The Q&A Archives: Undercut Deodora

Question: I live in zone 7, a half mile from the ocean. I love deodora cedars and see that many specimens are kept close to buildings. I would like to put in in the corner of my yard near my shed and fence and would have to limb up until it cleared six feet.

Can I limb up it and can I keep it somewhat in bounds?

Answer: These trees are often planted near buildings because of their sculptural look, but in reality they eventually mature to a rather large size inappropriate to such a landscape use. You could conceivably maintain a bare base and then prune to any desired height. However, this may interfere over time with the natural beauty and overall health of the tree so you may find that a periodic, planned replacement program is also needed. You might also wish to work with a registered and certified professional arborist to develop a pruning and training program so that you can maximize the results of your efforts and keep the tree as healthy as possible. Otherwise, you might consider planting something else or planting the cedar in a spot where it has room to grow to its potential.

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