TP pruning

James Waddick
Tue, 03 Aug 2004 06:45:38 PDT
Dear John;
	This is a surprisingly complex issue. I suggest you prune to 
please yourself.
  	Among the preferences:

	1. Single trunk. Pruned as a standard, the plants can get 
larger. I have seen 7 ft tall rockii with a single main stem. New 
basal shoots need to be cut away each spring.

	2. 3 stems- This is the main pruning done for display in 
China. This can give a rounded crown and plenty of flowers.

	4. Natural pruning- here only dead of 'worn out' stems get 
pruned back and the plant produces many new small stems.

	5. Shaping- to order

	6. Cut to ground. I know many instances where tree peonies 
are cut to the ground each year, accidentally of by intention. If the 
plant is heathy it can take this for years. New shoots will all come 
from underground and can produce flowers on these stems. The plant 
takes on a weird semi-herbaceous look to it.

	When and how to prune are added considerations. And all will 
vary to some extant by your climate. In really cold areas stems can 
be killed back to some degree every year and still flower.

	There are also natural difference in sp and cvs. Some are 
wide -spreading, others more fan shaped and others erect, upright. It 
is harder to prune a tall upright form to be a ground cover and vice 
versa so you need to know your cv.

	This is another area where personal choice is most important. 
If you know shrub pruning methods in general Tree peonies are no more 

		Best 	Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
E-fax  419-781-8594

Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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