Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please

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poultrygeist

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Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« on: May 24, 2009, 11:34 »
We have a berberis darwinii (ID in previous thread!) that is currently about 8ft high and about 5 ft wide and very straggly. It's flowered and has a couple of bird families nesting in it.
Once the birds fledge, would it survive a severe pruning or does it only tolerate light trims ?

I'd like to take it back at least 6"-12" all round and probably a couple of feet of the top.

Thanks for advice.

Rob 8)

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Ice

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2009, 13:56 »
From my RHS book.

"Prune after flowering.  Lightly trim or prune shoots that spoil the shape if evergreen and cut back flowered shoots of deciduous types to strong buds or shoots."

Apart from that I can't really help. :D
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poultrygeist

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2009, 16:15 »
Thanks ice. It's one of those things that may just have to be tried. I like it, OH hates it but it attracts lots of bees and birds nest in it so I'm loathe to dig it out.

Once nesting season is over, I'll take some secateurs to it. :)

Rob 8)

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poultrygeist

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2009, 16:24 »
and a flame thrower!

Julie

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Ice

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2009, 16:31 »
and a flame thrower!

Julie
Then you won't be needing the advice on taking cuttings I presume. :lol:

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poultrygeist

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2009, 16:47 »
Note to self: Close forum windows down when leavign room  :D

I'd love to replace them with fruit trees but it might have to wait a year or two. Unless Julie tells me otherwise of course  ::)

Rob 8)

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celjaci

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2009, 14:09 »
I think it can be cut back really hard  to 6 -12in  and will throw up lots of new shoots.
These could then be thinned ( simply rub some out when small ) to make a better balance and avoid a dense thicket.
You won't get much in the way of flower next year though
Playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order!

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poultrygeist

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2009, 14:19 »
Thanks celjaci.

I think we might have to be quite brutal to get what we want. I feel sorry for the birds because it's good for nests but having said that, teh magpies pulled a nest out this year.

Rob 8)

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Christine

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2009, 21:25 »
Wear protective clothes to ensure the bush doesn't bit back - it comes from the downright dangerous scratchy clan.  :D

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Roughlee Handled

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 10:00 »
I just hacked mine back. Er in flower. It came with the house so I have no packet to read. I am not a brave as Rob. Oh well that will teach the wife to leave me at home with a pruning saw and told to tidy up that hebe. It just so happens it was next to it and once you have started its hard to stop.  No signs of life after 3 weeks. I provide photos if you wish. How not to photos. I am good at them.
Stuart


Dont worry I am just paranoid duckie.

If I get the wrong end of the stick its because I have speed read. Honest.

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sunshineband

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 10:09 »
The guy across the road cut his berberis hedge back from six feet to one foot high in one go with a hedge cutter, and wore long leather gauntlets. That was two years ago and it is now a well maintained 18ins high beautiful hedge -- I guess its a tough plant  :D
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poultrygeist

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Re: Berberis darwinii hard pruning advice please
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 10:21 »
Since Feb I've spent half my time hacking back huge brambles so I'm gettign used to having cuts all the way up my forearms. ::)
I reckon a good tidy up back to about 5ft high x 3ft wide and it'll be a nice healthy shrub again next spring, albeit without flowers maybe.

Never mind Stu. I'm sure it'll come back in a year or two. Whether your wife will is another matter  :ohmy:

Rob 8)


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