The Amelanchier group of shrubs or small trees do not require pruning normally – other than for shaping or controlling of size. Amelanchier normally grows into a regularly shaped upright but rounded shrub.
They are deciduous shrubs with some of the finest autumn foliage colours. Depending upon soil type, this can be a bright crimson or a dazzling mix of gold and orange.
Amelanchier tolerates light shade but is also happy in the full sunshine. They are troublesome to grow, but can soon outgrow their position if not enough space allowed at planting. It is then in the main that they will require pruning – but otherwise best left un-pruned.
Amelanchier is also known by their common names of:
- Snowy Mespilus
When & How to Prune
For Amelanchier laevis, Amelanchier lamarckii, Amelanchier grandiflorus and Amelanchier stolonifera, general pruning can be carried out in late Winter – but only for diseased, untidy, and crossing branches. Any major surgery at this time of year will cut off the flowering growths for the incoming Spring.
If your Amelanchier needs corrective pruning to re-shape or bring to an acceptable size, then this should be carried out immediately after flowering in order to allow the shrub to start into growth and provide flowering branches for the next year. Any pruning of Amelanchier later in the year will probably prevent flowering in the following year. However, late pruning normally brings better autumn foliage colour with the newer leaves.
All in all, it is best not to prune Amelanchier unless absolutely necessary. This would normally require that you plant it in the right place in the first instance!
Cutting Amelanchier Back Hard
Older bush type Amelanchiers can be rejuvenated by cutting back hard at the start of the growing season. It will soon shoot out from the pruned branches. Be aware that as with all hard pruning, the plant will soon regain its original size again, for it has a root system that will support rapid growth.
However, this is not advisable for single stem small tree types.