How to Prune a Strawberry Tree

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When cared for properly, the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) can reach a height between 8 and 15 feet, with a spread as large as 20 feet. The tree is characterised by dark, flaky bark and leathery leaves. Humans and birds alike consume its sweet red or yellow fruits; this type of tree in a garden can attract a variety of wildlife. The strawberry tree grows to its tallest and firmest when pruned properly and carefully.

Prune the strawberry tree in early spring before the blooming season. This will promote more healthy growth in the growing season, when the tree can easily recover from the pruning.

Prune the tree so that it grows with a single, strong trunk. Cut away any excessive twists or splits that may cause a second trunk to grow. Strawberry trees will try to grow multiple trunks, but are easier to control with one strong trunk.

Trim branches below the desired canopy level. Strawberry branches will droop as the tree grows, reducing visibility of the boot and limiting the vehicles or people that can pass below. Establish a safe canopy level and prune any branches that droop or develop beneath that level.

Cut away any dead or diseased branches to prevent the spread of disease and to promote good health on all branches.

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