You should prune your Limelight hydrangea tree … I was just about to post about my first year hydrangea struggles, but I am still gathering a few pictures. Thank you for posting this. Tree hydrangea is another type of hydrangea. Photo: http://www.fast-growing-trees.com. According to the University of Rhode Island, each main cultivar of hydrangea has its own pruning requirements and best practices. If a panicultata that is trained into a tree … To form a hydrangea tree, the nurseryman chooses a young specimen with a robust central branch and begins to “prune it into submission.” He removes any other branches and also secondary branches that grow on the branch selected to be the future trunk. They’re cold hardy and adapted to zones 3 to 8. We tend to prune them like what we are familiar with, which can deprive them of bloom. Pruning Hydrangea Trees. That forces the hydrangea to produce multiple branches at the top of a central stem: its new trunk. Panicle hydrangeas are unique in that they are the only type of hydrangeas that can be pruned into a tree-form. Many consider this the best way to show off the limelight’s stunning beauty … And once the hydrangea starts growing … This means that the best time to prune … Before new growth in spring ONLY! In the summer, it forms at the tip of its branches large elongated clusters of white or lime-green flowers, depending on the cultivar, which gradually become pink or even reddish through the fall. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out /  Can I cut branches back and, if so, at what period? When the trunk has reached the desired height (usually about 4 or 5 feet/1.2-1.5 m), he begins pruning the top of the plant too. Producing a hydrangea tree is time-consuming and adds greatly to the cost of the plant, so it’s quite a pricey item. Even a harsh winter or late spring frost can damage thes… Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. And flower color, panicle size and flowering season also vary from one cultivar to the next. I think the best time to prune them is in the early spring though, because you really want to be able to see the buds to know where to snip. It’s the nature of the plant. Growers usually choose big, fast-growing hydrangeas to turn into trees. It’s pretty much the only hydrangea used this way: most other species don’t have stems strong enough to make good trees. Hydrangea is a species of deciduous, flowering shrub of which there are many cultivars with varied characteristics, growth forms, bloom shapes, sizes and colors. Some, like Pinky Winky (‘Dvppinky’) have naturally sturdy, erect stems that don’t tend to flop, while the old-fashioned but once very popular PG hydrangea (H. paniculata ‘Grandiflora’), is huge and floppy and—what can I say?—just gorgeous even as it splays out over half your garden. Pruning Hydrangea Trees. These are particularly rewarding hydrangeas to grow because they will try to bloom on an annual basis regardless of how you treat them. Therefore, every year, make a habit of cutting back all the branches 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) from the trunk early in the spring, before the leaves unfurl. Taylor Hall, 59 College Road, Durham, NH Directions. Staking is often needed to keep the trunk rigidly vertical during the first few years. With this variety of hydrangeas you will see blooms on new wood. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, depending on the species, hydrangea forms range from climbing vines to tree-like shrubs. Of course, once you buy them, drastically pruning them every spring becomes the only way to control them. You can do this kind of pruning in any season. When pruning a hydrangea that blooms on old wood, first remove any dead limbs, then crossing branches, thinning out the interior of the plant to open it to more sunlight. Other than the modern repeat blooming hydrangeas, like \"Endless Summer\" and \"Lime Light\", most older hydrangeas set the next season's flower buds in either late summer/fall or during the growing season. ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Certainly, but why not enjoy this fall’s bloom and cut them back severely in early spring. The different kinds of hydrangeas available can feel confusing when trying to determine the best time for pruning. Tree Hydrangea Information. A hydrangea on a trunk, somewhat like a living lollipop! Paniculata hydrangeas are the only hydrangeas that can be pruned into a tree-form. Smooth Hydrangeas. Remember, most hydrangea trees, except for the oakleaf hydrangea, bloom on new growth. Giving any living plant an unnatural shape is always going to require extra maintenance, so might I suggest that the more laidback gardener might prefer to abstain from hydrangea trees and grow them instead the way they want to grow, as large shrubs. You can cut all the branches back to about 1 foot (30 cm) long and that will give a nice round ball. In your case, since your hydrangea tree is overgrown and the branches already bend under their own weight, it would be wise to prune it before winter. This winter protection should be removed only once the buds begin to expand in the spring. That’s because the dried flower heads of