Pruning a Dwarf Japanese Cedar

by Bridget
I have a Dwarf Japanese Cedar. The variety is Globosa Nana. The nursery & the tagging said it would grow to be about 3-4 feet tall & the same width. Mine have grown to be over 6 feet tall & 6-7 feet wide. They have taken over the planting bed and grown over my walkway. Can they be pruned back or do I need to replace them and trim them back a little each year to keep them in check?
  2 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 15, 2014
    Please confirm this with a good local nursery, but my understanding is that cryptomerias (of which your plant is a cultivar), do not take well to aggressive pruning because all of the growth is on the ends of the branches, so if you cut that away the tree will die. Some other evergreens, like yews and boxwoods, have dormant buds along the old, inner wood, that will come to life when a plant is cut back. While plants do not always read labels, yours is really twice the size it should be. I wonder if perhaps it was mislabeled when you planted it. It sounds to me like you should probably start over.
  • Bridget Bridget on Mar 15, 2014
    Thanks Douglas. I could not provide photos last night so I took some today to show what I'm dealing with. It's suppose to rain all day tomorrow so I guess I'll be removing them next weekend. I appreciate your help.
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 16, 2014
      @Bridget The foliage is so lovely on those. You could try a light pruning and see how the plants respond, but it would take several seasons of that to get them back to the size you were hoping for.