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How to Prune Hollywood Junipers

The Hollywood juniper or Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuka’, a member of the Cypress family, is an unusual evergreen known for its twisting branches and its dense upward growth. Its beauty is in its growth habit. This lovely conifer should be left to grow in its natural shape. It grows to a mature height of 25 feet and a width of 15 feet. It is hardy in zones 3–9. The Hollywood juniper will not do well if severely pruned, as new growth is not produced on old wood. Reasons for pruning are to remove damaged or broken branches, to control its space in your landscape design and for safety reasons (close to walkways and roofs).

Remove damaged or broken branches. Do this in early spring (before buds appear). The juniper produces new spring growth and will fill in quickly. Should any other branches get damaged or broken during the growing season, you can remove them without harming the juniper. The Hollywood juniper will respond well to light pruning.

View your Hollywood juniper from all angles (in the early spring) to determine if it is interfering with other plantings or if it is a safety hazard.

Remove branches that you have determined are interfering with other plantings or growing too close to a walkway or roof. (Branches that rub on the roof can lead to roof damage.) Make your cut where the branch meets the trunk, the parent stem, or at a branch junction. This is a judgment call made after deciding whether only a section of the branch needs to be removed or whether all of it has to come off.


Use a pruning tool appropriate for the size and location of the branch you are pruning.

Always keep your pruning tools sharp. Most garden centers offer tool sharpening as a service to their customers. Take advantage of the service.

Do not try to prune branches that are too high; call a professional. Also, do not prune branches that are close to electrical wires; call your electric utility company to remove them.

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