Show Off Your Berries

The long shoots and ends of the berried branches were pruned off today

The long shoots and ends of the berried branches were pruned off today.

This closer shot show how effective the berries can be if allowed to be visible

This closer shot shows how effective the berries can be if allowed to be visible.

Many of our best fruiting plants hide their berries. This is true of this pyracantha. So, today I removed all the long branches that had grown over the summer. I also tip pruned the berried branches to improve the impact. The goal is not for the plant to look like it has be pruned or change the shape of the plant, but simply to show off the berries. Other plants I feel comfortable doing this to are deciduous hollies, beauty berry (in this case I remove some of the non-fruiting branches with heavy foliage), quince, and almost any other plant that the foliage or summer growth tends to hide the fruits. When I was at Auburn in the old days, pyracantha was used along the entry sidewalks to the dorms to keep us from cutting corners. At the beginning of football season they were severely cut to show off their berries. So the visitors enjoyed the fall color of the berries, and the students did not cut corners to get into the dorms. This shows you how times have changed. Today they would be declared dangerous.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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