The Q&A Archives: When and how to prune an Alberta Spruce(Dwarf) in Twist shape

Question: I recently purchase 2 Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees, shape and trimmed in a twist. They are about 3 feet high each. I love the twist shape as well as the small size as they border either side steps down from a deck. I am looking for information on maintaining the proper shape. Please help. These are Monrovia plants purchased from Hafners in North Syracuse NY. Thank you

Answer: These are very slow growing plants, but you will need to maintain the shape regularly. To do that, trim them often but just a little bit at a time to maintain the shape crisp as it is. Use a sharp bypass hand pruner and snip individually. Use a string temporarily tied or placed along the outline to guide your cuts, and step back often to check your work. Do not cut deep into the older wood as this will leave a bare spot that will not regrow--for the same reason you need to trim just a little bit at a time, but often. Enjoy your little spruces!

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