The Q&A Archives: Forest Pansy Cercis Canadensis

Question: Can a Cercis canadensis be pruned to 10 feet tall and wide? Can they be kept small in a small garden? If so, would I thin branches as they appear, and keep the branches short and not as wide as the tree wants to grow? I would like to keep my forest pansy tree airy and small to ten feet tall and wide. (I am a landscape designer, and would like to be able to use this beautiful tree in smaller gardens, so am trying it out in my own So. Calif. garden.)
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your time.

Answer: Yes, you can keep Forest Pansy small with regular pruning. You'll want to wait until flowering is finished and then shorten or remove branches. I've done something similar with a redbud. It is currently 15 years old and barely five feet tall. I prune lightly throughout the summer, removing some stems and branches and shortening others. It still blooms reliably every year. It's really important to start with a young, small tree and remember to snip and prune on a regular basis. Best wishes with your redbud!

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