Pruning a Manhattan Euonymus

afbq(7)October 2, 2011

I have a very large, 8 ft or taller, Manhattan Euonymus and I would like to prune it back as it is now covering my window. I'd like to know how far back I can prune it without killing it. If I prune it down to the woody parts will it grow back?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

most likely you can take it nearly to the ground .... perhaps leaving just a few buds ...

what is the surface of the house .... and is the plant damaging it??? that would be a bigger concern to me.. rather than seeing out the window .. or is it standing independent????


    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 8:45AM
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The shrub is covering the AC unit, so I don't want to prune it to the ground. I just want a foot or two off. It's not damaging the house at all. But seeing out the window is important to me because my kids play in the back yard and well, I like to keep an eye out on them and the shrub blocks the view.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 9:55AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how about a picture???

what do you mean 'covering' the a/c????

and how big is the a/c.. that you will need a 6 foot plant to cover it [now 8 feet .. wants to remove 2] ... and you do have full air movement back there .. i hope ... not literally covering the a/c ...

i am pretty sure i am not hungover this morning.. but i am having a hard time conceptualizing the setting ...

i suspect.. that it is growing more than a foot or two per year... monrovia says it has a FAST growth rate ...

if you only take 2 feet... it will.. most likely ... by end of next summer.. be right back where it is now... if not taller ...

you are going to have to be much more aggressive.. if you dont want to be out there once or twice per year ....

good luck


    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 10:56AM
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Surrounds the AC is a better description, but does not block it. The AC has plenty of circulation. I';; take a pic this afternoon and post. Thanks for being so helpful!!!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 2:54PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'll warn you, you won't like the results if you simply take a couple of feet off the top of your plant. And you won't like how the new growth looks when it begins to take over.

Is 'hiding' the AC unit essential to your back yard? Our heat pump is in our back yard and we don't attempt to hide it from view. Anyway, either remove the shrub entirely or cut it all the way back to the ground (in the Spring) and let it grow back from the ground up. You will be able to keep it corralled better

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 11:29AM
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Here are pictures of my shrub. First, I guess ya'll can tell me if it's even a Manhattan Euonymus to begin with. It has very thick trunks is more like 10 feet tall (and growing!). Also, It has a weird growth on it and what looks like fungus on the leaves. We just moved into the house a year ago so I am not familiar with my shrubs and I have no idea how long it's been here. I like it so I don't want to get rid of it, just a good pruning! :)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 8:47PM
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    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 8:53PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i'll tell you what i would do.. get rid of it.. and start over .... its potential is obviously much more than where it is planted.. its too close to the house ...

second.. i dont know the name of the growth .. seen it before .. someone will tell us .. cut off the branch and get rid of it ..

first pic.. see the very short branch ... that basal shoot [i think that is the term] .. indicates to me.. that you can basically cut this to within 3 inches of the ground.. and it will start over ... but with no insult to the roots ... its going to be the same size inside 2 years ... unless you keep pruning it ....

or take out every other large branch.. and then next year.. take the other large ones ... a form of rejuvenation pruning ... google that term if you want more info ..

i dont know what it is.. besides hideous.. lol ... the advice is NOT dependent on what it is ...

are you really attached to it????


    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 1:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7


The corky growth is Euonymus Crown Gall, caused by a soil borne bacterium. It can't be 'cured' and cutting out the bad stems really only delays the inevitable. Removal of the plant is usually the most common recommendation and I ain't just saying that because it's homely and overgrown.

HOWEVER, if you are determined to give it some more time, I'd strongly suggest that you go with my original suggestion of pruning it down to 6 inch stumps or less and letting the plant rejuvenate from the base. If you cut it back just to the woody parts, you'll be horrified at how ugly it will be for the rest of its (rather short) life.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 1:46PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

is the gall thing zonal???

i have seen them on juniper.. and many other shrubs... and i just trim them off.. and 25 years later.. the plant is still just chugging along ...

why so in z5.. but not down in the warmer zones ... does winter interfere.. or just different types of galls ...

if it died.. would that gall you??? ... lol

might want to lean your saw in between plants ....

i didnt mention this before.. but i have a real hate for Euonymus .. besides being impossible to spell.. with scale.. and galls.. and everything else.. let me put it this way ... you can do much better ...

hire some strapping young man to make it disappear ... or buy hubby a steak and a 12 pack .. and tape it to the a/c .. and tell him its all his when the job is done .... or whatever will stimulate your significant other ... its roots are probably going to be as thick as those branches.. so some heavy labor will be requisite ...


Here is a link that might be useful: ah.. one is bacterial.. one other fungal ...

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 2:11PM
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You guys are all great ( and funny!!). EEK massive roots = lots of money to get it out. yikes. I'll try a hard prune first and see in a year or two about removal. I'm only 5'1 and pruning that is monster is very difficult for me. Also, I suspect I have this shrub in tree form next to a fence. I'll have to post pics and get some ID on that later. The next difficult part for me is deciding what to put in its place.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 2:29PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

expensive ???? ... sonny boy .. grand kid .. neighbor boy ... butch neighbor woman ...

i wouldnt call this a job for a pro ...

you said: I'll try a hard prune first and see in a year or two about removal. ===>>> yes.. that is always the fall back.. prune the heck out of it.. and see what happens.. buy a year or two.. and then.. if you dont like it ... get rid of it ...

start a new post on a new plant ...


    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 5:26PM
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