too late to trim a firebush?

fusty_overalls(z6 PA)March 26, 2007

I never know WHEN to trim my bushes.

I have a firebush...the kind that turns red all over in the fall. I didn't want to trim it in the fall because it has lots of seeds that the cardinals seem to love. Now, it's starting to warm up and, when I take a good look at the firebush, I can see that, while it doesn't have actual leaves yet, it has buds already.

I really wanted to trim it way back this it too late?

When IS the right time?


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Mike Larkin

Now is a good time -

If a tree or shrub flowers then the rule is as follows.
Blooms in the spring - prune after the flowers are done.
Blooms in the summer and fall. Prune in the late fall or early spring.

That is short and sweet - many nursery / garden centers have free or cheap classes on pruning - it would be best to attend.

The purpose of pruning to to try to keep the tree or shrub p as close to the natural shape as possible. There are a few plants like the butteryfly bush that require hard prunning each year - it is best to limit the removal branches by 1/3. If you need more - remove some this year and some next year.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 8:47AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

And for Encore Azaleas which bloom in the spring, summer and fall, prune after the first blooms in spring.

Encore Azaleas® require very little pruning to retain good form and do not need "dead-heading." If you think your Encore Azalea® needs pruning, do so immediately after the spring flowering for maximum bud set. Light pruning of more established plants will stimulate growth and flowering.

They are from Lousianna and do well in the Southeastern US. They probably don't do too well in PA.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 2:36PM
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Hi Fusty,I just did my pruning day with my master gardening class last weekend and they told us it was time to prune the firebushes don't cut it down too far or you will lose it they really don't require any pruning unless you want to keep the size down took my test last Monday I think I did good. Patty

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 11:43PM
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Just exactly what is a "firebush"?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 7:50AM
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fusty_overalls(z6 PA)

I'm glad you asked what a "firebush" is because, as I went to look it up to post a link, I realized that what I have is NOT a firebush at all (tho, that's what I've called it ever since I was little). It's really a type of euonymus that other people call "burning bush". Firebush, it turns out, is a completely different type of plant. I wonder how many other plants I just use the totally wrong name for?!?!?

Anyway, I do want to shape the bush and rein it in a's getting very large. I think I'll try trimming it back and see how it goes.

Patty, do you love the classes you're taking?!? I bet they are fun and interesting. How's your garden? Did you start it up yet for the Spring? It's raining today but, yesterday I used muscles that I haven't really used since last Fall and today, I'm feeling it. My garden really needs some hard's getting out of hand!

Here is a link that might be useful: Burning Bush (not firebush)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 1:33PM
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Euonymous alatus (burning bush, winged euonymous) has a really nice natural shape. You might try thinning it out (taking out maybe 1/3 of its braches back to the main stem/ground) instead of pruning it back all over. That would encourage new growth from the center of the bush rather than longer extensions from the cut ends. The plant should put more of its energy into new branches from the inside.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 12:00AM
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