Hi HGIC, #1. I have a ± 25 year old River Birch in back yard too close to...

Asked August 19, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

Hi HGIC, #1. I have a ± 25 year old River Birch in back yard too close to decking and hot tub installed a few years ago. I love the bark; but the tree is a pain in the butt 3 seasons of the year. Constantly shedding leaves, seeds, etc. from early sping til late fall. But of course I love the bark. I research everything and wish I had seen something about this habit. I could have put it in another location further from the house. I hate the idea of cutting trees down: but I'm finally sick of it. I want to know if I could cut it high -20 feet or so? to get rid of greenery; but save the trunk. For how long should the trunk stay beautiful? Or will it only sprout again. Or could one treat-(paint) the trunk with something to make it last? If you say it can't be treated, I may cut high anyway and enjoy for a year or two. #2. Is it too late to trim back my Golden Mop False Cypress? I had intended to do it in late winter or early spring; but physical problems prevented me from getting to it. It was supposed to be a dwarf up to ± 3 feet; but it is over 4 and spreads too far. Plus one can't see the Crimson Barberry behind it. Another supposed dwarf. I now know that Barberry is invasive; but I love the color combo and the three are too large to dig up. And I have an old Blue Spruce about 10 behind that. Therefore I'm afraid of injuring the roots of the tree. I've trimmed the barberry late before and it doesn't seem to hurt; but I'm nervous about the cypress. THANKS

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Since the tree is so close to the house and decking you should consider removal. A tree trunk without branches can be a hazard.

Pruning Chamaecyparis pisifera, Japanese falsecypress 'Golden Mop' - Buds are only present where there are green leaves; a branch cut back to a non-leafy region will not form new foliage. If you cut or shear to the brown inner part that may not be covered for many years if ever. If sheared, it should be done with care and only when actively growing in the spring.
mh