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Like the popular magnolia, the Judas tree (or heart or love tree, as it is sometimes called because of the characteristic shape of its leaves) is one of the trees that bloom in spring. As with the magnolia, the Judas tree should be pruned as little as possible, even if it - in contrast to the magnolia - is actually very well tolerated by pruning.

The Judas tree does not require regular pruning

Judas tree only needs pruning

Since the Judas tree mainly flowers on shoots and branches that are at least two years old, regular pruning is basically not necessary, except for educational and nurturing purposes. Quite the opposite, because you would only rob the tree of its flowering shrubs with strong cuts and thus unnecessarily reduce the flowering. Nonetheless, the Judas tree benefits from pruning done with clean, sharp, and sanitized tools in spring just before the flower buds burst. In doing so, remove

  • diseased and dead wood
  • twigs and branches damaged by frost
  • shoots competing with the main stem
  • as well as crossing and inward branches and twigs.

As a rule, it should not be necessary to thin out the crown, as the Judas tree grows a little more loosely from the start. However, this care measure may be due for older specimens if they have not been pruned for several years.

Observe growth before planting

In order to have to prune this beautiful tree as little as possible, you should pay attention to a suitable location with a corresponding amount of space when planting. Depending on the type and variety, Judas trees can grow up to six meters and higher and also grow accordingly in width. These are by no means slow-growing plants, as is so often claimed - annual increases in growth of 50 centimeters and significantly more are not uncommon.

Growing the Judas Tree

The situation is very different if you want to grow your Judas tree in a certain way, for example as a trellis, a standard tree, a shrub or even a bonsai. In this case, you can cut back the plant by up to a third and shape it into the desired shape. Except for a few varieties, Judas trees are quite tolerant of pruning.

Pruning the hanging Judas tree only a little

In contrast to other Judas trees, a hanging Judas tree (e.g. the "Lavender Twist" variety) should not be pruned or only pruned for maintenance purposes, otherwise the growth may suffer.


Maintenance or pruning should be done on a mild but overcast day in February/March with temperatures above zero degrees Celsius.

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