How to Prune Highbush Blueberry


Highbush blueberries are relatively carefree fruits to grow in home gardens. They need to be pruned every year in late winter to remain productive. Infrequent pruning will reduce the amount and size of berries produced. Regular yearly pruning will produce fewer but larger berries and more new growth on more productive canes.

Step 1

Cut off and remove any branches or twigs that are dead or diseased.

Step 2

Prune off branches that are growing close to the ground and that would sag to ground level under the weight of ripening berries.

Step 3

Remove short branches growing from the base of the plant. These small branches will not produce much fruit and will take energy away from larger, more productive branches.

Step 4

Remove the two largest branches. Do this every year. As the branches grow larger, they become less productive. The energy the plant uses for them will help produce more and larger berries on other branches if these large unproductive ones are removed.

Step 5

Prune any branches that are growing laterally across or rubbing against other branches.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning clippers


  • Oregon State: Prune Highbush Blueberry

Who Can Help

  • Pruning Fruits and Berries
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About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.