How to Prune a Chaste Tree

Overview

A chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) can be grown as a large, multi-stemmed shrub or as a single-trunk tree. It grows 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. It is a deciduous tree that blooms in May and June with lavender, purple, pink or white flowers. A chaste tree blooms on the current season's growth. Prune the tree while it is dormant, usually in December to early March, to encourage new growth and more blooms.

Step 1

Remove any damaged, diseased or dead limbs and branches. Use hand pruners for limbs up to ½ inch in diameter and lopping shears for larger branches. Make pruning cuts at a 30-degree angle at a bud or where the affected limb meets a larger limb or branch.

Step 2

Use hand pruners or lopping shears to remove any crooked, bent or crossed limbs.

Step 3

Thin the older branches of a shrub-style chaste tree by cutting them at ground level with hand pruners or lopping shears. This will encourage healthy new limbs to grow in the spring.

Step 4

Remove any limbs that are too low on a non-shrub chaste tree. Prune them as close as possible to the main trunk without cutting into the main trunk.

Step 5

Shorten individual limbs and branches with hand pruners or lopping shears to shape the plant and maintain its size.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Lopping shears

References

  • Arizona Cooperative Extension

Who Can Help

  • Chaste Tree
  • Pruning Basics
  • Vitex Agnus-Castus
Keywords: chaste tree, prune chaste tree, vitex agnus-castus, prune vitex agnus-castus

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.