Question From: e. Pierce - Headingley, Manitoba, Canada
Q: I some barberry shrubs which have leaves forming at the bottom of the branches but are barren at the top 2/3 of the plant. The plants are about 1 1/2 feet tall and the leaves are a deep burgundy colour with a bit of rust in it. We are in zone 3 and did not have much of a snow cover this year. I do not know whether to cut the branches down to the new leaves or to leave them, expecting that the leaves will grow up the branches. Some of the branches are clearly dead and some are red coloured and still pliable. Would love some direction. Thank-you.
Cut away all the dead stuff. Prune off dead ends but leave a bit of live material on the stems for new growth. Keep them well watered this summer and fertilize them with Espoma HollyTone this fall after the leaves fall. By next spring you should have an idea whether they will continue to fill out or need to be replaced. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy
Comment: Thank-you so much for taking the time to comprehensively give me direction re. the Burberry shrub. I really appreciate your help and will follow your advice.