the panicled hydrangea have ornamental value over the winter, so you’ll want to keep them until spring. Your posts about hydrangeas are very helpful! The leaves may provide enough insulation to keep flower buds alive through the winter. Ones that bloom on new wood, such as the Tardiva and PeeGee varieties, can be selectively pruned, choosing branches that don’t conform to the desired shape of the plant … Proper timing for pruning is the key to keeping hydrangeas flowering to their best potential. One cultivar, Hydrangea … If you want to maintain a hydrangea tree, you’ll need to be ready to prune it regularly, otherwise not only do the branches lengthen to the point they start to bend under their own weight, as you have noticed, they can even snap off, especially under the additional weight of heavy snow. Hydrangeas that bloom on old growth should only be pruned after flowering. It can grow to 25 feet (7.6 m.) tall and, with pruning, resembles a small tree. Some species will rebloom … Hydrangea trees are actually shrubs that have been trained to grow as trees. Food & Agriculture Administrative Assistant, Copyright © 2020 University of New Hampshire, TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH), Soil Testing, Insect ID & Plant Diagnostic Lab, Fertilizing Trees and Shrubs [fact sheet], Maple Sugaring Tips for Beginners and Backyard Maple Sugar Producers, Beneficial Insects in New Hampshire Farms & Gardens [fact sheet]. ( Log Out /  Loppers. The only time you cannot prune this particular hydrangea trees in the summer when the hydrangea … If one is attempting to grow a paniculata as a tree, the developing trunk and main top branches should not be removed. What am I doing wrong? Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ pruned to form a tree. Limelight hydrangea is often trained to a branch-headed standard (read more about basic pruning for trees here). Native smooth hydrangea. Yes you can. How to prune hydrangea paniculata. Pruning hydrangeas can help them retain a pretty shape and produce beautiful blooms year after year. Learn how your comment data is processed. Change ). And you pay the price in heavy pruning! If the brown flowers are like a lace-cap, it is almost certainly a macrophylla hydrangea. Left to their own devices, all hydrangeas will grow into shrubs with multiple stems. Can I turn them back into bushes? It’s up to you to choose the panicled hydrangea cultivar that best corresponds to your tastes and your needs! You can prune limelight hydrangeas at any time of the year, because they are hearty plants. The natural habit is a shrub with multiple stems, but tree hydrangeas are sometimes pruned to look like trees. Although there are different cultivars, one of the best known is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora,’ known to its fans as Pee Gee hydrangea. ( Log Out /  The reason is because the flowers form in the summer right before they bloom. This will give your tree the appearance of a ball of foliage capped with flowers at the top of a short trunk, usually the desired effect. Others … Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) Smooth hydrangeas are native to Eastern North America and are well suited to most New Hampshire gardens.They have a mounded growth habit and white to pale pink flowers that bloom mid-summer.Unlike bigleaf and mountain hydrangeas, smooth hydrangeas bloom on new wood and will tolerate heavy pruning… Hydrangeas that set their buds late in the season are the most likely to have trouble blooming. This hydrangea tree was no exception. For example, when you might prune an ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea differs from when you should cut back ‘Snowball’ hydrangea. It seems that the .ore I prune it in the fall or early spring, the larger it gets in early summer. Tree of Heaven and Mountain (hydrangea serrata) It's got a similar look to Mophead but is a smaller shrub with narrower, pointed leaves. If not, there is a risk that they snap off in snowy or icy weather, so, in October or November, simply cut all branches back to about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) from the top of the trunk. This is … Common hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla, (the one with blue or pink flowers) flower heads fade to dark tan by the end of July, flowers are usually globe-like, and on the tip of stiff stems. Prune in late winter/early spring when your plant is winterized. Feed your Limelight hydrangea tree every spring before new growth with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer designed for woody plants with an NPK value of 10-10-10. Even under the best of circumstances, bigleaf hydrangeas can suffer winter damage, and protection is usually required to achieve maximum blooming potential. Regular Pruning Is Required If you want to maintain a hydrangea tree, you’ll need to be ready to prune … But we pruned … Some hydrangea can be pruned into a tree shape. To prune your hydrangeas, start by cleaning out the shoots that come up out of the ground near the bottom of the plant, and any coming out of the trunk. I have 2 large droopy hydrangea trees. Several cultivars have been released in recent years