Pyracantha berries pruning after hard freeze
January 30, 2023 at 2:23 am Replyjem4650Private messageGreenhorn
We had a hard freeze. Berries now brown. Should I prune them all at end of winter? Does that mean no flowers in Spring?January 30, 2023 at 8:21 am Replys.wendyPrivate messageGreenhorn
Hi jem, the berries turning brown doesn’t mean the branches themselves are dead. Pyracantha is a hardy fellow.
Is pruning something you do often, like is the shrub part of a hedge or in a tight spot that you have to control it? Because if it isn’t, I wouldn’t touch it at all: any branches that died because of freezing would simply fall off during spring. New branches will appear on their own.
If you do need to prune it anyways, then yes, end of winter is exactly when to do it.
For the flowering, you should know that flowers only form on whatever sprigs grew last year. So flowers would only appear on fronds that didn’t yet bear flowers; any stems with berries won’t flower again themselves. However, any stems coming from these berry-laden shoots are expected to bloom. You should try to keep these if they aren’t dead.
To check if they’re dead, wait until the weather mellows out for a few days (no more freezing) and scrape the bark (just a sliver) to see if the cambium underneath is still greenish-wet (=alive) or brownish-dry (=dead). Based on that, you can remove dead branches.January 31, 2023 at 2:10 am ReplygailPrivate messageGreenhorn
Oh I love the blooming on firethorn! Why don’t you wait it out? It won’t hurt the shrub to carry dead branches, and you can snip them short when they start deburring, it’ll be easy to see which parts are dead then.
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