The Q&A Archives: pruning burning bush

Question: our burning bush has really grown too tall and we want to prune it way down i would say it is 5-6 feet tall can we cut it down to like 2 feet without hurting it's growth for next year and is it too late in the season to do this or should we just miniummly prune it now and then in spring really prune it low we are afraid if we prune it too much it will not get leaves next year or winter will kill

Answer: If you prune now, you'll lose the autumn display so I'd suggesting waiting and pruning next spring. The general rule of thumb is to remove no more than one third of the live plant material in any one pruning session. So if your shrub is 6 feet tall you can safely remove about 2' of the height. Since you want it smaller than that, you'll want to wait until the following spring to remove another third of the plant. Pruning in this way will not stress your burning bush and it should continue to thrive. Pruning it down to 2' all at once can really stress it and it may take several years for it to recover. I'd do it over a 2 or 3 year period of time for best growth and performance. Good luck with your project!

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