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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Shrubs in Ireland ... Hedging in Ireland

Hard prune Berberis darwinii?


 
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:26 pm    Post subject: Hard prune Berberis darwinii? Reply with quote

We have one planted at they entrance to the house. It's 10' by 7', and was topiarised, but it's 40 years old. There is a lot of dead wood in the centre. Everybody who tries to come to the door gets scratched, and it has become too high for me to maintain it. It is of great sentimental value to my wife, as it was her mother's bush. I'd like to reduce it to about 3 or four stems, about 2' high to 4' high, and continue the topiary tradition, even though I'm not a great fan, but in a "cloud pattern" shape. It is great for the bees and birds, so I don't want to lose it. Given the enormous root system it must have, can it take a savage pruning like that?
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Feb 2013
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience, it's a pretty tough plant. Why not reduce it one half at a time, over two seasons, the way you might renovate an overgrown yew in a hedge? I get lots of seedlings, too and it also tries to spread through suckers.

Incidentally, the berries are good to eat, though a bit on the sour side. They are used dried in Persian cuisine. I made a delicious jam from them last summer - I licked out the last bit from the last jar at breakfast this morning!
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