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Cotoneaster pruning

Any ideas on how to prune this cotoneaster so that it covers the wall?

I had to remove some of the branches that were sticking out because I'm planting a row of foxgloves infront and it'll obstruct them when they flower next year.

Now I'm left with this and its just unsightly. There some leaves at the bottom and loads at the top! Am I better just replacing it with ivy or something?


Posts

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,631
    I like it looking like this, the wall showing through makes the shrub look more interesting.

    Most of the growth has got to the top bit because there had not been any pruning for a while. If you need it to cover the wall, you need to take the thick stems right down to a quarter of the wall's height. I know this seems drastic, but for a mature shrub like that, they should grow back quite quickly. From there you will need to guide the new branches and continue to trim off wayward stray branches that are not growing the right directions. There should be plenty of new stems for you to guide or cut off and you just work from there. Will take 2-3 years.
  • I like it looking like this, the wall showing through makes the shrub look more interesting.

    Most of the growth has got to the top bit because there had not been any pruning for a while. If you need it to cover the wall, you need to take the thick stems right down to a quarter of the wall's height. I know this seems drastic, but for a mature shrub like that, they should grow back quite quickly. From there you will need to guide the new branches and continue to trim off wayward stray branches that are not growing the right directions. There should be plenty of new stems for you to guide or cut off and you just work from there. Will take 2-3 years.
    Thanks! I presumed pruning back hard would be the solution. Think I might have to leave it as dont want to lose the privacy we get from the foliage on the fence at the top. 

    Do you think maybe I could cut a few of the thick branches to encourage some lower growth? 
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    They are very obliging shrubs,. You mean leave some long ones  to still cover the top, but cut a few back to re sprout and cover the wall?
    If so yes you can do some this year then when they cover and get to the top you can rejuvenate a couple of the others.

    And /or find some long shoots at the base if you have any left you can layer them in the soil they will soon root if you wound or take a few leaves off and bury them a bit or peg down or put a heavy stone on the stem.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,631
    Rubytoo has more or less covered what I was going to say. You can just select a few branches to cut back down and leave the rest, but again, the top growth, you can also thin out to encourage them to grow more upwards to cover the top part of the railings rather than have it grow bushy like now. 
  • Great advice thank you both! 
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