what to do with unfortunate cotinus?

xanthoria(9)November 4, 2012

I have a Cotinus coggygria in the garden - it's been growing there 2 years.

It was trained to a standard when I got it, about 2' tall. The first year i pruned it I was told to remove 1/2 of the length and the result was unattractive long, whippy stems all over the place. Ugh!

I would prefer it to grow as a shrub, not a standard shape. Can I cut the main trunk to the ground almost and hope it comes back? One or two smaller sticks are coming from the base now.

If so, how short should I take it?

If not, how should I prune it?


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

it would depend if it is a graft.. what it is grafted to.. and if there is a secondary graft just above the roots ...

or whether it is a trained .. non-grafted specimen ...

unless someone knows specifically .. we MIGHT be able to help with some pix


    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 7:39AM
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OK, here's a pic showing the top of the standard (another to come)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 4:58PM
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And here's the base of the trunk - you can see 2 other sprouts from the base (with has the same colored leaves as the main plant)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:00PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what is growing out of the branches near and at ground level???

does it look the same as the top???

bottom line.. if you dont like it at height.. lop it off at the ground.. see what happens.. the worst is that you still dont like it.. and get rid of it ...


    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Cotinus make those things near the growing when they are cut or damaged. The best thing to do is to choose one and cut the rest off. After about 2 years, it settles down and lets you have one leader. They grow pretty fast, but never become as well built as a central leader. I have one that has drowned, twice. It should be eliminated, but I don't need the spot and it costs me nothing. I must be the only one with a 10yr. old Cotinus coggygria less than 5 ft. My obovatus didn't even bother to come back from the first drowning it got. That and a Chionanthus virginica, both really really didn't like wet feet.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:54PM
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