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I planted some dwarf Alberta spruce trees last year. They are starting to grow and fill in and I'd like to trim the lower limbs to make them look less conical and more pine tree like. When is the proper time to trim them so they won't die? How do you do it - just snip the lower limbs - or is there some other proper technique?

Thanks for any suggestions you might have!

Ed
 

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I do mine at the end of July into Aug AFTER they stop budding for the year. Once a year
 

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When you trim the spruce trees you should use a bonsai cutting tool. It cuts at the correct angle allowing the area to heal properly. Cut as close as possible to the trunk or the main limb.

George from northern Indiana
 

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Limbing up can be done just about any time. Unlike shearing or shaping the outer or top growth, you are looking to raise up the lower branches. You won't hurt your trees, but I would use a pair of sharp pruning shears.
 

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The horticulturalists pruned some in the botanic to look more like redwoods this spring. They seem to know what they're doing;)
 

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I took out about every other or third branch on mine. It made them look more like mature full sized trees for a couple years. My ex has let them grow out since and they look kind of goofy now
 

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Don't forget to save the cuttings to use as starters for new trees.

Just remove the bottom two or three branches from the new cutting, then crush the bottom of the new trunk with pliers, dip the crushed end in vitamin B root growth encourager, and stick it in potting soil.

You might cover the new tree with plastic, keeping it out of direct sun so it won't burn. The plastic will keep the humidity up, encouraging your new tree.

After 10 - 14 days, you should have new roots growing from where the buds of the branches you cut off are. You can test for this by gently pulling on the new tree. If it resists being pulled out of the soil, you have new root growth, and a new tree.

From there, you just need to encourage root growth for the next few months, and then plant in the fall, 6 weeks before first frost, so the tree can become accustomed to its new home.
 
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