The Q&A Archives: Royal Purple Cotinus Cog

Question: Does this small tree need to be cut down at any time of the year (fall/spring), or do I just let it go... Zone 5... also, it is now 2-1/2 ft H... how many years to maturity.... thanks Irene

Answer: It isn't necessary to prune your Royal Purple Smoke Tree, but you certainly can. To keep the plant shrub-like, cut all stems back to within 2-3 buds from the base, annually in early spring. For growing as a tree, in late winter to early spring, only remove crossing or wayward stems to maintain a healthy frame. Royal Purple Cotinus has the potential to grow 15 feet tall and wide. It is a moderately growing plant so expect it to take 8-10 years to reach mature size.

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