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If you have a pee gee hydrangea, also known as a tree hydrangea, you might be preparing to prune it. These are beautiful hydrangeas and unique insofar as they are the only variety that you can really shape into that of a tree. But these trees might get over 4ft tall and start spreading multiple branches that come out all over the top in which case it’s time for you to get out those pruners and start shaping.
How to prune hydrangea PeeGee
When you are ready to prune your pee gee hydrangea, bear in mind that these hydrangeas produce blooms on new wood so you need to prune it in the early spring before that new wood starts to develop upcoming buds.
To do this the first thing you need to do is clean up any of the shoots that are coming out of the ground. These are called suckers. You will usually see them coming out of the lower part of your trunk or directly out of the ground near the trunk. If you want to maintain the shape of your plant you need to get rid of these so that there’s no competition.
Once you are ready, figure out where your plant starts to branch out, where it takes on that umbrella canopy shape. At that point, the idea you want to keep in mind is that you are shortening the branches and you are doing that by approximately two or three sets of nodes. Those nodes are the little bumps that will eventually become side shoots and, thereafter, produce flowers at the end of summer.
If you fail to shorten these branches they will eventually grow too long and as your plant grows outward it will fall down too much and runs the risk of snapping off simply because of the weight of having too many flowers.
Properly pruning in this regard will force the flowers to open up closer to the main branches and that will help you or blooms to stay contained. Most of the time when you shorten your branches by no more than three or four in your plant will do just fine. If your plant is already a little skinny and there isn’t a lot left on it, you don’t have to make as severe a cutback as you would normally.
It is ideal to make the overall appearance as uniform as possible and to do that you want the branches to come out in proper spokes. Now, they probably won’t grow to the exact arch and degree or angle that you want, but you can try and prune them to get them as close as possible. The more you do this the more your plant will behave and take on that umbrella look with even distribution and beautiful blooms.
The final thing you want to do is cut off anything that is struggling and trying to grow inward or straight up. Cut these as close to the main trunk or one of the main branches as possible. If they start to grow in different directions you won’t have a uniform appearance and you’ll have one branch that sticks out for feet up word on an otherwise bear trunk.
One of the nicest things about hydrangeas especially this variety is that it’s one of the strongest and toughest plants out there. They will push out new growth whenever it’s necessary so even if you get a little too carried away with your pruners, rest assured your plants will keep on thriving.