How to cut christmas tree

10 Tips on How to Choose & Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree

Cutting down your own Christmas tree is a fun family tradition that gives you adventure, fresh air and a respect for nature. It’s a fun excuse for a little physical exercise in the great outdoors and wonderful reason for your family to spend some time together.

While you might expect a pro-nature argument against cutting down a live tree, it’s actually the opposite. When you choose a real tree over a plastic artificial one, you help both the environment and your community. While there are benefits of artificial trees (convenience and accessibility), we hope you’ll consider a real tree this year, for environmental and economic reasons. A there’s no better way to find the perfect real tree than getting out there and cutting down your own!

Benefits of a real tree

Artificial trees will last for seven to ten years in your home, but centuries in a landfill. Artificial trees are produced in overseas factories, with less stringent environmental regulations, poorer working conditions and lower wages. On the other hand, real Christmas trees are produced locally, from sunlight, rainfall and soil. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms. Those farms grow approximately 350 million trees and employ over 100,000 people.

Planted like an agricultural crop, these trees provide wildlife habitat, air filtration and prevent soil erosion as they grow until they are harvested and replaced by another tree. Each tree grows for an average of eight years. A fresh cut Christmas tree is recyclable and biodegradable. Once used, the tree can be chipped for mulch, burned, or land filled, where it will naturally break down over time. There are also thousands of Christmas tree recycling programs across the U.S.  Trees are used to make sand and soil erosion barriers or placed in ponds for fish shelter.

Forest or farm

If you want to cut down your own tree, you can either go to a tree farm or venture into the woods to find your own. If you want that extra sense of adventure, head into the woods, but be prepared. Some areas require a permit to cut down a tree (usually a nominal fee). There may be areas where cutting is restricted or allowed only during a certain time. The size of tree (diameter of the trunk at the base) may be regulated and gas powered tools (chainsaws) may not be allowed, so tools are limited to axes or handsaws.

There are lots of benefits of cutting down a live tree from the forest. It provides more room for remaining trees to grow, which are less stressed and better situated to cope with disease and insects. Reducing competition allows for easier access to water, nutrients, and sunlight and reduces wildfire risk by providing less potential fuel for a fire.

If you go to a Christmas tree farm, you will be supporting your local community. Farm trees will be much more uniform in size and shape. Trees are usually grown in rows so they get plenty of sunlight to form a symmetrical shape. They’re usually anywhere from 3 to 10 feet in height and cost an average of $55/tree. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, so there’s bound to be a farm by you (check out this website for state-by-state info).

Tips for cutting your own tree

We’ve been cutting down our own Christmas tree from a local farm (Eckert’s in Belleville, Illinois) for the last few years. It’s become one of our family’s favorite annual traditions. Riding the tractor out to the field and choosing the perfect tree is always a fun outing for the kids. Plus, there’s always a lot of other fun holiday related activities to do at Eckert’s, including making gingerbread houses, visiting Santa and story time.

Over the last few years, we’ve learned a few lessons about cutting down our own tree, which we’re happy to pass on to you! So, before you embark on your own tree-chopping journey, here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t go too early – the best time for cutting your own Christmas tree is between late November and mid-December. The average time a well-watered cut tree holds its needles is 3-4 weeks.
  2. Measure your space – make sure you measure both the place in your house where the tree with go (height & width) and the space in your vehicle where you’ll be transporting your tree.
  3. Take a tape measure – a lot of farms will provide measuring tapes or sticks, but it’s always best to bring your own. Expert parenting tip: if you have more than one kid, bring a tape measure for each so there’s no fighting over it.
  4. Boots and gloves – wear sturdy boots that protect your feet and good, heavy-duty work gloves.  Sunglasses also protect your eyes from rogue pine needs. Wet wipes are great for removing sap from hands and fingers.
  5. Do a walk through – before you choose your tree, walk through the grounds and scope them all out. Sometimes trees are arranged by size, shape, breed, etc. Get a lay of the land before making your final decision. Also, when you think you’ve found the perfect tree, walk-around the entire tree to make sure there are no bald spots, dead patches or animals living in the tree.  
  6. Test for freshness – in order to make sure your chosen tree is fresh, run a branch through your enclosed hand. The needles should not come off easily. Bend the outer branches – they should be pliable. If they are brittle and snap easily, the tree is too dry.
  7. Lightweight saw – it’s best to use a lightweight saw that is meant for cutting live trees. Most farms will provide these for you; just call the farm ahead of your visit to make sure.
  8. Cut low – cut your Christmas tree low to the ground and quickly, if possible. The low cut will allow the tree to re-sprout a central leader to form another Christmas tree for the future. Once the tree starts to lean over, finish your saw cuts quickly. Don’t push the tree over. That can cause the bark to rip and splinter. It is best to have an assistant support the tree as you are cutting.
  9. Shake it – the tree  may well have become home to birds, bugs and spiders during the year, so once it’s cut, shake it! A vigorous shaking will not only get rid of loose pine needles, but will also evict Charlotte (and her web). Lots of farms will shakes your chosen tree on a mechanical shaker for no additional cost.
  10. Be careful during transport – be careful not to break branches or bend the thin part at the top. Also, you should prepare your vehicle for transport. If you’re putting on top of your car, bring ropes or tie-downs. If you’re going to put it in the vehicle, bring a large tarp or blanket to keep any pine needles from shedding all over.
  11. Ensure freshness – when you get your tree home, take a 1 inch slice off the bottom of the trunk where the tree was cut to allow it to soak up nutrients and water faster. Get the tree into water as soon as possible. Make sure the water is not too cold (it can shock the tree).

