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How to Trim a Diablo Ninebark Tree

The snowy shrub. image by BVVBOR from

The 'Diablo' ninebark is a shrub that can grow nearly 6 feet high. It is adaptable to many conditions and can serve as a border in a yard or a windbreak in larger settings. In the early summer, it produces red and pink flowers. Like other shrubs, however, you may want to limit its size, which requires some trimming. Horticulturists recommend waiting until late winter or early spring before pruning.

Identify the size and shape you desire in the shrub. The Diablo ninebark can grow as wide as 10 feet.

Search for a smaller branch that is located on the outer side of a larger branch. Cut away the larger branch at an angle with sharp pruning shears. This will allow the smaller branch to grow.

Remove older canes or branches that are no longer providing flowers every one or two years. Cut these unproductive branches at ground level with lopping shears.

Trim A Ninebark Bush

Ninebark, also known as Physocarpus opulifolius, is a medium sized shrub grown primarily for its interesting and colorful foliage. Nurseries offer several different cultivars, such as 'Diablo,' 'Gold's Dart' and 'Summer Wine.' Ninebarks can grow in the warmth of zone 10, but they may need more frequent watering during a summer drought. If left alone to grow, the shrub develops a scraggly, irregular shape. The plant benefits from a regular pruning in the fall after the plant goes dormant and in spring, just before blooming begins. It is important to remove larger, interior branches using lopping shears. Make sure to cut branches off at their point of origin. Normally, do not remove more than one third of the interior branches in a single pruning session. However, it must be noted that there will not be flowers for one year due to this. Remove one third of branches and thick stems.


Wear sturdy work gloves when trimming shrubs.

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