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Horizontal conifer

Hi, I've looked on the web to see how to prune/chop/make smaller but not a lot of success on horizontal.  The conifer is big and smothering some other flowering plants so I'd like to make it smaller. Where do I cut, underneath or on top, at the edges? I don't know where to start with it, its an attractive plant so don't want to do it wrong and kill it. thanks
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  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    As far as I know most, if not all conifers will not 'grow back' so if the branches die or you cut them off, that's how it'll continue to look, so normally you'd only cut from the top as it should continue to grow upwards. 
    I don't see why you can't also shape it by trimming the edges a little, though.
  • Tricia bTricia b Posts: 40
    Thanks Bob, that is what I'm hoping for, that it will survive a bit of trimming and shaping, it's a lovely plant but I don't want it covering the others while it continues to grow 'outwards'.  
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,456
    edited June 2018
    The problem with removing upper branches of horizontally growing conifers is that doing so often reveals brown patches on the lower branches which never green up.  For that reason I've always removed lower branches when reducing the spread.  

    I take it you're talking about this sort of thing?

    Image result for horizontal growing conifers
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Tricia bTricia b Posts: 40
    True, the branches underneath are brown, the top looking good.  As you can see its starting to look less 'horizontal' and I don't want it to go to high and swamp the rest
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,456
    You'll just have to check before removing upper branches that doing so doesn't reveal brown patches on the branches below, then you should be ok. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Tricia bTricia b Posts: 40
    Thanks, Dove
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,456
    Just a thought ... if you have several conifers it might be worth your while keeping an eye out for (or requesting from the library) a copy of Adrian Bloom's Gardening with Conifers ... Adrian Bloom is the acknowledged expert on the subject ... I've visited his garden at Foggy Bottom at Bressingham many times ... it is wonderful.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Tricia bTricia b Posts: 40
    Thanks, I'll look for it in the library.  Just looked up Foggy Bottom, it looks fabulous, I'm on the south coast so not near and disappointed to see that I could have gone there on a visit last year to that area if I had known.  
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited June 2018
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,456
    @Tricia b

    We're fortunate to live quite close and visit quite often ... here's a link to some photos I took on an autumn visit 

    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/989161/bressingham-gardens-autumn-colour

    Do try to make a visit up here if you can ... it's one of the best gardens in the country. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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