Q.What Limbs Do I Trim On My Purple Smoke Tree?
This year in May we bought and planted this purple smoke tree. It had a small cluster of growth and flowered with its smoky plumage. We didn’t think we would see any more growth until next year but then around July these two limbs just shot up so high and fast. We had to tie them up to stakes to keep them from falling to the ground. Now one of the limbs has branched off 5 more limbs. We have no idea what to do! We want a small tree shape for that corner that is about the height of the fence. But we have a small ball of limbs then these two long limbs. How do we prune it so as not to destroy the plant?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
These are usually multi stemmed small trees or can be pruned for a shrub. You won't hurt it by cutting it back. These trees can even be cut to the ground. If you can wait till winter to prune it, cut the tall limbs as far back as you want to for shape. Wear gloves because some people are sensitive to the sap. Here is more: