would say ‘No’ or at least it is worth the sacrifice. Our pets may have a different opinion…

Trees, at least the privacy focused such as the American Pillar / Green Giant Arborvitae or Murray / Leyland Cypress or White Pines respond well to pruning and shearing. The tree will maintain its existing root and circulatory system and will respond to the stress of being pruned by bringing more shoots and branches at the point of pruning.

This principle of shearing is commonly used when we grow Green Giant Arborvitae Thuja in nurseries as customers prefer a bushy thick tree or with Christmas tree farms where thick growing Fraziers and Spruces are desirable for hanging ornaments.

Pruning off dead branches is a good practice or pruning where we want more new growth, such as in bald spots. It does sound counterintuitive to prune where there is a bald spot, but it does work.

Hard pruning (hard stress) is also often used when a plant is near dead. At this point there is not much risk to dramatic pruning and some species will respond with vigorous growth. Of course some will succumb to their existing condition and continue on their current path.

For a timid or less experienced gardener our recommendation is to prune a little, observe the results and prune away more next year. Generally avoid pruning more than 20% of the time as avoid beneficial stress to become a negative shock.


Grooming for pets and humans is a necessity, pruning is also important for trees.

Grooming for pets and humans is a necessity, pruning is also important for trees.

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