Cranberry bush is split into two common varieties: the European cranberry bush and the American cranberry bush. The leaf shape and the shape of the gland below the leaf is the only difference between the two. Both are deciduous shrubs. The bush produces a flower that is white and looks liked popped popcorn. Flowers appear in late April and early May. After flowering, the pollinated flowers become fruit. To keep fruit and flower production at its maximum, the bush requires regular pruning.
Observe the bush for inner branches that are without leaves, and check whether the plant looks top heavy. This means pruning is required at different lengths throughout the plant, says Clemson Cooperative Extension.
Cut away any dead or dying branches back until you see healthy, green growth on the inside of the branch. Remove any dead branches as well.
Cut back a third of the branches to reduce the density of the bush, repeating each year to grow a bush with a high fruit and flower yield. Cut each branch at varying heights to reduce dense growth.
Prune the branch a quarter inch above a branch node at a slight angle using a pair of pruning shears. Make the cut clean with sharp pruning shears to avoid crushing the branch.