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You will want to prune in mid-summer while the plant has time to.

Trim the terminal tips and makes sure not to remove more than % of the tree’s foliage. Step 2 - Cut the correct location on the branch. To prune your arborvitae, cut new the junction of new shoots. Keep your cuts in the green wood. Arborvitae, known botanically as Thuja, is a genus of needle evergreen trees and shrubs belonging to the cypress family of plants. Like all coniferous evergreens, arborvitae require very little and infrequent pruning, but can tolerate some trimming for grooming or shaping purposes.

When the arborvitae is badly overgrown, you should trim it in stages to avoid cutting down to bare wood, as the tree cannot.

Arborvitaes can handle a fair amount of pruning, but typically they only need shaping to maintain appearance and remove growth abnormalities.

Dec 10, Like most evergreens, arborvitae should be trimmed while it is dormant. This is roughly from about Thanksgiving to St. Patrick's Day. Many gardeners like to prune these evergreens. If you want to get rid of your arborvitae, cut all the stems to the ground. Otherwise, you should prune branches back to about 1/2-inch above the larger stems from where they grow.

References.

Only the last portion of a branch has buds that can generate new shoots.

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