The Q&A Archives: how do I train a Tamarix ramosissima

Question: I may be past the time I can do it, but right now it is a tall shrub. I read that this exact shrub can be formed into a tree. wouldn't tell how to do it. I've had it for at least 6-10 years. It's probably 8-10 ft high. Beautiful, but it leans with the wind or heavy flowering to one side. I would like it to symetrical all the way around. Any ideas for pruning or turning into a tree form?

Answer: Tamarix ramosisima is a rapidly growing shrub or small tree and can be pruned in late winter or early spring to control size or appearance. It blooms on new wood and can be pruned back hard, including to within several inches of the ground, in late winter each year (as with Buddleja) in order to keep plant compact and to promote better form and growth. If it's a tree-shape you're after, remove the lower branches (expect to see new sprouts along the trunk in the spring) and then shorten the length of the branches on the side it leans to. When new sprouts develop along the trunk or branches in places you don't want new branches, simply rub them off. They will eventually stop emerging from these areas and will instead emerge from the tips of the remaining branches.

Best wishes with your Tamarix!

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