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Clematis in a tree: pruning?

Rose121Rose121 Posts: 132

I'm considering growing a clematis up either my hawthorn or my old apple, but am slightly anxious about pruning! How do you deal with pruning a clematis on a tree? Does it become a bit of a nightmare? Neither are huge, but high enough to need a proper ladder to get access. 



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,797

    Grow a variety which doesn't need pruning .... perhaps a C. montana if it's a large tree or a C. alpina it it's smaller .... there are other varieties which don't need pruning.

    Or choose a variety like a C. viticella which you cut down totally every spring, so all you have to do is haul the vine out of the tree and dispose of it. 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Rose121Rose121 Posts: 132

    Thanks! Montana would totally smother it, but I'll take a look at the other two varieties. I've of the potential trees is dead, and doesn't have too many branches, so just hauling the clematis out could be an option! 

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,366

    One of the problems with planting a clematis to grow up a dead is the that the tree is dead, what ever killed the tree may see off the clematis, it not showing any signs of honey fungus for example. I am not saying don't do it, I like the idea, just be careful. 

    Clematis Armandii is a evergreen variety, group 3 clematis like Dove said are easy to look after. Have you not thought about a rambling rose or honeysuckle / others ?

  • Rose121Rose121 Posts: 132

    Honeysuckle is definitely an option, and perhaps rose, but I've got lots of roses elsewhere so i'm keen to try something new. Was assuming a rose might also add more weight than a reasonable size clematis?

    Tree has been dead a long time, with no visible disease (inherited the dead trunk when we bought it), so hoping it won't be contagious. 

  • I would definitely go for a clematis viticella, not a dark colour, one of the whites would look good, so natural, exactly as they grow in the wild.

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