Here's something for those of you who have said, "You can prune how much off of that? Really?!" and "I'm not brave enough to cut so much." In this situation, Steven hesitated, too. What turned the tide? The fact that the option was outright removing the plants.
Two falsecypresses (Chamaecyparis obtusa varieties) had overgrown their places in a wonderful garden. The owner said "They're crowding out other good plants. I'll take them out and plant new."
Steven said, "Please, let's prune them first. I think they're quite salvageable!"
Here are the plants before and after, with some outlines to help you sort out the falsecypresses from this garden's verdant background.
Do we hear you saying, "Aw, it lost that feathery light green edge"? Well, yes, it's gone for this year, because almost all of the newest, lightest green foliage had to be pruned away.
Those needles would have darkened as they matured. Enjoying that new growth is one reason we wait until August to do most of our keep-it-small evergreen pruning. In this case, it was prune now or never! The new foliage will emerge light green again next spring.