How to Prune Pyramidal Junipers


Pyramidal junipers are a popular evergreen in landscape design. Several varieties of pyramidal junipers exist. One widely used pyramidal juniper is the Wichita blue, which is known for its beautiful bluish-gray color. Pyramidal junipers are easy to maintain when you follow a program of regular and proper pruning. In landscape design the pyramidal juniper is used as a specimen planting, windbreak, screen or privacy hedge.

Step 1

Prune away any damaged or broken branches that were caused by heavy winter snow and ice. You should do this in early spring (before any buds appear on the juniper). The evergreen will produce new spring growth and it will fill in quickly. If any other branches should get broken throughout the growing season you can remove them without harming the juniper (it does not have to be in its dormant state). Pyramidal junipers will respond well to light pruning.

Step 2

Selectively thin any dominant branches and leaders to control the size and shape of the juniper within your landscape design. Make your cut where the branch meets the parent stem or at a branch junction. Leave enough green foliage so you do not expose the dead zone. (All junipers have a "dead zone" in the center of the plant. The branches in this dead zone do not have any green foliage on them. The branches themselves are not dead they are just devoid of foliage due to the lack of sunlight.) The old wood will not produce any new growth.

Step 3

Cut away any multiple leaders that may form on your pyramidal juniper. The pyramidal junipers have a tendency to growing multiple leaders. If this should occur you will just choose one leader and cut away the others. This can be done at any time during the year.

Step 4

Prune away any interior shaded branches that appear to be weak and undesirable. Make sure that you do not expose the "dead zone". This can be done at any time during the year.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruning shears
  • Lopping shears
  • Pole pruner


  • Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories
  • Wanner Garden Center
  • How Stuff Works
Keywords: pyramidal junipers prune, dead broken branches, multiple leaders cut away

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational columns "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in Oconee Today, a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies." "From Death to Living in the Light" and "Spiritual Intelligence" will be released by Ezop has a BA degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.