What to consider when cutting a mussel cypress

What to consider when cutting a mussel cypress

Do cypress trees need to be cut at all?

Basically, you don't have to cut a mussel cypress at all. The trees grow compact and dense and do not need to be pruned at all.

also read

  • The right location for the mussel cypress
  • The optimal care of the mussel cypress
  • Growing mussel cypress as a bonsai

Cutting mussel cypress trees - less is often more!

  • Cut in spring or autumn
  • do not cut in rain or strong sunshine
  • do not cut into old wood
  • use only clean cutting tools

The biggest mistake you can make is cutting too much at once. Since the mussel cypress does not grow as quickly and also does not get that high, it is weakened too much by pruning it too hard.

It is better to use scissors more often and only cut a little.

Clam cypress grafted or grown?

Shell cypress trees are very often sold as grafted plants. If you cut too much here, it can be very detrimental to the plant. Shell cypress trees that have been grown or propagated without processing pose fewer problems.

You can tell that a mussel cypress has been grafted by the thickening that can be seen quite far down on the trunk. Sometimes the bark looks different at the top than at the bottom.

If neither a thickening nor a change in the bark can be seen, it is a drawn sapling.

Carefully cut the grafted cypress trees

If you cut the mussel cypress below the grafting point, the wild form used as a base comes out again. It is therefore advisable to limit the pruning of these plants to the bare minimum.

Use clean tools

Like all cypresses, mussel cypress trees occasionally suffer from fungal diseases. Thoroughly clean all cutters before cutting and clean them again after use. This is how you can prevent diseases from spreading.

Shell cypress trees are poisonous. Therefore, always wear gloves when cutting.


A mussel cypress that you want to grow as a bonsai will need to be pruned every six to eight weeks. All shoots and, when repotting, the roots are cut.