The Q&A Archives: Arborvitae or Emerald Isle Leyland Cypress

Question: Our 30 year old Arborvitae hedge, used for screening, needs to be removed. Eventhough we prune the hedge yearly, it is getting too wide for the area. And pruning it any smaller will cut off all the green and just leave us with a brown stick hedge. And this plant doesn't seem to send green growth from the main trunk.

We found

Answer: Emerald Isle Leyland Cypress can be pruned to keep it 3-4' wide but you'll need to shear it regularly. If you wait until it reaches that width and then prune it back by a foot, you'll end up with bare areas until it regrows. If you allow the plant to become established and then clip them back by a few inches each year, they will eventually spread out to their full 3-4' width, but will always be covered with fresh new foliage. Best wishes with your new hedge!

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