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The leaves on my deciduous berberis have been completely eaten by an unknown pest. This may or may not have been caused by the berberis sawfly. Now that this shrub has been totally defoliated would it be advisable to prune it back to hopefully rejuvenate it for next year? All comments welcome! 



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,554

    I'd leave it be if the stems are still alive.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Wasn't the bug that eats burberis on gardeners world this week.
  • Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I think my berberis is thunbergii and the sawfly was featured on Gardner's World. I usually prune it but not until later on in the season.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 32,475

    why prune it back ? why not just plant it where it has enough room to grow?


  • My berberis is in a raised bed. After a few years of no pruning it became straggly and out of control. I gave it a really good cut back about six years ago and have continued to prune it annually to keep it in check. It had a lovely show of flowers in spring but just looks sad now. 

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,554

    I think that we all form mental images of what another person's plant and/or garden look like, often based on what our own gardening style is, and offer an answer to fit the image we have. The one berberis in my garden is part of a two-shrub-deep wild hedge. Not many of my plants ever get a real chop, so control is seldom part of my answers. image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Valid comment, Pansyface. Unfortunately in a small garden like mine a specimen berberis plant needs to be restrained and this in turn produces a more dense plant. 

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