I hope you and your family try a real tree this holiday season! And for an extra adventure, cut down your own tree. Make it a family tradition. Don’t feel guilty – it’s good for the environment! And it feels great to get outside together and choose a tree as a family. I guarantee you’ll have fun and make amazing memories while you’re at it. Don’t forget your camera!

Have you ever cut down your own tree?

10 Tips for Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree

A treasured tradition


From the smell of the evergreens to the nip of the crisp winter air, there’s nothing like picking out and cutting down the perfect Christmas tree to kick off your holiday season. Learn how to find and take home the best tree on the farm (or in the forest) with these 10 useful tips.

Find out if you need a permit.


If you plan on being adventurous and heading into the woods to cut down your Christmas tree, check to see if you need a permit before you break out your chain saw. Permits are available through your local Forest Service office—but hurry, because some offices do sell out of permits. 

Related: Your Guide to Picking the Perfect X-Mas Tree

istockphoto. com

Don’t cut it too early.


Some people like decking out the home for the holidays right after they've cleared the Thanksgiving dishes, or maybe even right after that first pumpkin spice latte of the season. But if you’re putting up a real tree, it’s best to wait. Even trees that are watered regularly get dried out within three weeks of cutting, so try to resist the urge to decorate the tree too early


Measure your space before you cut.


Unlike the Christmas trees at the local lots, trees on a farm or in the forest don't necessarily come in predictable six- or eight-foot sizes. To avoid disappointment, measure the distance from floor to ceiling where you plan to place your tree to make sure you don't cut down a tree that's too big for your house. While you're at it, measure the space in your car to make sure you'll be able to accommodate the tree, and don't forget to bring twine, bungees, scissors, and anything else you might need to secure the tree in (or on) your car.

Wear the right gear.


Though cutting down your Christmas tree is a fun holiday excursion, you’ll be handling blades or saws, so it’s important to wear appropriate safety attire. Put on a pair of sturdy boots, pack a pair of heavy work gloves, and avoid loose clothing to keep yourself safe.

Related: 8 Things You Never Even Knew About Christmas Trees

Use the correct tools.


Depending on where you’re cutting down your tree, there may be restrictions on the tools you can use. Although a chain saw is the quickest and easiest way to fell a tree, many tree farms and national forests don’t allow their use, so be prepared with a handsaw or axe, just in case.


Test for freshness.


You may be looking for the perfect Christmas tree, a tree that's just the right shape and size, but the most important thing to look for is freshness. To find out if a tree is fresh, tug lightly on the needles: If they stay put, then your tree should stay green and supple well until Christmas.

Related: 15 Artificial Christmas Trees That Look Like the Real Deal

Take a walk before you decide.


Even if you immediately spot “the one,” it’s best to do a full walk-through before you commit to a particular tree. Christmas tree farms are often arranged by size or type of tree, so taking a look at everything else that's available will help you avoid buyer’s remorse on the way out to the car.

Cut the tree low to the ground.


