Should you limb up evergreen trees?

An example of "toilet brush" pruning in Cannon Beach.

"Should you limb up evergreen trees? The answer to this question is usually no. To remove full limbs from an evergreen tree is a very permanent decision that should be made carefully. For many evergreens, especially young pines and spruces of all ages, the limb structure is part of what makes the tree strong. The lower limbs of the tree support the upper limbs in times of sever weather or heavy snow, and their removal can have a permanent effect on the tree.

"For aesthetic reasons, these branches are also best left untouched. There is no question that an evergreen tree looks best when grown in a natural state, with branches growing naturally from the ground up. A pine tree will shed some lower branches as it ages all by itself, where a spruce will normally stick close to the ground forever if left uncut. Trees that are limbed up can look anything from odd to plain silly.

"If you are considering this pruning technique because a tree was planted in the wrong spot such as right next to a sidewalk or driveway, a better solution may be removal and replanting the area with a proper tree."

Diane Amos

Elizabeth Lorish

Correction: Information in this letter in the Gazette, Sept. 25, on spruce tree pruning should have been attributed to a submission on HubPages.

 

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