Cutting false cypress trees - this is how it's done!

Cutting false cypress trees - this is how it's done!

Do false cypresses always have to be cut?

If you have a lot of space in the garden, you can just let the false cypress grow. In a sunny location without many neighbors, the conifers will not bald around the bottom as quickly because they get enough light.

also read

  • False cypresses are very fast-growing
  • Caution: False cypress trees are poisonous
  • Find the right planting distance for false cypress trees

It is different if you want to grow false cypress trees as a hedge or bonsai. Then you cannot avoid regular pruning.

If you don't prune back once or twice every year, if you don't prune back dense or shady cypress trees, they'll shoot up. The lower part then does not get enough light, turns brown and is no longer opaque.

The best time to cut false cypress trees

In theory, you can cut false cypress trees all year round, even in winter when it's not freezing.

When pruning twice, the first is usually done in spring and the second in early autumn.

How you cut the cypress into shape is up to you. Column shapes have proven particularly useful when planting hedges. But you can also cultivate the pruning conifers as a bonsai.

Never cut into old wood

  • Remove the shoot tips
  • Cut dry or discolored shoots
  • Cut false cypress trees that are too tall

Avoid cutting into old wood at all costs. The conifer does not sprout again in damaged areas.

Basically leave a small piece of the shoot with a few needles on it.

Do not throw clippings on the compost

False cypress trees contain essential oils that prevent rotting in the compost heap. Therefore, dispose of the pruning with the household waste.

Another possibility is to chop up the leftovers and distribute them as a mulch blanket under the false cypresses.

But be careful: do not leave any clippings of the poisonous false cypress in the garden when children and pets are in it.


Many skilled gardeners do not cut false cypresses in spring, but only after St. John's Day. It's June 24th. After this point in time, the false cypress no longer grows as strongly and stays in shape longer.