How to Prune Cryptomeria Radicans


Radicans is a cultivar of Cryptomeria japonica. It grows quickly to a height of 30 to 40 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. This conically shaped evergreen stays a dark green color year-round and has soft featherlike foliage. It requires little pruning, although some may be beneficial when the plant is young and to keep it in check as it grows. Knowledge of how to prune this shrub will give you an attractive addition to your landscape.

Step 1

Sterilize your pruning shears before using them. Wipe down the blades with rubbing alcohol and a rag to limit the spread of disease between your plants.

Step 2

Train the Cryptomeria when it is young, developing a strong central leader. If the tree begins to develop multiple trunks, cut the weaker of the two down to the ground.

Step 3

Cut out diseased, dead or broken branches when you see them. This tree stays green throughout the winter, so any branch that turns brown is dead. Cut them back to a bud or right outside the root collar (the raised area where the branch attaches to the tree).

Step 4

Shape your tree in early spring, following its natural conical shape. If you wish to thicken the canopy, simply pinch back new growth to half its length with your fingers. Do not cut into old wood, as there are few buds on this wood that will produce new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rag
  • Rubbing alcohol


  • Fast Growing Trees Nursery: Cryptomeria Radicans
  • University of Tennessee: Best Management Practices for Pruning Landscape Trees, Shrubs and Ground Covers
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Cryptomeria Japonica
Keywords: pruning Cryptomeria radicans, Cryptomeria radicans care, trimming Cryptomeria radicans

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.