The Best Time to Prune Cedar Trees

Always prune cedar trees during their dormant season.
Always prune cedar trees during their dormant season. (Image: pine cones on tree image by Piter Pkruger from

Cedar trees are a variety of evergreen tree that require less pruning than deciduous trees. Pruning cedar trees consists mainly of removing dead, damaged or diseased wood. Regular and corrective pruning also helps the cedar retain its natural form and well-being.

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The best time to prune cedar trees is in late winter to early spring before new growth begins and the threat of frost has passed. Always avoid pruning evergreens like cedars in late summer to early fall, as this can stimulate new growth that may be damaged by cold weather.


Make pruning cuts that are outside the collar branch at a 45- to 60-degree angle and down to the branch bark ridge. Leaving the branch collar intact on the cedar tree helps to ensure decay does not enter the trunk. Disease- or insect-infected pruning wounds should be painted with a rubbing alcohol to prevent infection.


There are many important reasons for pruning cedar trees, including maintaining the trees' overall health and structure of the trees. Cedar trees have a moderate growth rate, so maintaining a regular pruning ensures the tree does not become overgrown.


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