How to Prune Silverberry


Silverberry, also known as Elaeagnus pungens, is an evergreen shrub with thorns that can be pruned into a hedge, if desired. Silverberry produces small fruits in late spring. Silverberry is considered a hardy plant because it thrives in both dry soil and soil that contains salt. The plant requires frequent pruning, especially if it is being used as a hedge.

Step 1

Wear gardening gloves and use a partner as a spotter if you are going up on a ladder. Silverberry has large thorns that will cause injury, so wear a long-sleeved shirt while pruning and keep gardening gloves on at all times.

Step 2

Prune silverberry in early spring to remove dead and crisscrossed branches. Clip off branches 1 inch above the base of the branch to allow new growth to develop.

Step 3

Prune silverberry anytime before red fruits begin to grow in late spring. Pruning branches with silverberry fruit will prevent new fruit from growing.

Step 4

Trim your silverberry shrub weekly during early and mid-spring in order to maintain a neat appearance, especially if you are using your silverberry shrub as a hedge. For straight-edged trimming, use hedge clippers instead of pruning shears.

Step 5

Remove any branch clippings from the base of the shrub immediately after pruning to promote new growth and better absorption from the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep hedge clippers and pruning shears out of the reach of children.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Hedge clippers
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Gardening gloves
  • Ladder


  • Backyard Gardener: Silverberry
  • The Free Library: Elaeganus Commutata

Who Can Help

  • USDA: Silverberry
Keywords: elaeagnus commutata, pruning, hedge, silverberry, prune

About this Author

Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.