How to Prune a Hydrangea Tree

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Pruning a hydrangea tree is something that you can very easily do in mid spring. Prune a hydrangea tree with help from a certified horticulturist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Grow Guru
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Donna Emery from Glover Nursery. I have a hydrangea here, a hydrangea tree that's been in for a year, perhaps a little longer. And I'm going to prune it today. It's mid spring, this is a good time to prune hydrangea because I know just to look at it what's alive and what's not. First thing I'm going to do though is get rid of this stake. You leave a stake on for too long it can girdle the plant. And even just having it dependent on the stake can make the plant a little bit weaker. So I like to get rid of the stake as soon as I can. First thing I'm going to do is go through and take out whatever is dead. Like these here. Follow the stem down to a live leaf, get rid of these little dead tips. Here's a dead flower, cut it back to a live leaf. Get rid of that stem. This will take me just a minute to go through all of this dead wood and get it out of here. I'm making my pruning cuts as close to a live leaf or branch as I can. I don't want to get so close to the leaf that I damage it but I don't want to leave a stub either. This stem is dead quite a ways down. So I'm going to take this off all the way to that live leaf growth. Okay. Cutting off these old stumps if I can get a clean cut. Because that stump is never going to regrow. And it just sort of gets in the way of the plant producing new shoots. Now that I have all the dead wood off I'm going to start pruning for shape. I want to keep it fairly rounded in the canopy. So that means shortening a few branches. You see these two are hitting each other? On this one, this branch I think is the better one to shorten. I'm going to cut it back right there. That means this little shoot is going to head that way and this part of the tree is pretty bare so we need more growth that way. Okay that seems pretty balanced so I can stop now. Any freshly pruned plant, I'm not stopping now apparently. I found a couple more I want to trim. Any freshly pruned plant should be watered and fertilized. I've cut off some of it's food making ability so I take extra special care of it. But this looks pretty good. Before I leave I am going to take off anything tied around the trunk. I don't leave tags or wire or string tied around the plant that can girdle that stem and kill it. So always remove anything tied to it. This is Donna Emery from Glover Nursery.

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