Try to cut your Christmas tree as low to the ground as you possibly can. This will not only make it a taller tree, but it will also allow another tree to resprout and spread Christmas cheer to future tree-hunters.


Have someone hold it steady.


Have a partner hold your tree steady to prevent it from falling over before you’ve sawed all the way through the trunk. Also, resist the temptation to push the tree over—not only is this unsafe, but it will also prevent regrowth.

Shake it off.


Your freshly cut natural Christmas tree will probably be rife with sap, freeloading bugs, and spiderwebs, so give it a good shake before you pack it in the car to keep any creepy-crawlies out of your living room. Some tree farms even have a mechanical shaker that will get the job done, for a fee.

Related: 12 Christmas Tree Decorating Fails

O Christmas tree


Cutting down your own Christmas tree can become a fun family tradition—if you do it right.

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How to prune spruce?

Photo by the author, illustrations by Vera Manzhura.

So, let's cut Christmas trees! Let me tell you, there is nothing to be afraid of! The main thing is not to wait for the moment when you need a saw as a cutting tool. We will agree to do with secateurs or garden shears, and sometimes just gloved hands.

To begin with, I propose to decide on the goals and objectives of the upcoming event and think in advance, what result do you expect? What do you want from your tree? Pruning may be needed for a variety of reasons.

Reason #1 – Keeping a neat plant shape

Everyone knows what a spruce tree looks like when it's relatively mature – it's a fairly regular cone. If you have chosen a cone-shaped spruce variety, then it is advisable to observe the development of the plant in the first years after planting and “correct” all the branches that are out of the general context in time.

In the first years after planting, many spruce varieties with a cone-shaped crown may grow irregularly. The plant seems to be considering whether to grow in height this year, or is it better to “work up” the volume and take up more space in order to immediately cut off all the owner’s attempts to plant neighbors in the root zone. Such behavior, for example, often surprises everyone's favorite “Hoopsii” (“Hupsi”), as well as compact varieties of prickly spruce “Bialobok” (“Belobok”) and “Nimetz” (“Nimets”). By the way, the “Bialobok” variety is named so not because it becomes “white-sided” at the end of May, when it grows a young growth, but by the name of the author of the variety, Jan Białobok, who found it at 1939 year.

If you want your spruce to be more symmetrical, shorten or remove unsymmetrical branches. In the spring, you can completely remove the central growth of the branch if you notice that it is going to go beyond the shape you need. Did not have time to remove or shorten the branch in the spring? Then cut when it appears for that time. If you observe the plant immediately after planting and stop its attempts to "lose its temper" in time, you will not have to solve more difficult tasks of forming a neglected tree in the future.

Young plants often require tying to a vertical support for a couple of years and monitoring crown behavior. Sometimes at the top of the head, for various reasons, it does not wake up or the central kidney is lost. The usual reaction of spruce to this misunderstanding is to grow two or more parallel growing leaders. If you miss this moment and do not intervene in time, you will have a plant with two or more guides who will try to overtake each other every year. As a result, we will get a plant with an asymmetrical crown, and at the same time the danger of a break at the fork. To avoid such moments, every year in late May and early June, take a look at the top of your spruce. If you see that there are several tops, choose the most even and harmoniously located of the shoots, and break or shorten the rest. During this period, such work can be done simply with your hands, the shoots are still tender and break easily. At the same time, it is possible to correct the general shape - to break or shorten the increments that violate the symmetry of the cone.

I'll make a reservation right away. If you have just bought and planted a young 3-5 year old plant, you should not hone your skills as an aspiring topiary artist on it in the very first season. Let the tree take root well. But watch out for the crown right away!

All of the above applies primarily to medium and fast growing cultivars. Dwarf varieties with an annual growth of up to 10 cm, as a rule, do not require gardener intervention for quite a long time, with the exception of sanitary pruning and cleaning the inside of the crown.

If you didn't have time to correct the shape of your spruce at the beginning of June, you can do it in autumn. If the tree is already mature, then if you have a good eye, feel free to take garden shears and cut it over the entire surface of the crown, as you would cut, for example, a spirea bush, but not forgetting the cone shape. You can shorten the growth of the current year, or, if symmetry requires it, then last year's growth too. Spruces are quite flexible in terms of shearing and are good at awakening dormant buds in response to pruning. The photo below shows the prickly spruce “Erich Frahm” (“Erich Fram”) after the first pinching of young growth in her life last year.

