When is the right time to trim conifers?
Conifers are a very popular type of tree in British gardens, partly because they make good hedges – which we use for privacy and boundary-marking.
Moved into a new home and not sure if a tree in your new garden is a conifer? Well, they have scale-like leaves or needles and their seed-bearing cones are easily recognised. The Google Lens app for your smartphone can help you identify if it’s a conifer and, if so, which type.
Conifers are mostly evergreen and can grow quickly into large trees. But some are dwarf varieties, including groundcover plants. Popular conifers include leylandii, juniper, Scots pine, yew and gingko.
Too big – what to do
Because they’re typically fast-growing, conifers very often grow too big for the site they’ve been planted in. Even dwarf varieties – they’re really just slow-growing variants.
While replacing a ‘too big’ conifer is ideal, trimming and pruning is a simpler and cheaper option.
Conifers generally need little pruning and are mainly pretty robust.
You can trim their foliage as you would a hedge, but you have to be careful not to prune into the brown ‘old wood’ or the conifer may not regrow.
Once the growing tip is gone, conifers won’t add much growth.
The best time to trim your conifers is from Spring until late Summer (September). Yew trees can be pruned all the way into early Autumn (October).
The rest of the year routine maintenance includes:
• Annual feeding – use 50-100g per square metre of general purpose fertiliser in late Winter (February/March)
• Mulching – after fertiliser in late Winter (February/March) to suppress weeds, retain moisture, provide nutrients and improve the soil conditions
• Watering – once carefully watered after planting, conifers need little proactive watering
• Reversion and sucker treatment – reverted shoots should be removed and suckers taken off from below grafts or roots.
If in doubt, give us a call.
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Formed in 2001, LJX is one of Scotland’s leading independent owner-managed providers of experienced arboricultural services such as tree pruning, tree felling, stump removal, woodland management and site clearance services to the private, public, construction, utilities and transport sectors.
LJX is centrally located in Scotland near to all major road links and can reach any location around Glasgow or Edinburgh. We have more than 40 years of experience in the profession and our staff are full qualified and insured. Our accreditations include CHAS, NPTC Qualified Workforce, ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and BSL Authorised.
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