Prune smoke bush and crab now?

Asked May 26, 2018, 12:37 PM EDT

Hi - I have read on your site that pruning our smoke bush and crab apple tree was best done late winter of early spring. However, they both have issues that mean branches are dragging on the ground and flopping over, etc. Is it very risky to prune the most urgent bits now? If I do, is there anything I should keep in mind, pruning them this late? A photo of the ridiculously gangly smoke bush is attached. I've done some reading about how to prune them so that hopefully I won't add to the problem, as I unknowingly did, last summer. Is it possible to have someone from your organization come out and give me a tutorial on pruning (in the right season), for a fee? I have neighbors who would be interested, too. Thanks so much, Rockie Weymouth Thank you!

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

You can safely prune your shrub but you will also be removing the bloom. It would be better to wait to prune the crab due to the risk of fireblight. If there are no other apples or cedar trees in your neighborhood you could probably do it now. It is always a good idea to disinfect your pruner after making a cut. Here is a link to info about that. The cut will seal up naturally. This is just an online answering site. You could contact your local Ramsey Co. Extension Office and see if they offer any classes about pruning.