I planted 6 globe cedars (spaced) when they were little by my front door…they have matured (9 years old) grown to 3′ around, and joined together…they now look lumpy from the street…can they be trimmed flat like a regular hedge or should I remove them totally?
Hello! Firstly I would like to say that from the image you sent us your Cedar look really healthy and are enjoying the care you have given them. It would really be a shame to take them out when they are doing so well.
Cedar or Arborvitae (Thuja) are typically grown as hedges and make a lovely backdrop for any perennial border. They are durable and long lived and take very well to pruning. So first I would give some thought to what you wish to accomplish with this planting.
You could prune them so they remain their individual shape, but that would probably entail quite a heavy hand and it may be while until they fill back in to look as healthy as they look now. Or you could as you suggest flatten them out and they will quickly fill in to form a dense hedge. Some pointers to pruning your cedar;
Always shape the bottom of your cedars wider than the top this allows maximum exposure to sunlight, and prevents the bottom from becoming bare and “leggy”.
Cedars are very forgiving and will tolerate pruning at almost any time of year, but mid spring (after possibility of frost) is the very best time, as this is when plants are putting all of their energy into growth. I am sure that they will look great in no time.