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How to Prune an Emerald Green Arborvitae


Emerald green arborvitae trees are hardy to USDA zones 3 through 8.


Deer consider arborvitae trees a delicious treat. They often consume all of the lower branches and foliage from the arborvitae trees.

Emerald green arborvitae trees are evergreens that many homeowners use as a privacy hedge in a landscape. Arborvitae trees are easy to grow and do not require extensive maintenance to keep them looking healthy and attractive. Arborvitae trees grow in a pyramid shape and can get as tall as 15 feet and as wide as four feet, depending upon the pruning practices of the gardener.

Wear gardening gloves to prune the arborvitae trees. Prune in the early spring before new growth begins on the trees. Use a ladder to reach the tops of the arborvitae trees. Spread a tarp around the base of the trees to catch the branches as you cut them off.

Stand back and assess the arborvitae trees to determine what kind of pruning is required. Some gardeners trim off the tops of the arborvitae trees to keep them at uniform heights. Pruning height from the trees will encourage them to grow outward instead of upward. Decide how and where you will trim the arborvitae before you begin.

Prune away any brown branches. Trim off the branches until only green remains. Trim away branches that are growing inward instead to enhance the air circulation and light exposure for the trees.

Trim the very tops of the arborvitae trees to make all of the trees a uniform height. For the best results, take off as little of the height of the trees as possible. This will encourage the trees to grow into a solid, side-by-side hedge.

Perform light trimming to shape the trees as desired on the sides. As you trim, keep stepping back to assess your progress to ensure even trimming.

Remove the tarp that holds the discarded trimmings and dispose of them.

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