Pruning Saskatoon berry 'tree'/ Clematis

leisuretimeSeptember 12, 2006

Hello all.

I have a Saskatoon berry bush that is out of control, it at least 15 ft. tall, if not more. I'd like to bring it down to a more manageable level. Would I prune in the late fall or should I wait until spring? I was planning on removing the top third this first pruning.

I'm not sure of the variety of the clematis, it looks most like Clematis macropetala Blue Bird. It about 10 ft., the bottom looks like a bunch of dead sticks, then it is full of fluffy seed heads and finally at the top it has a somewhat droopy looking purplish/blue flower.

My question is can I prune it right back or would that kill the whole plant? Reading about the Blue Bird (again I'm not sure that is what I have) variety it said you don't need to prune it at all, just tidy it. I would like to enjoy the flowers but you can't see them because they all seem to be growing on the top of the plant.

Any help would be appreciated.

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You can prune the Saskatoon bush in fall. Flowers blossom on new wood.

I wish mine was 15 ft tall. I bought it as a privacy bush, but it's still about 1.5 feet tall, even after two years :(

Not sure about the Clematis.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 6:39PM
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Thanks Shazam. Tall is not necessarily a good thing when you want to eat the berries. I picked Saskatoon's all the time as a kid and didn't even recognize them on this tree. By the time I'd ID'd the tree the birds had eaten most of the berries.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 8:04PM
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Leisuretime, if you're wanted fruit from the saskatoon, start by removing all branches that are over 1" in diameter at ground level. Then trim the remaining branches back to a more manageable height. I'm assuming that, if its that tall, it has a lot of older branches. You'll get new shoots from the ground, and have a nice sized bush in a few years with good berries. If taking out all the big branches makes it too thin, do it over a couple of years.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 4:18PM
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