how to prune a podocarpus bush - Knowledgebase Question

Hoschton, Ge
Avatar for swnoland
Question by swnoland
August 9, 2010
We have 2 podocarpus bushes in our front landscape. The are currently 7-8 feet tall with branches going all sorts of directions. We'd like to keep the bushes at about 5-6 feet tall and help the branches look a little more controlled. How do we prune this bush successfully?

Answer from NGA
August 9, 2010
The good news is that podocarpus will take any amount of pruning and training so don't be afraid to prune yours back. You can completely remove some of the branches/stems by reaching into the center of the plant and pruning them off. This will result in the production of healthy new stems. You can also shorten some of the branches and stems with hand pruners. I'd avoid using hedge shears and cutting everything back evenly. It will look unnatural. Instead, prune the stems and branches at random heights and prune them down a little further than you want the new growth to be. You'll get two or more stems and branches where you prune the stem back. Hope this information helps!

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