SUMMER WORK. (August, 2010)
Light pruning and pinching may be done in Summer. Heavy pruning is not recommended now because it can allow too much sunlight into the interior of the trees. Interior growth is unable to handle the strong sun and will burn. A newly opened up area can also cause the the trunk to burn, especially on Maples. If you have to do major puning now, keep your tree under 30%-50% shade cloth.
Cryptomeria. Although June is the best time of year to work on Juniper and Cryptomeria, it is also okay to work on these trees in August. First remove spring growth with sharp scissors leaving a small portion of the new growth. Protect these trees from the hot midday sun after cut-back and mist them a few times a day. A few weeks after that, you can pinch the new growth back lightly. Some part of the new growth needs to always be kept.
California and Sierra Junipers. These varieties can also be worked on in Summer. Check to see how easily the bark splits from the hard wood before doing too much work. This is a good indicator for how severely you can bend the branches.
Japanese Black Pines and Red Pine. Decandling should be sending out new buds at this time. If you have more than 2 buds, leave them alone and then thin them back in Fall. You can thin them out at the same time that you pull old needles. (Note: if you thin back to 2 buds now, those 2 buds will grow very strong. The new growth and needles will be long).
Five Needle Pines and High Mountain Pines (Ponderosa, Jack Pine, Mugho Eastern White Pine). After the needles on these trees have hardened off, it is time to fertilize them. You can remove brown needles as well as some yellow ones. Old needles that are still green should be removed (pull or cut) around mid-September. Pull them off if the bark remains around the base of the needle. If there is scar at the base after you pull them, you should stop and cut those needles with scissors instead.
Spruce and Hemlock. After the new needles have hardened off, you can fertilize and thin. Use sharp scissors to cut the stems (not the needles). There should be small branches or new buds behind the cut. If there are no new buds or branches behind, it will die back to another section. Strong hot day sun or a heat wave can burn foliage. Keeping your trees under 30% shade cloth during hot periods will keep the tree healthy.
Cedar and Larch. Continue to fertilize these trees now. It is still a good time to wire. Pruning the same way you prune Spruce trees. Look for new buds or branches behind the cut.
Hinoki Cypress and Eastern White Cedar. Fertilize these trees moderately year round. If there are long shoots on the strong areas of the tree, you can prune them off. Leave all others alone. Remove old interior needles before wiring. When you wire, be careful not to damage the new foliage.