The cascade bilberry is a low bushy shrub found growing from British Columbia to northern California. Used to make quinic acid, an ingredient found in face creams and serums, the cascade bilberry is also used to make jellies, jams, and pies. Berries are picked in late July or August. The leaves of the bilberry are used to make teas, which is known to stimulate the appetite. The small pink flowers attract insects like butterflies, and the blue berries are around nine millimeters in diameter. Cascade bilberry is found growing in meadows and coniferous woods and along the coast; it thrives in moist and shady conditions.
Prune the cascade bilberry in the fall and after picking the berries. This will help to stimulate new growth and fruit production for the next season.
Pick all of the berries off the plant before pruning. This will increase the yield next season. Remove dead berries from the ground to prevent animals and insects from affecting the plant.
Cut the top of the cascade bilberry using pruning shears, and prune the terminal bud, which is the top end of the stem and main area of growth. Prune all side branches that are twisted and old.
Prune a broken or deformed branch by removing the entire branch. Remove all diseased branches to avoid contaminating the shrub.
For young cascade bilberry shrubs, keep the pruning down to a minimum. New growth should be tended to carefully.