Cutting back blueberries - Knowledgebase Question

Manchester, Ne
Avatar for lizzykoch
Question by lizzykoch
July 20, 2010
I have four blueberry bushes of about 8-9 feet each. I am new to the property but the bushes are at least 10 yrs old. Had a great crop of berries this summer, but they are all over the place and I want to cut them back to about 5 feet high. Can I do this? If so, can I do it this fall? Thanks!

Answer from NGA
July 20, 2010
I understand your desire to get after those overgrown blueberry plants but the best time to prune blueberries is after your first hard frost or during the winter months when your plants are dormant. If you prune in the fall and get some warm weather, the plants can develop new growth which won't have a chance to harden off before winter weather arrives. This can result in winter damage and you'll end up pruning again next spring. Once they are dormant you can prune away. Rather than just reducing their sizes, you can do some selective pruning to help thin the bushes out and make them more productive. Ohio State University has a great publication that you can access just to get an overall idea of what and when to prune. Hope you find it helpful:

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