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Burning Bush Plants

Q.Burning bush rejuvenation

Zone 15363 | Anonymous added on February 24, 2019 | Answered

Our bush hasn’t ever been cut back. It’s about 10+ years old. The base of the bush is pretty thick with large stems. Would cutting it down to about 3in from the ground still be ok to do?

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Answered on February 24, 2019

Burning bush is very forgiving of severe pruning. Try cutting it down to 12 inches before new leaves emerge. Another strategy is to remove 1/3 of the oldest, widest branches each year. This classic method avoids the jarring eye catcher of a large shrub cut down to a stump. In 3 years you have a shrub of a more compact size. Since it is such a vigorous grower, continuing to remove the largest branches annually rather than clipping the top growth to contain size yields a more attractive shrub with more leaves. It also creates openings for sunlight which is necessary to keep the center from losing its leaves. Older wood is, well, woodier; younger branches have more leaves. The choice is yours.

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