How to cut back an overgrown globe blue spruce shrub

Written by jourdan townsend
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Blue spruce is an attractive evergreen that may take years to grow large but can live a long time. Standard blue spruce trees grow into the familiar conical shape, while globe shrubs remain shorter and spread quite wide. When cutting back your globe shrub, stay true to its natural shape inclination. Attempting to prune your spruce into a decorative shape could end up severely damaging or killing it. Rather than pruning heavily, cut your blue spruce back to its natural form annually to maintain a healthy shrub.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Hedge trimmers
  • Chain saw

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Begin with the top of the blue spruce and work downward. Remove any secondary leaders and their growth at the base with strong hedge trimmers or a chain saw, depending on the thickness. Thin out top branches so that light reaches into the bush, and remove any horizontal cross growth.

  2. 2

    Locate any branches that appear to be dead. Cut off the ends of the branches and look at the tips; a brown colour indicates the branches are dead. Continue to cut back these branches until the tips are white or ivory, indicating living tissue.

  3. 3

    Trim back the tips of the remaining branches. Look for branches that have sparse or bare growth near the ends. Use hedge trimmers to cut these back to their first plentiful needle growths.

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