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How To Prune Blueberries
Last Updated: 13/09/2018
Pruning is carried out after leaf fall, in mid winter while the plants are dormant.
For the first two years after planting, your bushes will need very little pruning, except general tidying up and shortening of very long canes to encourage branching.

Many growers remove all or most of the flower buds in the first year. This will encourage vegetative growth instead of fruit production, thus making a more substantial plant for the following year.

The philosophy of pruning is
  • To stimulate new growth and keep the plant yielding large crops of big berries
  • To remove unproductive, diseased, dead or dying wood
  • To remove branches which are too high or too low
  • To thin out overcrowded canes

Blueberries fruit on short lateral branches grown during the spring or early summer of the previous year. The strong canes that grow in late summer may produce fruit buds at their tips. If desired, these canes can be cut back by half in winter to encourage branching; this is at the expense of their fruiting tips.

First, remove any whippy green narrow growth from the base. This will never produce anything and is worthless
All wood that has born fruit the previous year can then be taken back to the next strong, young growth
When this is complete, stand back, look at your bush and start detail pruning and tipping branches that have died back. This will help to reduce fungal infection in future years.
Our rule here at our plantations is "If in doubt, take it out!"

At the end of pruning mature bushes you should probably have removed up to 1/6 of the bush.

Its very important to remove the prunings from your garden, either by burning or to a green waste site, as old prunings can harbour previous season's disease.

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