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shadygrove_gw

cotinus obovatus--coppicing?

17 years ago

Has anyone had experience keeping this lovely small-ish tree within bounds as a large-ish shrub? I have read that this species, like its cousin, does fine with coppicing--any experience with pruning this cotinus for size? Thanks.

Comments (2)

  • 17 years ago

    No personal experience with growing it, but if it's already growing as a multi-stemmed "bush", then cutting out a third of the stems every year should keep it in bounds without sacrificing any of the flowers and the "smoke". If it's single-stemmed/trunked, then I think you might have more trouble keeping it looking good; maybe doing a crown-reduction pruning every few years might do, but all too often, doing a lot of pruning of a tree in order to keep it smaller than it "wants" to grow, ends up looking stiff and un-natural. If it is a very young plant, then you can certainly try cutting it to the ground and see what how it does, although I think I would wait for at least a year after planting it, so it has a good root system in place to support it as it growns new stems.

    You may do better to choose another, smaller-growing tree/shrub, that will stay inside the height lmits you want. One of the viburnums might do or a Sargeant flowering crab, as might an oakleaf or Tardiva hydrangea if you want the summer interest. Vitex is another, summer-flowering shrub that might work - with dead-heading, you can get several flower-flushes in a summer.

  • 17 years ago

    Thank you for your thoughts.