When To Trim Cedar Trees: Guide To Pruning Cedar Trees In The Garden

by johnah on November 3, 2020

The best time to cut down a cedar tree is when it’s not producing any fruit or flowers. That means it doesn’t have enough energy to grow new shoots and leaves anymore. If you want to keep your yard looking its best if you don’t cut down a cedar tree at all!

Trimming a cedar tree is not only beneficial for aesthetics but also helps with water retention. You’ll save money too since cutting down a large tree will result in less labor costs. Cutting down a small one won’t cost much because you’re going to need fewer workers to do the job properly.

And you’ll get rid of some unwanted branches that are no longer needed anyway.

When to Cut Down A Cedar Tree?

You should never cut down a cedar tree unless there is no other option available. For example, if you live in an area where it gets very cold during wintertime. Or perhaps you live in a place where the soil isn’t fertile enough to support growing cedars. Other reasons why you might want to remove a cedar tree include:

If the ground around the tree is unstable and sinking into the earth. That means the roots have started to break down and won’t be able to support the tree anymore.

If you find a dead or dying branch that needs to be removed right away.

If you’re tired of looking at an old cedar tree that’s not producing any fruit or flowers anymore.

Sometimes homeowners also want to cut down a cedar tree to increase the value of their property too. It all depends on the situation you’re currently in though. If you are wondering how to cut down a cedar tree without it destroying your yard, then keep reading the rest of this post.

How to Cut Down A Cedar Tree?

Make sure you have permission to do so before you start. Even if the tree is dead or dying, cutting it down can still destroy other plants and flowers in the area. Plus, the process can be quite messy and that isn’t good if you’re trying to impress someone. When you are ready to begin, follow the steps below.

Planning Ahead

You need to decide where in your yard is the best place to cut down the tree. While you might think it’s best to cut it down in the middle of your backyard, that’s not always the case. Take the time to measure the size of the tree and then measure the size of your yard too.

You might find that it’s better to cut down the tree at an angle instead so you don’t have to move it far after it has been cut down.

Take into account where underground pipes and cables are located too. It would be a real pain if you cut down the tree and then accidentally cut through a water or electricity cable. While you might be able to repair the former, you won’t be able to reconnect it for at least a few days!

Not to mention that it would likely be very expensive too. If you aren’t experienced at cutting down trees, it might be better to hire someone else to do it instead. A professional arborist should be able to give you some sound advice along with the work.

The Right Tools For The Job

Once you have decided on where to cut down the tree, you need to gather all of the necessary tools for the job. You will obviously need the chain saw to do the heavy lifting. It is a good idea to have an extra one battery to work with.

When To Trim Cedar Trees: Guide To Pruning Cedar Trees In The Garden - Picture

Multi-tasking with these things is not usually possible so you might as well get two right from the start.

A small pair of climbing spikes might also come in handy. You don’t want your shoes or boots to get stuck on the bark while you’re climbing the tree. It would be a real pain to have to climb down and remove them just so you can get unstuck.

Additionally, you might want to have a rope ladder and some pruning shears too. The former is for you to be able to climb down from the tree easier and quicker. The latter will come in useful when you have to remove any small branches that are blocking your view of the target area.

Remember: Never use your cell phone when working with power tools. You don’t want to be one of those statistics the news reports about on TV!

Cut Down The Tree

Before you begin cutting down the tree, always remember to wear safety goggles first. Also, cut from the bottom part of it and not the top. If you were to cut from the top, then there would be the chance that it could fall in the wrong direction and damage something or someone.

You also need to make sure that no one is standing underneath the tree when it does fall too. Use the pruning shears and loppers to remove any small branches that might be in your way. You can also use rope to strap the trunk of the tree so it doesn’t fall in the wrong direction when you start cutting into it.

Before you do any heavy duty cutting, you should use a hand saw to cut through any major roots so that the tree is less stable. Be sure to stay away from the center trunk itself too. You don’t want the saw to get stuck in there and you definitely don’t want it to get kicked back at you!

Once you’ve done that, it’s safe to use the chain saw on the rest of the branches and trunk. Always stay away from the ground and watch out for falling branches too. Once you see that the tree is becoming unstable, get out of there as soon as possible!