This approach will allow you to quickly cope with cutting not even one spruce, but an entire spruce hedge, get some spruce branches for shelter or mulching other garden crops, and also protect your Christmas tree from possible intruders who are not averse to cutting down a vending Christmas tree to the New Year.

Cause #2 - crown compaction

A wide variety of spruce cultivars growing at medium to fast rates (from 15 to 50 cm per season) can become somewhat “loose” over time and begin to acquire some crown tiering. In order to anticipate such moments, let's try to compact the crown of our Christmas tree in advance. Let's start with observations!

Spruces are conifers that are capable of producing one wave of growth per season. Of course, there are some varieties that manage to give a repeated short increase in the second half of the summer, especially if the summer turned out to be rainy or long. For example, the well-known spruce “Conica” (“Konika”) and its closest relatives do this almost every year. These varieties are good because they completely independently cope with maintaining a super-dense crown.

In the Moscow region, for example, spruces begin to grow young shoots in late May-early June. At this time, spruce growths are soft, as if made of silicone, and young needles are pressed against the shoot. Try not to miss this moment. When the growths reach a length of 5–10–15 cm (depending on the growth rate of a given specimen), they need to be shortened.

The easiest way to work is with gloved hands, without the use of tools. In this case, the shortened ends of the shoots will look more accurate after the needles ripen. Of course, this recommendation does not apply to cutting large volumes, where you can not do without garden shears.

Shoots during this period are rather fragile and easily broken by fingers. Leave the length you need from the shoot, from two to about ten centimeters, break off the rest. Do this carefully, the shoots can easily break off at the base, and this is of no use to us.

It is necessary to take into account one more point - the lower branches of the spruce grow less, and the upper ones much more. That is, the crown can grow by 50 cm in June, and the ends of the lower branches only by 15–20 cm. Therefore, our task is to try to balance the haircut. We leave the growths of the lower branches longer, in the middle part of the crown - shorter, and in the upper part - the shortest. For example, for a Christmas tree with an average growth of 15–20 cm per season, we leave 10 cm from the growth of the lower branches, 5 cm in the middle, and 3 cm in the upper third. You understand that this activity is not for the lazy, it requires some meditative skills and relative peace of mind, because in 10 minutes you can’t do it here. On the example of the prickly spruce “Iseli Fastigiate” (“Iseli Fastigiata”), the difference in growth on the upper and lower branches is clearly visible.

What will be the result of this titanic labor feat? If you have not missed the optimal time for pinching, then after about two months, carefully looking at your Christmas tree, you will find a small miracle! At the base of each shortened shoot, a whole cluster of fatty, shiny buds will form by August! All the buds that the tree planned to place along the entire length of the young growth, she will eventually lay at the base of this young growth, if we managed to shorten it in time. In May-June next year, your Christmas tree will begin its journey to a wonderful transformation. You will get densely spaced growth throughout the canopy!

Well, it goes without saying - an increase in pinching volumes at times. Repeat spring manipulations for at least a couple more years, and then just use garden shears for the same purpose and cut your ward every year. And every year the reason to be proud of yourself will become more and more justified.

Reason #3 – Growth restriction to maintain composition proportions

The vast majority of gardeners have encountered in their gardening practice that the selected plants do not always grow as we would like. Adjusted and calculated, as it seemed to us, the garden group sometimes behaves completely differently than we planned! For various reasons, plants that should have grown quickly are slowed down, and the declared dwarfs suddenly begin to obscure the background!

This happens often. In order to restore relative order and maintain proportions, you have to take scissors. And even if initially everything was done correctly, the proportions are preserved for years, and the group becomes more and more beautiful from year to year, in the end, there comes a moment when the plants begin to close together. Any closure and growing of neighbors into each other threatens with a loss of decorativeness and thinning of the crown at the points of contact. Due to the lack of light, shaded branches begin to gradually shed their needles and die, and the shape of the crown loses its symmetry.

Christmas trees create a very dense shade for the neighbors and therefore they must be kept within limits. Spruces themselves also do not like shading very much, contrary to what is written about them in the reference literature. Yes, they tolerate shading, they will not die, but they will not grow beautiful under such conditions either. If some part of the spruce crown is shaded by neighboring plants, then an ugly tear can quickly form in this part, which will then be very difficult to overgrow. Therefore, try to avoid shading the neighbors with each other. Use a corrective haircut.

