The Q&A Archives: Pruning Scotch Broom

Question: I have a scotch broom shrub/tree. I'm not sure about the care of this beautiful shrub as far as cutting back and trimming. I've seen it in other gardens and it's groomed to look like a tree, and then I've also seen it trimmed like a shrub. Any suggestions would be helpful. Misti Brooklyn, NY

Answer: Scotch Broom (Cystisus scoparius) can be conservatively pruned after it finishes bloom for the season. Limit pruning (never more than 1/4 of the top growth) to removal of damaged or crowded branches and shortening others slightly for form. If yours needs a lot of work, spread the project over a couple of years so as not to stress the plant.

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