Careful pruning of a 60-year-old Camperdown Elm


Greetings – we have a 60-year-old Camperdown Elm residing on the front lawn of our home. Both my husband and I have been reluctant to prune it for fear of damaging the tree. However, it appears the tree is getting out of control and I would very much like to ‘bring it back’ to a more suitable shape.
In this regard I have included some images – one in particular where you will see a red line. This is the question…would it be alright for me to cut the branch back to this point – which I would do in March,not wishing to harm the tree in any way by inviting pests in the springtime. Any guidance you can provide in this regard would be very much appreciated.


How lucky you are to have a beautiful Camperdown Elm on your property!

The Missouri Botanical Gardens tells us that ‘Camperdownii’, often called Camperdown elm, is a small, top-grafted, weeping landscape tree. It usually grows to 15-25’ tall, and forms a rounded dome of contorted branches that weep to the ground. It was originally discovered at Camperdown House near Dundee, Scotland around 1850.

In terms of pruning your weeping elm, I would recommend consulting with a professional arborist who will prune and shape your beautiful tree properly, so that it will remain healthy for you to enjoy for many years to come. For a list of of professional Arborists, please see this link to Landscape Ontario.

The main concern with elms of course, is Dutch Elm Disease, so it is important to prune your elm at the right time. According to Agriculture Canada, your tree should NOT be pruned between April 15 and August 30, to prevent the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.

If you want to read more about proper pruning techniques, I’ve included a link here from Agriculture Canada.

Pruning Trees & Shrubs

Best of luck!