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how to prune my smoking bush/tree

I have a mature smoking bush/tree which I want to reshape to prevent it pushing my fence down and more like a tree. It is currently about 10ft. Any advice on which parts to cut off or support, please? 


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,049
    You can be brutal with them. The harder you cut , the larger the new leaves will be.
  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Posts: 3,845
    You don’t sat where you are Lizzie. If you are north of the border, like me, you may have to be patient.  Last year I thought mine was dead after pruning but it came eventually
    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    They get more like a trees if you are not so brutal in pruning too far down. Since it looks quite establish, just prune off the branch furthest to the right  where it starts to split. The way it is now, it doesn't look like it will cause problems with the fence. The new growth will start further up.
  • Thank you all for the advice. I’m in south London but my garden is NE facing (I think). I’m only starting to get the sun but 2/3rds will be in the shade from around July onwards. Should I cut off the curved branch that is growing near the bottom to the left of the main branch? It curves into the centre of the bush.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    If you mean the small whippy looking branches curving into the centre of the photo, I would prune them back to the thick branch They are unlikely going to catch up to the size of the other surrounding branches. It's reached that size already in the conditions its in, so gives you an idea how tough this shrub is.

    In the subsequent years, concentrate on pruning the branches further up, either thinning out or controlling the shape, but looking at the photo, apart from the thick branch on the right, I don't think it will push into your fence.
  • Thanks Borderline. Looks like my job for next week is sorted.
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