|How to maintain or make a topiary tree
flagging ribbon or tape, grass shears, and pruners
Step 1: Make a template
The first step is to tie your ribbon to the top of the tree, and wind it
around the tree like a candy cane stripe to be your guide. With the
grass shears, follow the spiral of the ribbon and cut a line into the
tree. Remove the ribbon, and you should have a clearly visible
template for your spiral.
Step 2: Cut the spiral
Following the template, prune away the foliage, right down to the
trunk. The spiral should reveal the trunk from top to bottom. Don't
worry about harming the tree. The dwarf Alberta spruce is a very
tough plant and takes quite well to shearing.
Step 3: Finishing touches
Trim off about one-half inch of the outer growth to round out your
spiral nicely. Grass shears work best for the finishing touches.
If you'd like the tree to stay the same size, simply cut off the top. Or
if you'd like a taller tree, allow the top to continue growing for
another year or two, and continue the spiral. To keep your topiary
spiral in shape, trim with grass shears at the beginning of summer,
as the new growth for the season is hardening off.
It is like a haircut, cut slowly and stand back to
look at your design, AND if you cut to much
it will grow back!