The Q&A Archives: tree pruning

Question: we have a hydrangium tree that sends branches straight up in the air in the middle of the tree, all the other branches droop down. Should these new ones be pruned?
we also have a tree that sends out very long branches at odd angles every which makes the tree very straggly looking. It had a few berries on it this spring, but my husband thinks it is a plum tree tree. it's only a few years old - and we can't find the tag for it.should these long branches be pruned back?

Answer: The upright branches you describe sound like suckers and they can be pruned off without harming your tree. Or, you might try weighing them down when they first appear to help them grow into a more weeping habit. I've been known to tie rocks on the branches of my weeping cherry tree to make them hang down. Either way, you won't hurt your tree. As for the long branches at odd angles on your other tree, I'd prune those out, too. You can do all sorts of pruning with trees to make them look better. The only rule to follow is to try not to take off more than one third of the live growth (pruning off too much at one time can really stress a tree).

Best wishes with your landscape!

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