How to Prune Oleander Trees

terreeves(9)March 13, 2014

I planted 3 white oleander trees a year ago and they are getting tall, but don't seem to be getting bushy. They are about 8 feet tall and only about 3 feet wide. They are young trees and I want them to eventually be bushy. How and when should I prune them to get them form into a ball type shape? I greatly appreciate advice. I cannot find anything on the web.

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In the GardenWeb search box at the top of the page type "pruning oleanders". There's a small topic on it. That phrase also gets scads of hits on google.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Thanks for your response. I saw the topic on pruning oleanders, but when I read it, it was about bushes. I have found a lot on the web related to bushes, but not on how to prune trees. I don't know if they are pruned differently.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:03PM
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You want a "ball on a stick" kind of oleander?

Start by making the "stick" ... pick the most vertical shoot it has. Prune off all the side branches and force it into an upright with a single stem. You may have to stake it for a while.

Shorten the branches at the top to encourage them to branch out.

Keep pruning off any side buds below the spot you want the ball part, and keep the ball pruned.

For a multi-branched oleander "tree", pick several thick branches and prune off the side shoots for a few feet above the ground. As the tree grows, keep pruning up the stem until you have a smallish tree.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 7:35AM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Oleanders aren't trees; they're bushes. You can form them into small trees with judicious pruning. The first time I saw them as something more than a mess was in Ajo, AZ where they're planted around the town square. Beautiful. The link below has a link to all you'd ever need to know about oleanders.

Here is a link that might be useful: oleander 'trees'

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Okay, here's another possibility, The International Oleander Society below

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 4:08PM
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Thank you everyone for all of your suggestions. I really appreciated them. I want my oleanders to look like the ball form in the photo above. I definitely need to do some pruning of my trees, but now that it is Spring and there are buds on the branches, I guess I have to wait until Fall.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 9:02PM
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You don't have to wait - oleanders can be pruned any time of year. Take off all the side branches under the point where you want the ball to start.

In fact, if you are shaping, pruning several times a year, lightly, is the best way.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 11:55AM
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