Spruce - trim to size

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by akwx, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. akwx

    akwx Member

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    SFU - Burnaby Mtn.
    There is some kind of an evergreen tree, about 8' tall, growing on the no-traffic side of the house. The tree is growing in the middle of an 8' - 10' space between the house and the fence. I'm guessing that it was planted there for privacy purposes. There is a similar tree growing in front of the bay window of the living room.

    I'm wondering if I could simply trim these trees down to about 5' and keep them as a hedge, instead of taking it out completely. Would the height of 5 feet keep the root system in check, for fear of causing any damage to the foundation of the house?

    There is also the cedar hedge just in front of the back fence. When I was repairing and repainting the fence in the summer, I promptly trimmed the far side of the hedge, clear of all branches, in order to gain access to the fence. The hedge is growing under the shadow of a stand of 60' tall pine trees which are just outside of the back fence. Beyond the pine trees is a slope (city-property) chokeful of blackberry thorns (which is great for privacy), and a bus route that runs on a 30-minute cycle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2006
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Depends on what the tree is. Spruces and cedars, like most other trees in the family Pinaceae, don't take well to trimming (they may survive, but they look very ugly). Trees in the family Cupressaceae (cypresses, junipers, thuja, etc) take trimming rather better, and yews (Taxaceae) best of all.

    Can you post a close-up photo of the foliage?
     
  3. akwx

    akwx Member

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    Yes, most certainly, as soon as I have a spare moment.
     
  4. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Conifer roots can heave horizontal surfaces (patios, driveways, etc.) if planted close enough. The roots can be close to the surface and the increase in root diameter as the tree grows, causes the heaving. The growing tip of the roots are not invasive though, and are very unlikely to cause damage to a foundation wall.

    Simon
     

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