Forum home Plants

Topiary on norway spruce Christmas tree?

I have a small (approx 1m) norway spruce Christmas tree in a pot. 

I originally found this abandoned in the park after Christmas. 

It’s doing well but it’s quite a bushy plant for my small garden. 

Is it possible (and easy?) to make this into a standard tree? I’ve seen images online but unsure how to do this…

here’s the image:


  • Lena_vs_DeerLena_vs_Deer Posts: 203
    I have a strong suspicion that the one on a photo is made by grafting rather than just pruning. It's pretty common with evergreen when it's needed to lift the crown for them. I've seen it done a lot to weeping spruce. 

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,462
    It might be possible eventually if you are prepared to wait a few years!
    I'm guessing but no guarantee (!) that if you remove some  of the lowest branches close to the trunk, that the tree will grow taller, allowing you to remove a few more each subsequent year.
    What I am unsure about is whether the lower side of the branches may have already browned off, which would affect the overall appearance. You could have a look though and if the undersides are still green, then worth giving it a go. It was a free tree after all!
    You would have to trim the ends a little every year, making sure you don't cut too far into the brown wood, or it will not regrow. This will start to define the the shape, but do NOT cut the growing tip until the tree is at the height you wish.
  • Thanks! I’m glad you mentioned the growing tip because it looks bare and dead so I was unsure whether to cut it off. I will post a photo when the heavy rain stops and I can go outside.

  • Photos ^^

    As you can see there’s new growth …. Should I cut this off or only cut into this? Any advice appreciated! Is the top step (leader?) dead? In which case should I cut it off….

  • It probably isn't a Norway Spruce, more likely one of the firs like Nordman. One or possibly many of the top branches will take over dominance in due course if the leader is removed or dead but it will leave a kink I expect. But it may not be visible if it stays bushy enough. It is a forest tree though so will always want to be one. Good luck.
  • Thanks for letting me know what it is. 

Sign In or Register to comment.