The Q&A Archives: Growing Witch Hazel

Question: I planted a Witch Hazel last summer. It was a single stalk, and though it did well and has bloomed this winter, it has never branched out. Will it form a tree like shape or will it get more stalks from the roots? Should I prune it to force branching? What is the growth habit of most Witch Hazels?

Answer: Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) are deciduous trees or large shrubs. The common Witch Hazel (H.virginiana) is native to the eastern US, grows 10-15 feet high, and has an open, spreading habit. It's a slow growing shrub, so as long as it's flowering and leafing out, it's doing reasonably well. Your shrub needs a little more time to become established before you can expect it to burst forth with additional branches. New branches will sprout from the roots and you'll eventually be able to cut some of the branches to force indoor blooms in the winter. Just be patient......

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