The Q&A Archives: Espaliered Pyracantha

Question: I have a pyracantha shrub which is presently facing west in a corner of my entrance doorway. I have a wrought iron trellis behind it and have the bottom portion tied to it. The lead branch is now much higher then the trellis.
My question to you is....Should this branch be cut down to the top of the trellis? Or should I continue to let it grow and just shape it as it grows. Is there a need to purchase a HIGHER trellis to support this very strong branch?

Thanks for your response.

Answer: Pyracantha is such a vigorous grower that you'll need to pinch and prune it regularly to make it behave. You won't hurt the plant by cutting back the tall leader. In fact, cutting it back will force new side branches to grow lower down on the stem. Decide where you'd like the side branches to develop and cut the tallest stem down to that level. Then, as the new stems develop, guide them along your trellis, tying as necessary until they develop bark and become stiff. Watch for new growth along the stems and branches and rub out any buds that are in the wrong places, leaving those that are well-placed, and allowing them to develop into new stems. Eventually you'll have an attractive framework for your entry way.

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