Pruning Shrubs into Trees
My neighbour’s Hicks yew must be on steroids. This previously inconspicuous, sane little yew grew a couple of feet last year - seriously. I gather it liked the weather, but for whatever reason it decided to morph into a big green blob. What to do? It was tempting to take the hedge trimmer and give it a haircut, but it would still look ugly, especially at that location, and let’s not forget the maintenance of trying to keep it small. It would be a shame to chuck it out, but converting into a wee tree is certainly doable. After a brief discussion with my lovely neighbour, it was agreed – and the metamorphosis began.
To convert a large shrub into a tree is not difficult. Keep the biggest branches but remove all others, including all the lower branches. Don’t go mad chopping away. Assess each limb and take your time and remember to step back.
As you can see from the picture, the previously blobby yew is now a little tree with reddish-brown stems. Rhododendrons, which also can become rather large, are also good candidates for this pruning method. They also have reddish smooth bark and an attractive vase-like form.
So instead of topping and shearing plants that have become too big for their britches, consider removing their lower limbs to reveal their charming bones.
If you want to learn how to prune plants in your garden, I will show you how to prune or I can do it for you. Click here to book an appointment.
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