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Help with Pruning Mock Orange

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Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby HeelsDown » Jul 01, 2013 11:42 pm

Hi there all!

Happy Canada Day!

Quick post for some helpful advice! I posted this last year, but now the time has come to actually follow through so just want to ensure I do this right.

We need to prune our Mock Orange and it's going to be done flowering soon. I believe we have to prune about a third of it, and my concern is that will take pretty much all of the flowering part off. But, it's not shaped well and really droopy. I think someone in the past may have hacked it or pruned it wrong. I LOVE this tree so want it healthy and blooming for years to come.

I found a site that seemed helpful...SFGate - Homes Guide Menu - How to Prune a Mock Orange Tree. Ok to use that?

I've got some pictures - hope yu can see the tree and any advice on how to prune and shape appreciated. It's not as droopy today as it is the pics. They were taken when it was doing that freak rain on Fri/Sat that caused a lot of flooding in SW ON.

Thanks all!

https://picasaweb.google.com/1133531611 ... directlink
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby Ian66 » Jul 02, 2013 12:36 am

First of all, your mockorange looks pretty long and lanky......looks like it is stretching for the sun......all that aside, if it was my shrub, I would cut back all long canes by 1/2 (about 4 feet from the ground)...this will force more side branching and hopefully some bud break down on the stems...if you prune it now, all the new growth that is created this summer will bloom for you next year and you won't lose any flowering.

Ian
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby HeelsDown » Jul 03, 2013 4:04 pm

It is long and lanky - that's a good way of putting it. It does get a decent amount of sun in that area of my yard though. Anywhere else and it would be mostly shade. It would be under the umbrella of the two white ash tree's to the right of it and to the left is a pine or something of my neighbours, but not sure how far that comes out. Regardless, there isn't anywhere else it could be.

Would you prune it now or wait until the flowers drop off. Or, does it matter?

I can't believe how afraid I am to touch it...lol

Thanks Ian!
Jenn
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby Ian66 » Jul 03, 2013 6:28 pm

"The general rule on pruning" is to prune right after blooming......in your case, wait and enjoy the blooms and then cut back the long branches so that it will force the shrub to bush out more and as I said create bud breaks along the stems to get a fuller looking shrub......don't worry,if you prune now, the new growth that is produced will give you flowers next year.....

Ian
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby conniepr » Jul 03, 2013 10:16 pm

Your mock orange is certainly not the same as mine. Mine is most definitely more shrub like. But... all my research says cut back after blooming and next year's blooms will be on the new growth.

That being said, I cut back mine severely last year. The bush is beautiful this year, but blooms? Hardly any. This is my 4-5th year experimenting with it. Some sites say cut back to the ground any older canes (you can tell the old ones from the new by the color) and some sites say never cut more than one third of the bush in one year. Maybe that was my mistake last year? I cut the whole thing back by about one half all the way around, because it was taking over too much of the whole flower bed, smothering other plants. There must be a happy medium somewhere.
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby HeelsDown » Jul 04, 2013 6:13 pm

A happy medium would be nice!

Looking at my yard and what is around the mockorange, I think we would like to make it more tree like for the height there. Just to throw a wrench into this lol!

Does how we trim it change with that direction in mind now?

:)
Jenn
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby Ian66 » Jul 04, 2013 8:47 pm

If you want a more tree-like appearance, then prune the upper branches.....every single branch you cut, will give you two branches if you trim above a bud on the stem.

Ian
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby conniepr » Jul 04, 2013 10:46 pm

It's very different from mine, I don't think we can even compare. Mine comes up from the ground so thick.. just think of the hair on your head (well, don't know how old you are... just think of when you were 19! :) ).

Good luck! It's certainly a learning experience, even with what can be found out there on the net. Don't worry if you think you did wrong. Next year's another year and it will recover!
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby HeelsDown » Jul 10, 2013 9:02 pm

Thank you both! It's all down blooming so we are going to give it a shot this weekend. Thanks for the assurance that I can't kill it at least...comforting. I'll let you both know and, hopefully, we have some really great pictures to show this time next year!

Jenn :)
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Re: Help with Pruning Mock Orange

Postby HeelsDown » Jul 16, 2013 7:55 pm

All done! We pruned it on Sunday! We took off all the dead trunk pieces and stems, which was a lot. Someone definitely had tried to do something to if at some point and that didn't work out all at all. We decided on a height to keep it, but I reached up to trim the end of one branch (gently) and it snapped right off. Such a delicate tree!! After that, had to trim a bit lower.

Then, with what was left, I made sure to trim a small bit of each end.

Now I guess we wait and see til next yr!!

Thanks!
Jenn
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