The optimal time for shearing fir trees is the beginning of June (the time of growth of young shoots) and the end of summer-autumn. The June haircut will help you compact the crown, and the autumn haircut will help you adjust the shape and maintain the desired size. If the crown is already dense enough, skip spring pruning, cut in summer and autumn. When shortening adult branches, do not cut branches thicker than a finger in diameter. The cut on the branch is performed at the place where the lateral branches originate, while it is desirable not to leave stumps. You can shorten the main branch to any length.

I strongly advise you to immediately decide what size tree you want to have in the future. It is important! Choose a rail of the desired height and temporarily secure this rail along the trunk while cutting. The upper end of the rail will give you the height of the future cone. From this point, draw an imaginary line down to the base of the cone, and stick to it as you cut. If your eye is not very good, take another rail - more authentic and apply it during the haircut to the upper end of the vertical rail. You yourself will be surprised how smooth the cone you end up with.

If you do not immediately set the final height of the tree, then it will be very difficult to maintain the correct proportions of the crown. Keep in mind that cutting from a stepladder is much more inconvenient and labor-intensive than doing it from the ground, not to mention the price of the services of Carlson the topiary.

If you don't have time to trim your tree in the fall, do it early in the spring before the growing season starts. Missed the June haircut - it doesn’t matter, cut the Christmas tree in August, September, October, November. Ate in this respect are very "compliant". There is no need to process cuts and even saw cuts of spruce branches. All damage is covered with resin. Just do not leave bark burrs and burrs along the contour of the cuts. Cut the saw cut along the contour with a sharp knife, as is done on fruit trees. This contributes to the rapid overgrowth of all damage.

Another important measure for maintaining the beauty and health of your fir trees is cleaning the inside of the crown. Take time to look inside the crown, clean out the fallen needles and cut dead branches into a ring. The crown will then be better ventilated and illuminated. This helps to awaken dormant buds and reduces the risk of fungal diseases.

Reason #4 – “What if I’m an artist at heart?”

We all do different things, work from morning to night and get tired of the routine. Our garden is a magical place where we can realize any creative plans and get to know ourselves from an unexpected side. Spruces are an excellent material for topiary, they are plastic in cutting and quite willingly awaken dormant buds. From fir trees, if desired, you can get any geometric shapes and even create a garden sculpture! For such purposes, it is better to choose dwarf varieties. Keeping fast-growing cultivars within limits will not be an easy task. And of course, it would be more rational to cut the correct ball from a spherical variety, and the ideal cone from a conical one.

You can easily find the most incredible examples of fir topiary shearing on the Internet. Do not be too lazy to inquire - you will get a lot of pleasant impressions!

And I sincerely wish you to show your creative potential in all its glory, surprise and please yourself, relatives, friends and neighbors with wonderful garden works in the coming season!

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How to cut a Christmas tree - Articles


  • Introduction
  • Basic Rules
  • Tree cutting forms
  • When and how to prune or pinch - features of pruning various types of conifers
  • Cutting tool
  • Pruning technique (blind, bud, pinch)
  • Care after pruning
  • Conclusion


Coniferous plants are beautiful in the landscape at any time of the year and practically do not need constant shearing, but there may be exceptions, for example, when we want to remove broken and diseased shoots (forced - medicinal), limit the growth rate and size of the plant, make the crown more dense and emphasize its ideal shape (planned - sanitary, preventive), give the plant an unusual look (forming - decorative) or create a topiary (topiary - curly).

Formed European spruce

Basic Rules

When starting to prune conifers, you should know the basic rules of the process and understand that each incorrect cut can lead to injury to the entire plant and lower its immunity. Before you cut anything, you need to study the theory, practice on individual shoots or inexpensive specimens, and start with the simplest planned haircut. If everything went well, and the plant began to recover quickly, stock up on knowledge and proceed to the formation of the crown. To create a topiary or nivaki, you need some experience with coniferous plants, knowledge of the basic methods of plant formation, the basics of landscape design, skills in working with garden tools, good taste and great patience, since the chosen shape must be constantly maintained.

Shaping pine topiary molds

When choosing a coniferous plant for cutting, you should carefully examine it. Weakened, recently transplanted, diseased or too young plants (less than 4 years old) are not recommended to be cut.

