Help! Newbie needs pruning help

miajuneJuly 16, 2012

Hello Gardeners :)

I could use your assistance. I am a novice gardener and we purchased this PeeGee tree last year. It is a young tree and the blooms on it are so dense that I'm afraid it will snap the trunk. Can you provide me with some suggestions on what I can do now (mid July) while it is just blooming? I read forums that state I could cut what I want and eventually prune to 3-5 hearty canes - but given it has just started to produce these blooms, I want to take caution not to do anything that may compromise the tree. So...

What can I do now to provide some relief to the tree?

When should I prune it fully (to bring it down to only the heartiest canes)?

Thank you!

Andi

(In Michigan)

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lsimms(6a-6bMA)

Wow, that is some awesome PeeGee.
I'd be tempted to prune the flowers, too.

I've got quite a few PG's around me and their natural habit is to let the blooms droop. But those are old, old ones. Your trunk looks very strong.

If you worried, take 'em off and make gorgeous wreaths. It won't affect next year's growth. "Gather ye flowers while ye may."

Looks like a beautiful strong plant. I wouldn't worry.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Prune the branch cluster (mainly the sides in your case) to a 3x3' "ball" shape in Fall after the blooms are spent. For reference, the new left edge would be approximately where the edge of the right-front corner of bumper on your SUV is, if you were looking at it from the same angle as your picture. Also, if you are going to let the tree grow to a fuller size, you might want to back it further away from the driveway edge as these can begin to spill into the path of it. Either way, if you don't prune narrower at the top, they will tend to continue growing wider first and not taller.

Alternatively, if you keep the branch cluster pruned to the same diameter each year, the main trunk should continue to get thicker and a bit taller. So I would start with a 3x3' ball and after the trunk becomes thicker keep pruned to a 6x6' ball, provided it is not hanging into the driveway.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 1:12AM
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miajune

Thank you for the help! We do plan to relocate the tree to a new bed more centered on our lawn so we will be able to avoid the overhang issue. :) I will give your suggestions a try!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:53AM
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