Thuja Hedge Trimming – Timing And Instructions

Thanks to magnificent growth and evergreen leaves thuja hedge enjoys great popularity. The trees of life are easy to care for and robust. Nevertheless, garden owners need to regularly cut back the thuja hedge. How to do it, you can learn here.

Right Care for thuja hedges

Thuja hedge is a hardy plant. If you do not regularly cut the trees of life, you will soon look at large specimens.

However, the individual thuja trees are tolerant of pruning. Thus, it is possible to give structure to the wild hedge and create a beautiful appearance. Some gardeners advocate that the thuja hedges are not cut. However, this approach has its drawbacks:

Thuja Hedge Trimming - Timing And Instructions
  • unsightly sight after a few years
  • growth is slower
  • with advancing height the care becomes impossible

The timing

Regular pruning is recommended if you want the thuja to develop optimally. For many gardeners, the question arises as to how often pruning the thuja hedge is necessary. The following aspects are important when planning pruning and the specific time:

  • rough time frame instead of precise timing
  • at least once a year
  • up to three cuts per year
  • possible from spring to late summer

Three cuts

It is recommended to cut back the thuja three times. Then you should start with the first cut in April. The second round follows in June, when growth slows down. At the end of August, you can cut the thuja hedge the third time before autumn and winter approach.

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Thuja Hedge Trimming - Timing And Instructions

When cutting thuja it depends on what function it performs in the garden. Often the plants are used as a hedge. Occasionally, individual specimens are planted in the garden for ornamental purposes. The respective purpose influences the requirements when pruning. If you have a hedge in the garden, it should remain dense to provide privacy. For individual ornamental plants, on the other hand, the shape is crucial.

The tools

Before we get to the pruning instructions, you need the right tools. Motorized hedge trimmers are very popular because they can save time and energy. For the thuja hedge, manual hedge trimmers are a better choice. These offer you greater control to trim the shoots just a little. The following tools and materials are the basis for your success in cutting back the thuja:

Thuja Hedge Trimming - Timing And Instructions
  • Hedge trimmer
  • Ladder
  • Branch saw
  • Bag for branches, twigs and co.
  • Work clothes, gloves and safety goggles

The pruning

The specific instructions for pruning depend on the particular shape. For special shapes, you should use a sketch as a guide. Otherwise, you can use the following instructions:

  • cut only a few centimeters
  • remove disturbing branches close to the trunk
  • cut back max. two thirds of the growth per year
  • do not cut the old wood
  • shorten long main shoots
Thuja Hedge Trimming - Timing And Instructions

Frequently asked questions

Why is work clothing important when trimming the hedge?

The entire tree of life is poisonous. This can cause health problems not only when eating the green leaves. The sap that comes out can cause dermatological irritation. Consequently, work clothes are the way to go.

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How to winter the hedge?

The evergreen foliage makes thuja hedges a popular planting in the home garden. Some varieties are hardy down to -30 degrees. It is important that the plants have enough liquid in the winter. Then wintering will not be a problem.

Why is wet weather bad for pruning?

You should not prune thuja on wet autumn days. Intersections are ideal for pathogens. In bad weather, the trees of life can not quickly close the injuries. In addition, the plant sap leaks out. However, this is vital for the thuja hedge.

What do I do in case of bare spots?

When pruning goes wrong, bare spots are commonplace. Often young shoots forgive the human error. In addition, it is possible to pull neighboring branches into the hole and fix them there. After a short time the hedge closes again.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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