Red Huckleberry, Vaccinium parvifolium Shrub. Ht. 4-6’ usually, up to 10’.

Asked September 7, 2019, 1:10 PM EDT

I live in a Tillamook woods. Red huckleberry is up to the 10' mentioned on your website. Can it be rejuvenated by drastic cutting back? I really hope there's a seasonal time to do that which will encourage maximum recovery from cutback. When do we have best chance of success? Any other expert advice on this plant? I'm seriously nervous about messing with nature here and find very little specific cultural help with local native plants. I'm especially concerned about major pruning, maintaining an existing woodsy native landscape.

Tillamook County Oregon forestry natural resources trees and shrubs huckleberry

1 Response

Thank you for choosing Ask an Expert for help with your huckleberries. Red huckleberries are usually pruned just after the berries are picked, to encourage next year’s crop. If the plant has gotten too thin, too tall, or even lop-sided, go ahead and shape it up, at that time.

The US Department of Agriculture has a fact sheet on this plant. See here: https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_vapa.pdf They note that, in the past, burning was uses to encourage new growth in plants. Though this is not a current practice, it does suggest that the plant can recover from even severe pruning.

Enjoy your fruit!