pruning/cutting off a trellis

Kris61April 11, 2014

I have a clematis that blooms mid to late summer, has clusters of small white blooms. Can't remember the name but think the name included "lace". This is it's third year. It has grown up a trellis and the top of the trellis looks like a dead bush. From the ground to the top there is not much coverage or blooms, at the top it's very full. I've never cut it back. It looks awful. The whole top of the trellis is brown and thick. Birds are nesting in it. Should I cut all that off the top of the trellis? I'm not sure what to do.

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Blooming mid- to late summer would indicate a pruning group 3 or hard-prune clematis. These bloom on new growth each season and should be cut back to the third set of buds from the ground annually in late winter. It's getting a little late but prune it now. It will clean things up and at worst, it might delay the bloom period slightly.

FWIW, all clematis types benefit from hard pruning for their first couple of seasons in the ground. And while pruning guidelines are just that - guidelines - I've yet to see pruning group 3 clem that didn't look (and bloom) better after a good hard prune. Otherwise, they just end up a mess of tangled dead vines with some green at the top.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 2:51PM
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    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 8:54PM
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