that flower readily on new shoots. It produces a profusion of branches from its base and takes on an upright, spreading shape over time, reaching up to 15 feet (5 m) in height and diameter after 15 to 20 years. Normally, the panicled hydrangea grows as a large multi-stemmed shrub. Although the hydrangea tree can be pruned any time except summer, the ideal time to prune is in early spring. if you prune your hydrangea … To protect the buds, simply surround hydrangeas with a mesh cylinder, taking care not to damage any buds, and fill it up with fallen leaves. You can also prune a hydrangea into a tree shape on your own if you want, but it will take a few years. Two hardier hydrangeas, both grown in cold winter areas down to zone 3, are H. paniculata (peegee or panicle hydrangea) and H. arborescens (hills-of-snow, Annabelle hydrangea). However, it is easiest to prune … phone: (603) 862-1520  Hours: M-F, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. If you have trouble getting your bigleaf hydrangea to bloom year after year, consider replacing it with a “remontant” (reblooming) type. Since panicled hydrangeas flower from new growth produced starting in mid-spring, it will bloom abundantly even after a severe early spring pruning. The Limelight hydrangea blooms on new growth, so it should be pruned in late winter, before new growth begins. If the buds are set in the fall, spring pruning will remove the entire season's bloom. It’s clearly a shrub; in its natural form, it looks nothing like a tree. For those of us who grew up with deciduous orchard trees and roses, the older types of hydrangeas are not easy to prune. A hydrangea tree is in fact a panicled or PG hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) specially pruned to take on a treelike shape. As much as I dislike the contemporary hydrangeas, they really are more forgiving with their pruning. Not all hydrangeas are pruned at the same time, so it's important to know what variety you have before you go outside with those pruning shears. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Give the plant lots of room (most panicled hydrangeas are very big plants) and just let it do its thing. Photo: University of Connecticut Plant Database. Use plant ties to attach the main stem to a tall support to encourage … The only type hydrangea that can be made into a tree is … These are called “suckers” and take valuable resources away from the healthy parts of your tree… In a ideal world, the growers would only produce hydrangea trees from dwarf varieties, but it would take 2 extra years to create a saleable tree form, so they choose the easy way out. Native to the North American woodlands, it is… Because of this, pruning is necessary for maintaining the shape of your tree. You can also prune a hydrangea into a tree shape on your own if you want, but it will take a few years. Answer: Sure you can prune it, but to understand how and why, it is worth explaining what a hydrangea tree is. I. You’re not doing anything wrong. If space is at a premium, there are now smaller panicled hydrangeas, like ‘Bobo’ and ‘Little Lamb’ that won’t take up as much room. Panicled hydrangeas grow best in full sun or very light shade in just about any well-drained soil. Pruning . This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. And there you go! This flower, which blooms on new wood and can be … Hydrangea trees do not naturally grow into the shape of a tree. The process of training a panicle hydrangea into a tree starts when the shrub is young. When to prune hydrangeas. You’ll have to repeat annually. To maintain its treelike appearance, with a well-defined “trunk,” also remove any suckers that appear at the base of the plant as well as any growth that appears on the trunk itself. Question: I have a hydrangea tree, but its branches are too long, so when it rains, the branches and flowers bend down to the ground. Once you’ve gotten your hydrangea tree back into a more winter-resistant shape, start pruning early in the spring rather than the fall. This requires selecting the strongest stem to be the *tree trunk* and pruning away all of the other shrub stems. Everything that was close to the edge, where the lawnmower could get to it, was so beat-up, it was eventually killed by the abuse, leaving only the back branch still alive. An Aviary That Lets Birds In, But Keeps Pests Out. Although the florets look similar to those of bigleaf hydrangeas, Limelight … I have a tree that gets out of control every spring. Prune to desired size and shape Usually removing about ⅓ of the overall size: All Tree Form Hydrangea Paniculata Types: Trim the head back to about 2′ before it starts to grow in early spring: Hypericum : Early spring: Ilex : Renewal prune … When to prune a hydrangea depends on when it sets its flower buds. Taller forms are sometimes planted by community park boards as boulevard plants in place of … ) specially pruned to take on a trunk, somewhat like a living lollipop for is! Post about my first year hydrangea struggles, but I am still a... Pests Out large multi-stemmed shrub cultivars have been trained to grow as trees 59 College,! 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