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Cutting back SAC

Posted by ohio_gal 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 5, 10 at 12:21

Hi! I have a sweet autumn clematis that is several years old. I have never done much to it besides trim it up a tad come springtime. Now, however, it has outgrown and broken the puney, wooden trellis I started it out on. I would like to replace it with something much more substantial. What I guess I need to know is just how much I can cut this back without damage to the vine, and when is the best time of year to do this? The lower portion(s) of this vine are very thick and woody. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer me. =)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cutting back SAC

SAC should have been cut back to the ground once each early spring. It is a "type 3" clematis that gets pruned to the ground.
In spring (about the time the forsythia's start to bloom) prune it down all the way to the ground or at most to 6 inches high. Don't worry it'll grow back fast! :)
I am also in Ohio, north east Ohio near Cleveland. :)

RE: Cutting back SAC

If it has already developed a very woody base, cutting back to 6" may be a bit severe. You can cut back to the third set of buds from the base or somewhere around 18-24" above the ground and that will still accomplish the same thing. btw, this should be the practice with any type 3 clematis that has some age and substantial size to the trunk or lower stems.

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