Pruning Arborvitae Down to the Ground to Form Shrubs Early Spring - Arborvitae can be cut down to the ground to form shrubs. This should occur in early spring before the plant has flowered and new buds have appeared. If you want to get rid of your arborvitae, cut all the stems to the ground.
Otherwise, you should prune branches back to about 1/2-inch above the larger stems from where they grow. References. Dec 15, Topping Off and Pruning Arborvitae. Evergreen arborvitae (Thuja) trees and shrubs are members of the Cypress family and thrive in U.S.
Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Can you cut the top off an arborvitae? Arborvitaes do not need to be topped. Pruning the top off an arborvitae halts vertical growth and creates a large, unsightly area lacking green needles. How do you thicken arborvitae? Thicken arborvitae used in hedges by allowing them to grow about 6 inches taller than you wish them to stand.