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The Ultimate Guide To Topping A Cypress Tree

Topping a cypress tree is only essential if you don’t want them to reach their full height. If you do, you should reconsider cutting the treetop.

They tend to grow bushy limbs in a specific shape and thus, makes it easy to maintain the plants.

The ultimate guide to topping a cypress tree

At times topping also helps deter a plant from growing overboard to maintain a look.

It is also essential to realize that cutting back cypress trees can lead to deadwood or unattractive trees.

However, because the cypress doesn’t develop new buds on older woods, it can lead to bare spots on the tree when you top the cypress tree.

Things To Consider

Keep in mind that poor pruning can easily lead to lifelong damage. Thus, don’t ever prune haphazardly.

Cypress trees may take a while before they fully heal. If you cut it poorly, it will easily affect them. Also, remember small cuts do less damage than large ones.

Thus, correcting an issue when a tree is still young is easier than when it is already mature.

Also, use the right pruning tool for your plant. Proper maintenance of the tool is essential and will prevent disease distribution among the plants.

Best Topping Practices For A Cypress Tree

1. Regularly Monitor The Cypress Tree

Always be observant about your plant, and whenever you notice dead limbs cut them. Check the tree attentively to see where topping is needed.

When you see a branch penetrating, cut it to the main stem of the cypress tree.

However, you shouldn’t flush with the trunk. This will help improve its growth.

2. Disinfect The Cutting Tools

For pruning, you can opt to use effective loppers for the branches and pruning saws for larger ones.

You can also research the best pruning tool for your cypress tree variety for efficiency.

Also, always disinfect the tool before attempting to use it on another plant. If you don’t, you can easily spread diseases from one sick plant to a healthy one.

You can use ethanol or isopropyl alcohol to disinfect the pruning blades.

Using household disinfectant may not be that effective in killing the dangerous pathogens.

Remember to use the product that is most practical for you.

3. Provide Favourable Conditions

If there are any diseased or dying limbs, you need to cut them. However, if they haven’t turned brown completely and they can be saved.

You will need to provide the right amount of water, sunlight, or nutrients. This will help maintain the tree’s health.

The requirements are important, and if you deny your cypress tree, it will be prone to diseases, infestation, and stunted growth.

4. Trim One-third Of The Length

Top the tree only if it needs to have a particular shape or design. This helps slow down its growth.

If you are shaping it to a certain design, trim the branches and not taking more than one-third of the length at any time.

If you trim it too much, it may have stunted growth for a while.

5. Prune At An Angle

It is recommended to cut the cypress trees during late winter when the tree is dormant. This practice reduces the adversely effects.

The cutting should be done at a slight angle to prevent moisture build-up on the tips and encourage new growth.

6. Regulate Its Growth

You can also top the cypress to stop it from growing any further. However, the effect is that it will start branching out more and getting wider.

If that’s not what you wanted, you might as well prune it occasionally.

If you also have an overgrown cypress tree, you need to begin trimming before new growth in spring.

You can then repeat the task in late spring or early summer.

7. Pruning Duration

You need to top the cypress plant annually to ensure it remains your favorable height.

Cutting the top branch at an angle of 45degress is essential to prevent moisture from resting on the wood and causing an issue.

8. Provide A Favourable Environment For Growth

You need to be cautious of your trees, and whenever you notice them browning at some point, cut out the areas affected.

The browning may be caused by poor light, less water, lack of enough nutrients, and poor air penetration.

Also, cut the branches in a spaced-out way for the tree to remain balanced.

If you cut on just one side, the tree can easily slant on one side, and when it becomes windy, it can cause long-term effects.

9. Be Cautious Of Its Natural Look

Be keen to cut back each long-branch to a branch fork with a green shoot growing from it.

Ensure you don’t cut all the green shoots from the branches. It can easily affect plant growth.

On the underside of the branches, slant the cuts up at an angle. Keep in mind to ensure it retains its natural look.

10. Plant The Cypress Tree At The Right Place

You need to plant your trees in the right place.

This is because you may decide to plant it near the house, and it may end up growing to such a risky height or interfering with other plants.

This can easily deter the other’s growth. This will even prompt you to cut the whole tree or regularly prune to ensure the other plants get the requirements for growth.

Knowing so well that pruning can lead to stunted growth, it can reduce the aesthetic nature of the tree.


Topping a tree can be dangerous at times.

That’s why if it requires too much work, you can opt to hire an arborist and will even guide you on the best pruning method that will help improve the health of the tree.

Always be careful with pruning as it can even shorten the tree’s life. You need to maintain the structure of the tree.

The environment needs to look beautiful; that’s why it is essential to protect and maintain your plants for full potential.