How to Cut the Limbs From a Cedar Tree


Cedar trees have a slow growth rate. However, over time it might be necessary to cut the limbs from a cedar tree. According to the University of Saskatchewan, it is imperative to never cut cedar trees after July to prevent weakening the tree for the colder months of the year. Cut limbs and prune as needed without removing a large portion of the tree to ensure the best growth and appearance of cedar trees.

Step 1

Put on a pair of gardening gloves. Cedar tree oil can irritate skin, and branch leaves are often prickly to handle.

Step 2

Tie a cloth strip to any dead limbs. The cloth will make it easier to identify the tree limbs to cut.

Step 3

Tie cloth strips at the cutting points for the remaining limbs. Stand back from the tree about 5 feet and visualize how the tree will look when the cut limbs are gone. Adjust the cloth strips so that the cedar tree will remain symmetrical in shape and not too thin on the top.

Step 4

Place a drop cloth under the section of the cedar tree. The cloth catches the cut cedar tree limbs.

Step 5

Begin at the bottom of the cedar tree. Hold the long-handled pruning shears at a 45-degree angle at the base of the limb close to the tree trunk. Cut the limb. Proceed with the remaining limbs.

Step 6

Pick up the cloth and cut limbs to dispose of in a manner of your choosing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid cutting too many limbs out of the top of a cedar tree. According to the University of Saskatchewan, it can take years for the top to return on a cedar tree that was cut too much.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Long-handled pruning shears
  • Cloth strips
  • Drop cloth


  • University of Saskatchewan Extension: Prune Your Cedars Cautiously
Keywords: cut limbs from a cedar tree, cut cedar tree, pruning cedar trees

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.