How to Trim Italian Cypress


The statuesque Italian cypress is an ideal tree to plant in rows, since it is tall, narrow and grows straight up--to a maximum height of about 70 feet. Think of it as a lush green column. Indeed, landscape architects often use Italian cypress trees to frame entryways, line driveways or even serve as property dividers. However, maintaining that neat, plume-like look requires regular trimming.

Step 1

Prune the branches from the bottom up, moving around the tree in a clockwise motion. Only trim off branches and shoots that are sticking out from the natural plume-like shape of the three. Be careful not to cut deep into the tree to avoid exposing the inner branches.Continue pruning until you reach eye level.

Step 2

Set up a ladder at the base of the tree about half an arm's length from the trunk so you can easily trim the branches.

Step 3

Continue pruning, this time focusing on one side. Work your way up the ladder, removing only stragglers. Focus on maintaining the tree's normal shape.

Step 4

When you have completed one side, move the ladder and resume pruning from bottom to top. Keep doing this until you have pruned the entire tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Ladder


  • U.S. Forest Service: Italian Cypress
  • Backyard Gardener: Italian Cypress
  • Fast-Growing Trees: Italian Cypress
Keywords: Italian cypress care, cypress trees, trimming Italian cypress

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and a regular contributor on entertainment to "USA Today", "The Hollywood Reporter," "San Diego Magazine" and other publications. An alumnus of San Diego State University, Arnold has appeared on such TV shows as "CNN", "E! Entertainment" and "G4's Attack of the Show" to discuss home entertainment and technology issues.