Starting work, it is necessary to clearly imagine the ultimate goal of the work - not only the choice of tool and the method of crown formation, but also the final result will depend on this.

As a result of pruning, more than ⅓ of the entire green mass cannot be removed from the plant, otherwise an imbalance in the volume of the root system and the photosynthetic part will result, which will lead to severe stress for the entire plant. In the course of work, it should be remembered that dormant buds of coniferous plants are located only in the growth zone of green needles, and therefore, if the shoot is cut off very much, it will dry out.

When starting the procedure for forming a crown or creating a natural sculpture, one should take into account the natural growth of the crown of a coniferous plant. It is difficult to get a slender green column from a drop-shaped pine crown, and from a cone-shaped arborvitae it is difficult to make a ball and maintain the chosen shape for a long time.

When working with coniferous plants, it must be remembered that many trees and shrubs produce a large amount of viscous and sticky resin, which is difficult to wash off and clean clothes.

Tree cutting forms

Depending on the style decision of the garden, conifers can be formed in the form of geometric shapes (balls, cones, cubes and columns) decorating regular gardens, abstract sculptures, impenetrable screens of living walls of green rooms or a labyrinth, low parterre borders in a Mediterranean garden. In gardens in country or natural garden style, you can emphasize the natural growth of the crown, and in the oriental garden you can create picturesque bonsai or nivaki.

Coniferous crown formation options

When and how to cut or pinch

The timing of pruning coniferous plants depends on the goals and their growth characteristics. Planned pruning is carried out both in spring and autumn. During spring pruning, dry and part of the old shoots are removed. In order to limit the growth of plants, pinching young shoots is carried out. The autumn procedure is designed not only to restrain the growth of the crown, to remove the remnants of diseased branches, on which sources of infection may remain, but also to better prepare for the winter period.

Forced pruning is carried out as needed - at any time of the year, as soon as signs of disease or the results of an invasion of pests appear.

Formative pruning in spring can be combined with planned pruning if only a small number of branches are removed during the latter. In order to minimize stress for the plant, it is necessary to carry out the formation before bud break. During the summer, every 2 to 3 weeks, crown correction can be carried out, removing protruding branches that have grown more than others. In autumn, together with the planned one, the last crown molding is carried out.

The timing of topiary pruning is determined based on the physiological characteristics of the plant, but before the plant emerges from hibernation. The exception is pines, which are pruned in May-June, after the appearance of young growths, before the formation of new needles. After giving the plant the desired shape, the necessary haircut, pruning or pinching of the shoots is carried out throughout the season.

When working with conifers, you need to know their features. For example, it is better to cut spruce when the buds are laid - in the second half of June. Depending on the variety, they can be given very different shapes. Most spruces have the shape of a crown in the form of a regular cone, prickly spruces and their varieties Blue Diamond, Edith, Fat Albert, Hoopsii, Iseli Fastigiate, Koster, Omega and many others are especially good. It is easy to emphasize this form, keep it in certain sizes or form a column out of it. There are spruces in the form of balls and pillows of different sizes - it is easy to form balls from them. Norway spruce, despite its rapid growth, is well formed into geometric shapes (balls, cubes, cones, hedges). Norway spruce Nifidormis bears a crown in the form of a pillow, and over time it can be used to form an umbrella on an elongated leg. The dense crown of Konik's gray-gray spruce can turn into an almost perfect slow-growing cone.

The formation of the pine crown includes pruning - thinning the crown, and shortening - pinching fresh candles, and giving the branches a certain shape with the help of stretch marks. Thus, the pine can be shaped into a ball and later only maintain this image by pinching the young growth. Scenic pines are very often used to create nivaki. Crown thinning and a rigid frame help create unique shapes.

The young growth of pines and spruces is afraid of return frosts, so it is better to start working with it no earlier than the second half of May. Pinching the apical growth stops the growth of the plant upwards, and the lateral one - the possibility of creating a thick and lush crown, since not one, but several lateral buds will be laid. The result of the work will be visible in 2-3 years.

Composition of formed prickly spruce, mountain pine and arborvitae

It is better to form a larch crown in early spring, before the buds wake up. Planned pruning in the fall will help prepare for winter. The plant is very plastic, and with the help of constant pinching, you can not only maintain the silhouette of the plant, but also restrain its growth.

