Pruning Cedar Trees

By Renee Gerber , last updated June 15, 2011

Cedar trees are great additions to your home's front yard area and need to be pruned in order to maintain their look as an accent tree. They provide much needed shade to your property, as well as help to screen your home for privacy. In addition, they are attractive trees that will last a long time when properly cared for. This means they will periodically require pruning, which should be done in a precise manner.

First and foremost, you should decide what time of the year is best for pruning your cedar tree. If you are unsure, check with the Arbor Day Foundation or with the horticulture department at a college or university in your area. These sources will tell you when the best times for pruning is, depending on your region. Otherwise, you can safely prune your cedar tree during the late winter, sometime prior to the new spring season.

Rake up any fallen leaves and other debris from your tree. The area should be cleared away so that you can more easily and effectively work. Once everything is cleared, you can bring a ladder over, as well as your sharp, clean pruning shears. Make sure your shears are sanitized regularly with rubbing alcohol or peroxide so as to prevent the spread of disease.

As a general rule, you should always prune away any dead, damaged or diseased branches or foliage from your tree. This will help to improve the overall health of your cedar tree. Make your cuts at an angle from the main branch collar, which intersects with the trunk. Always limit your pruning to as close to the nearest new growing bud as possible so that you don't come into direct contact with it and damage it.

Avoid applying pruning paint or what is known as liquid bandage to your tree, as this can have an adverse effect on the healing of the branches where you did your pruning.

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