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How to Prune Tamarack

By Callie Barber ; Updated September 21, 2017

Tamarack is a medium-sized deciduous tree found across North America and into British Columbia. Tamarack trees are harvested for posts, railroad ties and pulp products such as paper. Tamarack has a straight and slender trunk and can reach up to 65 feet in height. Prune your tamarack in the fall after a majority of the leaves and cones have dropped. This will ensure healthy and hardy growth the following growing season.

Thin the tamarack by using lopping shears to cut back weak branches to their point of origin. Thinning results in a more open tree, emphasizes the branch’s internal structure and strengthens the tree.

Remove lateral branches that are gnarled and crossing. Cut off the entire branch if it is infested with pests, diseased or broken.

Prune to one central branch and cut off thin and competing stems on young tamarack trees. This will free up essential nutrients to the central branch of the tree. Cut off all suckers, the small vigorous shoots growing from the root or stem of the tree.


Things You Will Need

  • Lopping shears


  • The tamarack tree is susceptible to sawfly infestation, which can kill the tree. If you suspect your tree is infested, contact your local cooperative extension office for a treatment plan.


  • To prevent injury, always wear protective gloves when using lopping shears.

About the Author


Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.