The Q&A Archives: Pruning Hinoki Falsecypress

Question: I have a Monrovia Chamaecyparis obtusa

Answer: This plant really should not need pruning much if at all. Part of its charm is the overall shape and structure that develop with age and its mature size is in the then ten foot range with a width of about four feet in a pyramidal shape. If it is planted in a spot where it will be crowded you might consider transplanting it to a more suitable space. Or, if it is truly growing leggy and open, it may be located in too much shade. This is a plant for a full sun location and if the problem is related to shade, pruning would not correct that. (Also be sure you are not overfertilizing it.) You may be able to selectively head back some of the longer branches by cutting deep inside the plant, but be cautious as you do not want to leave visible bare stubs or destroy the outline of the plant. This plant will not regrow if cut back to bare wood, so you will not be able to cut much off. You could remove perhaps ten percent of the branches or less in a year, do so in late winter. Here is some general pruning information you may find helpful. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.

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