Junipers do not tolerate autumn shearing, and therefore it is better to deal with crown formation from spring to mid-August. Juniper wood is dense, each cut is a serious injury, and therefore you should not pull, and cut off not already lignified branches, but young, green growth.

It is good to cut fir and thuja during periods of inactive resin movement - in early spring or in June, given the natural growth of the crown when forming a silhouette.

Cutting tool

Creating geometric and chess pieces, silhouettes of animals and people, green walls and elegant bosquets require not only a certain skill, but also good, professional tools. A variety of simple garden and trellis shears, secateurs, loppers and brush cutters, a hacksaw - the modern market provides a wide selection of semi- and professional tools. The light weight of the equipment and comfortable, energy-saving handles should facilitate the work. Bright coloring will help you quickly find what you need in the grass and make it easier and safer during operation. Narrow ends and telescopic handles will help you reach the furthest branches and reach their base.

Front parterre decorated with conifers (blind cut)

Half the success of the crown formation process lies in the high-quality sharpening of tools, and for this the tool metal must be hard, with alloy additives. To reduce the stress from traumatizing plants, cutting the branch should occur the first time. Constant disinfection of the instrument with hot water and soap, copper-containing preparations or alcohol will help to avoid infection of healthy parts of the plant. During work and after its completion, the tool should be cleaned with organic solvents from the resin.

Pruning technique (blind, bud, pinch)

Coniferous growth can be controlled by pinching, blind pruning and bud pruning. It should be remembered that an important feature of coniferous plants is the apical type of shoot growth. The main continuation shoot grows from the central, uppermost bud, around which the recovery buds are laid, forming a dense whorl. In most conifers, restoration buds do not germinate on mature wood of a perennial branch, and therefore the shoot dries up to a branching node. Depending on the type and variety of the plant, the conifer pruning scheme may be different, and before starting work, it is necessary to study the nuances of pruning a particular plant.

Topiary cutting of coniferous trees

The cut on the kidney (point cutting) should be carried out at an inclination of 45o, while the lower edge of the cut should be about 2 mm higher than the base. The choice of a kidney depends on the required direction of further growth of the shoot. Usually, the outer bud is chosen, but if the branch is strongly inclined, the cut can be made on both the inner and lateral buds. A low cut will lead to a long healing of the “wound”, due to which the kidney will either dry out or give a weak new shoot. A high cut will cause the bacon to dry out. Thick branches are removed with a garden hacksaw, while the shoot must be supported to avoid breaking it and damaging the bark - to protect the plant from unnecessary stress. Very old branches can be cut in 2 steps, avoiding damage to the shoot neck (bulge at the base of the crown) or the base of the bud. First, the cut is made to the middle of the shoot from below - in the place where the main cut will be, and then from above, stepping back up the shoot 2-3 cm. As a result, the branch breaks, and the cut is aligned along the bottom edge. Usually, in coniferous plants, sections are tightened with resin on their own, but if the cut is large and has not yet dragged on the next day, it should be covered with garden pitch.

Conifers shaped by bud cut and pinching

Blind haircut does not take into account the location of the kidneys. The cut of all young shoots is carried out using electric shears or gas shears, curb shears or a brush cutter according to a given level, frame or template. This way you can form or maintain the shape of green figures or hedges. For Korean fir and phraser, pinching is more preferable than blind pruning. Pinching is performed no later than August.

Pinching is the removal of a part (1/3) of the central conductor in each whorl. It can be solid or dotted. This is the least stressful way to form a plant. The shoots are not cut off, namely, they are plucked (broken out) by hand, as a result of which the “wound” is minimal and the young needles of the shoot are not injured. It is necessary to pinch when the young shoots are fully formed, but the young needles have not yet opened. As a result of treatment, the growth of the central shoot in length stops, and side shoots begin to grow actively. The branches become more lush, and the crown is denser. With the help of annual pinching, you can regulate the growth of branches and maintain the size and shape of the crown.

Care after trimming

After pruning, the coniferous plant should restore its strength. This can be helped by root and foliar top dressing, growth stimulants, watering and sprinkling.


Shearing coniferous plants, forming interesting figures or maintaining a spectacular sheared hedge in its original form requires skill, attention, strength, and time.

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