live in Baltimore County 21228. 1)My blackberries were plentiful this summer....

Asked September 1, 2014, 10:19 PM EDT

live in Baltimore County 21228. 1)My blackberries were plentiful this summer. I now have very long stems most 10 to 12 feet long. I trimmed them back in the spring. My question is how long can I trim these long branches without effecting next years blkberry crop. Many are hanging over on the ground. I have staked as many as I could. 2)Crepe Myrtle trees I am getting new blooming branches from the ground at bottom of tree. Should I pull them up? The original tree is at least 10 yrs old. 3) Forsythia What is the latest time I can trim forsythia back and still have it blooming in the spring. I trimmed it back in the spring after it bloomed but the branches continued to grow through the summer/ I do not want the bushes to get so big. Thank you for any advice you can give me. Jeanne

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

How to prune your blackberries depends on what type you have. Are they thorny and erect? Or thornless and trailing?
Fruiting canes of all types die shortly after fruiting and can be removed when they become dormant or in late winter.
If they are thorny, in the summer you can top the canes to about 40", and then in late winter, shorten the new side shoots (laterals) to 18 inches.
If they are thornless, in late winter top the canes at 6-7 feet and cut laterals to 18", and remove dead fruited canes if not done already.
For crape myrtle, it is up to you if you want to remove new shoots, and how those would affect the look of your shrub. If it is a nice tree form, you may not want them. If a shrub is ok, you could keep them. Any pruning of crape myrtle would best be done in early spring.
For forsythia, the right time to prune is just after they flower. They can take a hard pruning. No pruning should be done now on any plant, except for removing dead wood.