How to Prune Old Gold Bushes

by Reannan Raine

"Old Gold" bushes (Juniperus x pfitzeriana "Old Gold"), commonly called Chinese junipers, have bronzy-gold scale-type foliage. They are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9. With a height of 2 to 3 feet and width of 4 to 5 feet, they are often planted as tall ground-cover plants. These evergreens also fit well into foundation landscapes and can be grown as short hedges. These fairly easy-to-grow bushes do not need to be pruned frequently to keep them under control. A light pruning, however, can improve the shrub’s overall health and encourage a more compact shape.

1 Prune the shrub once per year. Early to mid-spring before the bush begins to put on new spring growth is preferable, but it can be pruned at any time. Use sharp hand pruners. Do not use hedge shears on “Old Gold” junipers.

2 Prune out dead leaves from the center and bottom of the shrub to improve air circulation. Prune off dead branches. Trim any diseased branches back to healthy growth.

3 Trim back only the tips of long, vigorous branches to reduce the size of the shrub, if desired. Trim them back to the first set of smaller side branches. Prune off side branches, the smaller branches that grow along the side of large branches, that are growing across other branches. Do not cut off entire healthy branches, as they will not grow back.

4 Rake up all of the trimmings and debris from around the base of the shrub. Place it in the trash to be removed from the property.

Items you will need

  • Sharp pruners
  • Rake

Warning

  • Junipers contain tannins and resins that inhibit decomposition. The trimmings should not be put into a compost bin.

About the Author

Reannan Raine worked for 30 years in the non-profit sector in various positions. She recently became a licensed insurance agent but has decided to pursue a writing career instead. Ms. Raine is hoping to have her first novel published soon.