Trimming Cedar Trees
Why are we trimming our cedar trees? My feelings toward cedar trees change with the seasons. In the winter I love them because they are green and seem cheery among the dead grass and leafless trees. In the summer I hate them because of their bagworms, fire danger and the inability to mow close to them. OK, the bagworms aren’t the fault of the trees so I can’t hold that against them. How do you feel about your cedar trees? If you are like me and you love them sometimes, then the compromise is to trim them.
Why I Want To Trim Our Cedar Trees
Trees are expensive, and we don’t have that many on our land. I’m not ready or willing to remove any more trees, so we decided to trim the cedars at the front of our acreage. The goal was to have the ability to mow around the tree with the zero turn mower. Before we trimmed the cedars, we would mow as close to the base of the trees as we could and then use the push weedeater to get under the low branches. Not only is the 2 step process time consuming but it is also a huge hassle.
We did cut down the largest cedar tree on our acreage last year. It had another tree growing amongst it, and it was in an odd location. We still have to remove the stump at some point. The remaining cedar trees are along an old barbed wire fence line. They don’t follow the edge of our property exactly, but they do provide a natural break near the property line. Trimming the cedars seems like the best option right now.
How We Trimmed Our Cedar Trees
First, we tried using a small chainsaw but realized that it was going to take too much time. We borrowed our neighbors Husqvarna 435 40-cc 2-cycle 16-in Gas Chainsaw. This chainsaw worked great at trimming the branches and wasn’t too hard for my husband to handle.
To begin, I would grab the branch that I wanted him to cut. He would cut it, and I would pull it out of the way. We worked our way around the tree this way. There were some interesting branch configurations. We stepped back a few times to decide if a branch should be cut or if it should be left alone.
Don’t get ahead of yourself. Once you cut a branch, it’s gone forever, and you may be left with an ugly hole in the tree. Cedars will not grow more branches where you cut them off.
After you have trimmed the branches to about shoulder height, you will need to start planning your cuts. Pull on a branch and move it out of the way as much as possible so that you can envision what the tree will look like with that branch removed. You may have to step back several times to examine the shape of the upper branches to make sure you are happy with the direction your cuts are taking.
Cleaning Up Your Mess
Now that you have sculpted masterpieces you will need to clean up. If you are like us, you will have to wait a day or two to recover from all of that hard work. I have mentioned in several of my posts that my goal in sharing our story is to help you maximize your efficiency by avoiding our mistakes.
You can read more about your options for What To Do With Your Cut Branches by reading this post.
Enjoy Your New Trees
I was very hesitant at first because I didn’t love the way a trimmed cedar tree trunk looked. Now that we have trimmed them I think they have character and I am thrilled with the ease of mowing around them. I hope that our cedar trees inspire you to keep them on your property and give them a little trim.