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10ft conifers

hello I am wanting to cut the top off my conifers (3 of them) they are roughly 3m high how much could I take off without it going brown and also I want to trim them back with out them going brown I read to only trim 30% of the leafs/branches back is this right ? 

Posts

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,460
    What conifers are they? Generally conifers will not resprout from brown wood, so do not cut back beyond the leaves.  If the are Lawsons  Cypress or  the dreaded leylandii, you need to keep cutting them regularly to keep under control.
  • perry1990perry1990 Posts: 4
    Thank you I won’t cut past the leaf how short can I cut them with out killing them would 6ft be ok? 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,460
    If you cut the top out, cut it about a foot below where you really want it. Shoots will fill out the top, and then just a light regular trim. If you want a final 6ft, cut to 5ft, and then let it grow up to hide the brown top.
  • perry1990perry1990 Posts: 4
    Ok brilliant will the leaves at the top still stay green ? 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,487
    You will find that the middle of the conifer around the trunk will all be brown - this is perfectly normal. What Fidgetbones meant is the new shoots will be green and they will then hide the middle brown bits.
  • perry1990perry1990 Posts: 4
    Ok thank you Lizzie 
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    What conifers are they? Generally conifers will not resprout from brown wood, so do not cut back beyond the leaves.  If the are Lawsons  Cypress or  the dreaded leylandii, you need to keep cutting them regularly to keep under control.

    There's nothing dreaded about leylandii. Trim once a year, just like any other hedge, and they stay in size, smart and formal.  
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    The time to be careful is when you are trimming the sides. Only trim the outer bits - do not cut back to the brown bits. Even a regularly trimmed conifer hedge will get wider and wider over the years. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,460
    Glasgow Dan. My sister said that. A nice hedge , she said. Forgot to trim it one year. It was a bit much the following year. 20ft high and still growing before they got round to tackling it. I'd sooner have holly. The burglars don't like it. The birds like it to nest in.  You can cut it down hard and it resprouts. Lovely stuff.
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    Glasgow Dan. My sister said that. A nice hedge , she said. Forgot to trim it one year. It was a bit much the following year. 20ft high and still growing before they got round to tackling it. I'd sooner have holly. The burglars don't like it. The birds like it to nest in.  You can cut it down hard and it resprouts. Lovely stuff.

    So they didn't do an annual trim... dreaded lazy hedge owners! Birds love leylandii. And you get a formal screening hedge decades before a holly hedge will grow to size/shape!
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