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does anyone know how to prune larches we have 3 lovely larches in our garden but they've got really tall and quite spindly. I wondered if we trimmed the side branches if it would encourage more bushy growth. also could we take the top off to limit the height. they must be about 40ft tall. any information would be greatly appreciated


I'm sorry, I don't think larches take kindly to pruning - there are some in the grounds where I work that have been cut back and they look awful, losing all the grace and elegance of their form.  I think a larch tree that had it's leading shoot topped would also look awful - larches have such a lovely symmetrical 'feather' shape.  

Dead or decaying branches should be taken out in the summer, cutting them off close to the main trunk, but apart from that usual practice is to leave them alone.



I agree, it's very easy to destroy the shape. I think that applies to most conifers. 

Alina W

And I third that - conifers really should be left alone. A neighbour decided to prune some of theirs, and they looked so dreadful that they got rid of them entirely a couple of years later.

And I "fourth" that. A friend has a tall arch in her garden that she wants me to cut back but it's clear it's elegant shape will be ruined if I did. Best left alone



Did you see on Country File that Larches are also in trouble. They have had to fell a lot of them in the Forest of Dean. Makes you wonder what will be next.

thanks for all your comments, really don't know what to do now though because our neighbours are complaining the trees are blocking their light. They don't interfere with us as they're at the far end of a very large garden but don't like the neighbours being upset

e1Lise -

I came from the land where is lots of larch trees and they are also very popular in the house gardens.

larch is also very convenient for bonsai as it is growing fast and its pretty look and actually pruning does not do harm at all (when done properly and in the right time - ideally summer so the wounds will seel before winter).

Trimming larches makes them growing more bushy, the plant is more compact and looks stronger.

Do not be afraid, take a secateurs, disinfect and trim, unless you want to have a forest :)

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