Smoke Trees

smoke bush

Zone SW uk | gillround added on January 21, 2018 | Answered

when to prune for a bush. i moved into the house at then end of march last year and it had been pruned hard.the result was a tall but widely splayed, spindly tree with not much foliage. when should i prune and how much to make it a smaller compact size?

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Answered on January 21, 2018

Perhaps the real question is whether it makes sense to try to control the size of a shrub that naturally grows to 15 ft by 15 ft. Pruning should be done in the dormant season as the bush flowers on wood made in the new season. Use heading cuts - cutting branches back to where a side branch comes out that is 2/3 the size of the branch being removed. Alternately, remove the branch at a main trunk. Cut at the branch collar or 1/4 inch above a leaf bud. Indiscriminate cutting will yield numerous suckers, watersprouts and weak terminal growth. Don't remove more than 1/4 to 1/3 of the overall structure during any one year. Remove suckers and watersprouts when they appear.

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