Hydrangea Tree

Asked September 9, 2020, 5:59 PM EDT

Hello, I was referred to your site by a Facebook group I am part of. I live in North Mankato, MN and was gifted a Hydrangea Tree four years ago in August; it came without a tag so I'm not sure of the variety. It is planted on facing south with 6-8 hours of sun. I water it over the course of 2 hours on a weekly basis with a slow trickle of water, except for weeks when we get over 5 inches of rain (which isn't many but has been some). A friend, who thought he was being helpful and had thought he was pro-landscaper, decided to trim the tree the spring following and cut the top so it was flat and not dome shaped anymore, the main limbs were at most maybe 2 feet with some smaller growth also provided. The tree has always beared a healthy amount of leaves and flowers but I'm scared to trim it back because of how misshapen it is now. But I need to do something because it looks horrible after a couple of years of no trimming. Can you provide me with any ideas without to reshape my tree? I do not have a picture of how my friend cut three years ago it but my picture attachment is how it currently looks.

Nicollet County Minnesota

3 Responses

You have a panicle hydrangea, which can be pruned at any time of the year, except possibly summer. If you prune it now, you’ll cut off the beautiful flowers, so you may wish to wait until spring. Panicle hydrangeas bloom on new wood, and you can shape it however you wish. You mentioned that it had been dome shaped, and you can prune it to create that form if you wish. They are very hardy and will bounce back and look lovely later in the season. For more information on pruning shrubs, see below:

https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/pruning-trees-and-shrubs#trees-and-shrubs-to-p...

Thank you for responding! Sorry I haven't said that until now. I'm curious, could I cut off the blooms from this year and then trim the branches in the spring? Or is it too cold for that? I ask because the two snowfalls we have had this year, put a lot of stress on the branches.

Panicle hydrangeas bloom on new wood. Therefore, you can prune now if you're concerned about heavy snowfall on the branches. You can also wait until spring. People often enjoy the winter interest the hydrangeas offer, so you may want to leave the lighter branches and blooms on the shrub for the winter and take another look in the spring to see what needs pruning then.