Ask a Question forum: Scotch broom tree

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Apr 27, 2017 7:47 AM CST
In addition to the information you've already given about this plant, which was helpful, my question is about brown and unproductive branches that I have on mine this spring. It is also getting new growth, with buds coming. Do I just leave the brown branches? Or cut them out?

Thank you.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Apr 27, 2017 10:57 AM CST
Hi Splendid, Welcome!

I don't grow Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) but doing a little research I found information regarding pruning that says they should only be pruned in late spring, immediately after flowering; cut back the flowered shoots to a side shoot that hasn't produced flowers yet and never cut more than 1/4 of the foliage in any one year. Experts say once the tree has gotten large, if no previous pruning has ever taken place, it's too late to repair the scraggly look. Mature branches apparently do not retain a lot of green buds and if you severely prune the old branches you may kill the plant.

Hopefully members who grow this beauty will be along soon with advice and suggestions.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Apr 27, 2017 11:02 AM CST
I don't grow this plant but I will give a shout out to two NGA members who have it:
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
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Apr 27, 2017 11:18 AM CST
We grow this shrub in both England and France - and don't really do much pruning of them at all, just a light 'manicure' to keep them tidy - they seem to be very easy going and undemanding. I have heard, like Lin, that you should not cut into old wood or you risk killing the plant.

I did a quick internet search and found this https://www.gardeningknowhow.c...

which seems to say that it's important to start pruning when the plant is young, and gives advice on how to prune. I hope yours flourishes! Smiling
Bordeaux, France (Zone 8a)
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Apr 28, 2017 12:52 PM CST
Actually, I don't grow them. They grow by themselves in my area (SW France, very sandy soil). I prune anytime when they take too much space. If they die, I discard them and another one appears soon in the same area.

I got tons of it all around my fence.

If anyone needs seeds, just let me know. They will soon pop up.
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Apr 28, 2017 9:13 PM CST
Thanks, everyone. They seem to flourish just fine in Scotland, so maybe I just need to let mine do what it does. At least, it does have green branches getting ready to bloom.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Apr 28, 2017 9:39 PM CST
These are an escaped invasive in my neck of the woods, no care needed for them to flourish and take over. I like the sharp fragrance.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Apr 28, 2017 10:40 PM CST
I agree I have them also but I have never thought about pruning them. They have a nice shape.

I have not responded to this post because Splendid referred to help we have already given and to Scotch Broom TREE. I have never seen a Scotch Broom Tree and, as Splendid had just joined, I don't know what info was given. Confused
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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