Pruning Honeysuckle Bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Sauk City, WI
Avatar for sliverseed
Question by sliverseed
April 15, 1998
I have a row of honeysuckle bushes that are roughly eight feet high. They have gotten to the point where the top of the bushes are green but the middle and bottom are bare.
I need to know when to prune them and how to prune them. For example, do I just use a hedge shear and trim them down until they are four feet high.

Answer from NGA
April 15, 1998
Prune the honeysuckle bushes in early spring (unless you have "Winter Honeysuckle", this variety blooms very early on old wood and should be pruned immediately after flowering). Remove any wood that is dead, damaged, or simply old. Old branches look "shaggy" and are often brittle. I would not shear them, get some hand pruners and take out the branches from the base, about 1/3 of them for now. Next spring, take out another 1/3, the following season, the remaining 1/3. With this program, you will completely rejuvenate the shrub on the "3 Year Plan".

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