man cutting conifer tree

Conifer Cutting

Pruning conifers is a delicate task that should be done when the tree is in the right condition and sometimes requires a conifer cutting service. It’s important to consider why you are pruning the conifer in the first place. In the UK, we have several types of conifers including pine, Douglas fir, Leyland cypress, yew and more. Whatever type you have, it should be trimmed. If neglected, conifers lose their lower foliage as they mature, resulting in a bare and unsightly bottom. This happens because conifer branches naturally grow upwards and outwards.

tree surgeon cutting branches on conifer tree
Learn how to care for your conifer

Most coniferous trees in the UK are evergreen, it’s important to trim conifers at the right time. The conifers are easy to maintain if you know what you are doing. One of the most important things conifer owners need to know is when conifers should be trimmed, as well as how. When pruning conifers some attention needs to be placed on where you are going to do it. You need a safe and solid place from which to work, so some consideration should go into this before getting started.


Why Prune Conifers?

Long and overgrown branches could pose a safety issue, reduce the conifer’s ability to handle the weight of snow, rain, wildlife, and other branches. Long conifer branches are cut back to encourage conifers’ natural habit of having shorter, sparser, and more conical branches. By pruning conifers, you also increase the conifer’s safety by reducing the conifer’s chance of being damaged in severe weather.

For trees that don’t require a conifer cutting service, pruning can help you shape your conifer. Over time, conifers can end up looking like a nondescript and unshaped shrub. This causes the conifer to look unsightly and displeasing.

Pruning conifers is also necessary for their health. Once you spot diseased and damaged branches, it is important to cut them off as they can fall off at any time. Dishevelled conifers can also represent an unsafe tree and for this reason it has to be trimmed as soon as possible. Taking care of your conifer is crucial in maintaining healthy and beautiful tree for a long time.


When to Prune Conifers

Knowing when to prune your conifer depends heavily on the type of plant you have. Our list below helps you determine when to cut your tree depending on the various types we have in the UK.

Be sure to avoid cutting your conifer after August as they may develop bald patches. Additionally, do not trim them during hot and dry weather as the needles will likely turn brown.


Late Spring and Early Summer to Boost Growth






Late Winter or Late Summer When Dormant

Douglas Firs






How to Prune Conifers

Pine: The perfect time to trim this tree is during its active growing season, giving time for new buds to grow for the following year. Hand prunes can be used to break off branches at the length you desire.

Arborvitae, Juniper & Chamaecyparis: You must only prune these trees on new growth as they do not grow on old wood. Only cut in areas that you see fresh, green stems, if old brown stems are removed, new ones will not grow, leaving your conifer patchy and discoloured.

Fir, Douglas & Spruce: The optimal time to prune these trees is during their dormant state. When pruning, make a cut approximately half an inch above the buds, new ones will grow when the tree enters growing season. This will help your tree look fresh and beautiful for a long period of time.

Hemlock & Yew: Late summer or late winter is the perfect time to trim these trees. You should avoid cutting them when they are actively growing, as they experience a growth spurt after any pruning. Light trimming of these trees allows your tree to grow to its fullest, giving you a strong and healthy-looking conifer.


How Much Should You Cut?

When pruning smaller branches and shrubs, you can use a hand pruner or your own hands. When deciding what to cut, it’s important to remember that conifers need sunlight for their needles to grow properly. Smaller branches and shrubs and require a lighter trim. Do this whilst they are dormant to allow the tree to grow and become fuller during the tree’s growth season.

The most important part of deciding how much to cut is determining the species of tree. Additionally, avoid over-pruning as you can end up with bare patches and pines and leaves prematurely turning brown. Therefore, we recommend using our conifer cutting service to ensure that your tree is looked after correctly, whilst providing a fast and safe service.

If you require any of our services, contact us on 07854 369097 or get in touch by clicking here.


Article: Phoenix Marketing

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