Gold Mop Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Gold Mop’) is a popular evergreen shrub with unique golden-yellow foliage that adds a pop of color to any landscape. Like any plant, it requires proper maintenance to thrive and stay healthy. Pruning is an essential part of this maintenance process. It helps to shape the shrub, control its size, and remove any dead or damaged branches. In this article, we will discuss the steps to pruning Gold Mop Cypress.


The first step to pruning Gold Mop Cypress is to choose the right time. The best time to prune is during the dormant season, which is typically in late winter or early spring. Pruning during this time helps to minimize stress on the plant and allows it to recover quickly.


The next step is to gather the right tools for the job. For Gold Mop Cypress, you will need a pair of sharp pruning shears or loppers, depending on the size of the branch you are cutting. It is essential to use sharp tools to make clean cuts that heal quickly, reducing the risk of infection and disease.

Assess the plant

Before you start pruning, take a few minutes to assess the plant’s shape and size. Decide which branches need to be removed, which ones need to be shortened, and which ones should be left alone. This assessment will help you create a plan and avoid over-pruning, which can be harmful to the plant.

Remove dead or damaged branches

golden mop cypressStart by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. These branches can harbor pests and disease, so it is essential to remove them promptly. Cut them off at the base of the branch, making a clean cut. If the branch is too thick for your pruning shears, use loppers instead.

Shape the plant

Next, shape the plant by pruning the branches that are sticking out too far or growing in the wrong direction. Focus on the branches near the bottom of the plant, as they tend to grow faster and thicker than the ones at the top. Start by cutting off the top third of these branches, making a clean cut just above a set of healthy leaves. This will encourage new growth and help to thicken the plant.

Control the size

If your Gold Mop Cypress is getting too large for its location, you can control its size by pruning the branches back. Start by cutting back the longest branches by one-third of their length. Make a clean cut just above a set of healthy leaves or a lateral branch. This will encourage new growth and help to maintain the plant’s shape and size.

Avoid over-pruning

Over-pruning can be harmful to golden mop cypress, as it can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to disease and pests. Avoid pruning more than one-third of the plant’s total foliage at once, as this can cause stress and shock to the plant. It is better to prune a little bit each year rather than doing a big pruning all at once.

Clean up

After you finish pruning, it is essential to clean up any debris and dispose of it properly. Dead branches and leaves can harbor pests and disease, so it is crucial to remove them from the area. You can compost the debris or dispose of it in the trash. In conclusion, pruning Gold Mop Cypress is an essential part of maintaining the health and beauty of this popular shrub. By following these steps, you can keep your plant looking its best while ensuring that it stays healthy and strong for years to come. Remember to prune during the dormant season, use sharp tools, assess the plant’s shape and size, remove dead or damaged branches, shape the plant, control its size and avoid over-pruning.