Proper pruning is vital for the healthy development of all trees, but it is especially important for jacarandas because of their rapid growth rate. This article tells you how to encourage strong, healthy growth through good pruning techniques.
How to Prune Jacaranda Trees
Jacaranda trees grow very quickly. Rapid growth may seem like an advantage, but the branches that result have soft, easily damaged wood. When done properly, jacaranda tree trimming strengthens the tree by limiting the growth to well-shaped side shoots on a single trunk.
Examine young saplings to select a strong central leader. Leaders are stems that are growing up instead of out. On jacarandas, a main leader should have bark. Mark the strongest leader and remove the others. This will become the trunk of the tree. You’ll have to remove competing leaders every three years for the first 15 to 20 years.
The next step in pruning a jacaranda tree is to thin the canopy. Remove all branches that grow at less than a 40-degree angle to the trunk. These branches aren’t securely attached to the tree, and they are likely to break on a windy day. Make sure the branches are spaced so that each one has room to grow and reach its full potential. Remove branches by cutting them back to the collar where they attach to the trunk. Never leave a stub.
Once you have the canopy looking good, neaten it up a little. Remove spindly little stems that grow from previous pruning cuts and shoots that grow directly from the ground. These types of growth detract from the shape of the tree and drain off energy the tree needs to grow and bloom.
Cut back dead and broken branches as they appear throughout the year. Cut damaged branches back to just beyond a side stem. If there are no more side stems on the branch, remove the entire branch back to the collar.
The best time for pruning jacaranda trees is in winter before new growth begins. The tree flowers on new wood, and trimming in late winter stimulates vigorous new growth for the maximum number and size of blossoms. Strong new growth also encourages flowering earlier in the season. Jacaranda pruning can cause poor flowering if you wait until after spring growth begins.