How to prune your blueberry bush

Knowing how to prune your blueberry bush is easy once you realize you are growing the bush for fruit production and not just ornamental purposes.

Fruiting plants tend to look a little spindly in the beginning of the season but this allows the blueberry bush to concentrate on producing fruit and not a landscape ornamental look, full of leaves and vegetation.  Although a good pruning of your blueberry bushes will cause it to fill in nicely the crop will be far better when following some simple tips of what to look for and how to effectively prune your blueberry bush.

We’ve chose to refer to a video, Pruning Blueberry Bushes, from the the University of Maine for reference; because of the climate and easy to understand steps. Here’s a few things to remember when you prune your blueberry bush:

  1. Start to trim or prune your blueberry bush when the leaves fall off, October – November, so you can see old or dead canes. You may also prune blueberry bushes anytime in the dormant season, end of December – early/late March.
  2. Remove about 25%-30% of the bush and cross branching to open up for aerating. Most of this will be removed from the middle of the plant.
  3. When pruning your blueberry bush remember to remove the weaker new canes and a couple of older canes so that they are being replaced by the new, strong canes.
  4. A mature blueberry bush will have 6-12 canes coming from the base of the plant which sustains the upright structure and fruiting of the bush. Mature bushes with 6-12 canes will have canes that range from 1 – 6 years old
  5. Moving to the top of your blueberry bush you want to trim out some of the shoots. You’ll want to leave the strong, good length lateral branches that have fruiting buds at the tip (tear drop shape) and vegetative buds at the base.

Pruning Blueberries from the University of Maine

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