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Chaste trees are deciduous trees or large shrubs that bloom with hazy purple flower clusters in the summertime. The chaste tree is sometimes mistaken for the butterfly bush because of its appearance. Chaste trees grow to be 10 to 20 feet tall and just about as wide. They do well in any soil with good drainage and tolerate both sun and shade. Prune chaste trees in order to maintain the plant's health, train the plant, improve the foliage and limit growth.
Prune the chaste tree in the late winter or early spring, when there is no growth under way. This will result in the least amount of damage.
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Remove all broken, dead, diseased and weak limbs by cutting them with shears or a saw at the point of origin. This will open up the chaste tree's canopy and allow light and air to circulate.
Cut back lateral branches to create the shape you want. Chaste trees can appear to be overgrown, so use pruning as a chance to limit its growth and control the size.
Eliminate competing trunks if there is more than one central leader. Chaste trees should only have one central leader. Cut the other down to the ground.
Remove branches with narrow crotches of less than 60 degrees. These will be weaker and likely will not survive much longer.
Clip off water sprouts unless they are necessary to shade a large limb or fill a hole in the tree's canopy. Water sprouts are vigorous shoots that grow from older branches or the trunk.
Clean and oil pruning tools regularly and keep the cutting edges sharp. Keeping them clean will prevent the spreading of disease between trees.
Use tools properly. Place the branch that needs to be cut deep into the jaws of the clippers.