We are in Nova Scotia, full sun, near the salt water. We have two cedar trees, about 12 feet high that are leaning after Hurricane Fiona. How much can we cut from the height, as we are going to secure the trees to straighten. I am not a resident of Toronto, but hope that you can answer this question.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners;
You can prune back to your preferred height. Due to the damage the video by Sean James below, shows that surrounding branches can be substituted to replace the leader. “Reducing the height of a Cedar (Thuja) while ‘topping’ a tree is bad, (cutting a tree back to random points to reduce height, spread and maybe shade), ‘reduction pruning’ (cutting a tree back to a side branch) is often necessary to reduce size and/or prevent storm damage. Sometimes cedar trees such as Emerald Cedar can be bent badly, and pulled open by a weight of ice and snow. October shearing will help to keep the tree small and reduce ‘fluffy bits’ on which ice and snow can sit, pulling the specimen open. If more drastic action is needed, here’s how Sean makes tall cedars shorter!”. Pruning any arborvitae should be kept to a minimum as a rule.
This you tube video by Sean James provides a visual of how to prune a Cedar Tree: How to prune a Cedar
How to prune for shape Pruning Abortive.
Our website also provides information on maintenance of cedars: Maintenance of Cedars