Branch Cleanup

Once the tree has fallen, you will need to remove most of the branches from it before hauling it away. This is going to be a lot of heavy manual labor so you will probably be thankful that it isn’t hot outside! You will need a lot of water to keep hydrated too since you will be working up a sweat.

Start by climbing up the tree and using the pruning shears to start removing any major branches. Sometimes, you will have to use the climbing spikes to get up high enough to reach them. Be sure not to stand on branches while you’re doing this!

You don’t want them to give way and you certainly don’t want to fall and impale yourself on one of them.

If there are a lot of branches to remove, then you might need to hire someone else to help you out with the chore. It will go a lot quicker with additional manpower anyway.

Once most of them are gone, you can start dragging the tree towards the road. Be careful while doing this since there could be a few low-lying branches still in the way. It is probably best that you drag it from underneath to avoid getting caught on anything.

It’s also smart to have someone directing you from the top in case you do happen to get caught on something.

Evaluate The Situation

Once you’ve dragged it onto the road, it’s time to figure out what to do with it now. If you were just cutting it down for firewood then you can just load it into the bed of your truck and haul it away. Just make sure that you aren’t going to run over anyone’s new car with a stray log!

If you were cutting it down for a purpose then you will need to get it back to your home as soon as possible. A large tree like this can be used for all kinds of things so be sure to think about what you are going to do with it before loading it up. Just remember that it is going to be very heavy so get help when lifting it into your truck!

Remember to clean up the area once you are done. Use your rake to smooth over the dirt and pick up any branches that you have cleared off to the side. If you brought a chainsaw, remember to put the safety on and store it someplace safe.

If you plan to do this a lot in the future, you might want to buy a truck with a lift kit to make this job a lot easier. Usually, this type of equipment can be used on other vehicles too so it’s not like you will only use it for trees.

You Did It!

Removing trees might seem like a lot of work but the satisfaction you get from cutting them down yourself is unlike any other. The next time you need firewood or want to build something, you now have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it all yourself.

Getting Help and Next Steps

We hope this guide has been helpful so far but if you’re unsure about anything, feel free to give us a call at our customer service line. Our number is 1-800-348-0057.

We also offer a service for those that need help cutting down trees. For a small fee, our professionals will come out to your property and safely cut down any trees that you need removed. With our service, you pick the date and time that is best for you and we take care of the rest.

If you want to learn more about this service, visit our Tree Removal page.

We also offer a pay-as-you go service. This is great for those that only need assistance every once in a while. Check out the details on our Tree Service Page.

Additional Resources

Tree Removal – For those that need help cutting down trees.

Pay-As-You-Go Service – Great for occasional assistance.

Tree Service – For those that need recurring assistance.

Common Tree Myths – Find out if you should leave that tree where it is.

Tree Species – Learn about the most common tree species.

Arborist License – Find out how to get your own arborist license.

Equipment – Get familiar with the tools of the trade.

Tree Identification – How to tell one tree from another.

Soil Types – Different types of soil and how they affect trees.

Safety First – Don’t hurt yourself! Learn the basics of tree safety.

Tree Service – Not sure if you need our service?

We offer a free evaluation to help you decide.

Sources & references used in this article:

Pruning trees, shrubs & vines by L Hill – 1998 – Storey Publishing

Plant management systems of British Columbia’s first peoples by KD Cutler – 2003 – books.google.com

Trees, shrubs, and vines of the Texas Hill Country: a field guide by NJ Turner, D Lepofsky, D Deur – BC Studies: The British …, 2013 – ojs.library.ubc.ca

The law and economics of cedar-apple rust: State action and just compensation in Miller v. Schoene by J Wrede – 2010 – books.google.com

How to Prune Trees & Shrubs: Easy Techniques for Timely Trimming. A Storey BASICS® Title by WA Fischel – Review of Law & Economics, 2007 – degruyter.com

… gardener’s handbook of natural insect and disease control: A complete problem-solving guide to keeping your garden and yard healthy without chemicals by GE Brown, T Kirkham – 2009 – Timber Press

Hedges for Canadian Gardens by BW Ellis – 2016 – books.google.com



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