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Hi, we have a beautiful evergreen Ceanothus in our front garden. It is very well established and now over 15ft tall.

It is well shaped into a dome and gives fantastic colour when in bloom. Conscious of its size (and my next door neighbour) I'd like to cut it back this year.

However I'm concerned that the old wood doesn't seem to re-shoot... though i've not pruned it back hard at any point, I'm worried that if we do some large scale pruning the plant wont re-generate, and we'd hate to lose it.

All the guide books i've found discuss the plant as a small shrub and state that pruning isn't all that necessary... however trust me this one needs a good haircut! Anyone have any experience or suggestions for dealing with a Ceanothus of this size?


I had one that got unstable. I thought you couldn't cut them back to old wood but my neighbour said it worked for him. So I cut the whole thing back to a couple of feet and It grew back. It's only had a season so it's too soon to say what the long term effect will be. Something pretty shapeless compared to what I had before would be my guess, but still with the pretty blue flowers. It's 'Concho'

Cheers nutcutlet, it's got to a size now where I will be forced to do something.

There are no issues with stability or disease, it's a fantastic specimen, was just worried that it wouldn't re-grow from the old wood.

Happy to take a sparse year if it means long term the tree can stay.


Hi, My next door neighbour had a similar problem, her tree was very heavy on one side and pushing over my fence. She had a guy in who cut it back to almost the main branch, it looked awfull. She thought he had killed it and low and behold, several months later, its srouting new shoots from the main stem like crazy, I am not advising this is what you do but they are clearly more tollerant than we may think..

 (Just a note, thats my neighbours garden not mine)...

Just for all to see, this is how it looks in summer, sounds like we might be OK to have a go at cutting back.




that is a beauty Gary

Sue H
Can you grow it from a cutting?

I regularly cut back my neighbour's 10ft Ceanothus where it overhangs the fence and she says it looks better on my side than hers! Wait until after flowering, as neither you nor your neighbour want to miss the short period of beauty, then cut back by half about a third of the stems each year for the next 3 years. Good luck!


Sue H. You can grow them from cuttings, they must be easy cos I did it!


Julyish, what does that make it? Probably luck rather than judgement here.


LOL, I will try it in July (if I remember)..


Friend has a Ceanothus 8ft, which was trimmed back in the autumn / winter last year. Now  just one of the branches is dead.   What could have caused this?

What precautions should I take in removing the dead branch?

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