What to expect after a hard cut

We cut back, we thin, and then:

It gives us confidence to cut because we know what to expect.

Right: A dense yew (Taxus x media 'Densiformis') before we cut to reduce it and restrict it.

("Another yew?!" you say?
If you're tired of yews,
check out some globe arborvitaes
undergoing this same process.)

Below: That yew, with its front cut back and thinned. Back portion is being thinned before being cut.
(These steps for simple restriction are interchangeable. In this case thinning first to remove wood such as that in the inset photo removes very thick stubs that would confound our shears.) 



Below: Two other yews on this same property, right after being cut back.
(We apologize that there is no "before" picture. We forgot. These shrubs were as fluffy as their sister plant at the top of this page. They also hung out almost a foot onto the pavement.)


Below: One year later. Inset: Lots of breaks coming even 'way deep. (Note, at the arrow: Dead tips are not related to the pruning.)
(Apologies for inconsistent camera angle. Just a memory failure on shooting day. We're not hiding anything!)


Time now to cut these shrubs back even further. We would have liked to do that from the start. We did not choose the cut-all-at-once option because a party was about to happen at the house. We did not want to leave the plants totally bare for party day. In this two-step we are now at a point where breaks will dress the stubs and fill in quickly.


Below: Here is another result of cutting, waiting, and then cutting all the way back only after the plant produced breaks. That story is at To cut boldly: Pyramidal yews.



It can happen to yew, it can happen to arb...

Two overgrown globe arborvitaes:
Below, left: First one cut back, the other's appearance still unchanged.
Below, right: Then the other.

ArbAofBCutN3014s.jpg ArbBofBCutN3047s.jpg


Below: All the foliage had become concentrated at the branch tips, and arbs don't sprout from bare wood. So we took a deep breath and made our hard cuts back to tiny green twigs and barely-there green nubs.



Here's the one-year grow-back, repeating the "before" for easy comparison:

 ArbAofBCutN3014s.jpg ArbAftr1YearN5379s.jpg