When to Prune Cypress Trees

Credit: Tony Oquias Photography


Q: When is the best time to prune cypress trees? I would like them to stay in the 2.5-metre range; they’re presently about 3.5 metres high. Last topped off in May. —Doug

Cypress (Chamaecyparis) trees can usually be pruned anytime of the year, providing the temperature is not freezing; some people may say from April to August. Resist the temptation to cut drastically into old woody parts, as rejuvenation is very slow or may not recover. If a large amount of pruning is needed, do it gradually over a period of time (e.g. two or three times per season). Remove only green growth by “thinning out” rather than a straight “topping.”