The Q&A Archives: Shaping Young White Pines

Question: A few years ago I planted 3 seedlings four feet apart next to my house. I would like to train them to a nice conical shape; they are top-heavy now and somewhat bushy. Should I just allow them to grow together and forget the shaping or what would you suggest?

Answer: White pines are very large trees and they will try to grow to their full size. Unfortunately, pruning at the top will cause them to branch and lose their natural shape and grow bushier, so keeping them small and pruning them into a conical form will not be possible over time. For a shaped, clipped evergreen look you would have better luck using a different plant such as yew.

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