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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - January 04, 2010

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Need help with pruning my Anacacho Orchid tree.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have an Anacacho Orchid Tree which has done so well in its location that we will need to prune it back. Please advise how much we can prune it and what time of year to do so. Thank you

ANSWER:

The Anacacho Orchid tree Bauhinia lunarioides (Texasplume) is a rapid grower that makes a gorgeous display with its silvery-gray bark and white flowers that resemble orchids. Flowers occur primarily in March, April, May and sporadically through the warm months.  Its nectar attracts butterflies and bees.

The timing of pruning is explained in this article from Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and one of its points is that spring-flowering shrubs bloom on last season's growth and should be pruned soon after they bloom. This allows for vigorous summertime growth and results in plenty of flower buds the following year.  Pruning these shrubs in the fall would remove the buds, and diminish spring flowering.

This article from Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service  offers a comprehensive discussion of the pruning of trees and shrubs.

 

From the Image Gallery


Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

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