The western red cedar is a cypress, common in the Pacific Northwest, that can grow to a maximum height of 150 feet. A slow grower, its typical height after 20 years is 40 feet. The eastern red cedar, on the other hand, is a member of the juniper family that typically is a lot smaller than the western red cedar. According to the North Dakota State University website, the largest eastern red cedar in North Dakota stands 51 feet tall. Both red cedars are hardy evergreens and popular landscape plants used in hedges and windbreaks. They require very little care; trimming is generally done only to remove dead or damaged branches, maintain its shape or limit its size.
Comb the red cedar tree, looking for dead or diseased branches. Put on garden gloves and, with pruning shears, cut the dead or diseased branches off at the very base, where they meet the trunk or stem.
Trim off any spindly growth so it won't sap nutrients from the main branches.
Trim off branches that cross or touch each other. According to the University of Maine Extension website, branches that cross could develop bark damage, which in turn could lead to infection.
Trim the tree for shape, nipping off branches just after a node.
Remove any branches that are too close to power lines.
Cut off any large, weak branches that might fall during a storm, potentially injuring people standing or walking nearby or damaging property.