How to prune a mock orange tree

Written by eulalia palomo
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How to prune a mock orange tree
The mock orange has fragrant white flowers that smell of orange blossoms. (pamela hodson/iStock/Getty Images)

Mock orange -- also known as Mexican orange blossom -- grows in tropical, subtropical and temperate climates. The small white flowers are fragrant and resemble the scent of orange blossoms. This shrub grows up to 3 metres (9 feet) tall and forms a thick hedge of glossy green foliage scattered with white blossoms. The mock orange, with minimal pruning, forms a neat, rounded hedge. When pruned rigorously, the mock orange makes a pleasing, fragrant formal hedge.

Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw

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  1. 1

    Prune in the late winter or early spring. Remove any dead wood. Use pruning shears for small branches. Larger branches require a tree saw. At times, branches of the mock orange can die without apparent cause. Remove the dead wood to improve the health and appearance of the shrub.

  2. 2

    Remove any frost damaged wood. Mock orange is hardy with minimal damage down to temperatures as low as -15 degrees C (5F); however, some branches will suffer frost damage at these low temperatures. Remove all branches with frost damage.

  3. 3

    Prune the shrub to the desired size and shape. Left untended, the mock orange will form a 3 metres (9 feet) tall, tidy hedge. If a lower, formal hedge is required, cut the branches from the top and sides of the shrub until the desired shape is achieved.

Tips and warnings

  • Mock orange is tolerant of heavy pruning -- if necessary, it can be cut all the way to the ground.
  • Mock orange requires a sunny location out of cold winds for optimum growth and appearance.

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