How To Prune Tree Peony: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Tree peonies are magnificent ornamental plants that can add a lot of beauty to any garden. However, like all plants, they require some maintenance to keep them healthy and looking their best. One essential task in the care of tree peonies is pruning. Pruning helps maintain their shape and size, encourages new growth, and promotes flowering. In this blog post, we will discuss how to prune tree peony effectively.

When to Prune Tree Peony

The timing of pruning for your tree peony depends on your location and climate; however, generally speaking, the best time for pruning is during late winter or early spring before new growth appears. The ideal time is when you see the buds beginning to swell but have not yet broken open.

Pruning Techniques

There are two types of pruning techniques used for tree peonies: rejuvenation pruning and selective pruning.

Rejuvenation Pruning
This technique involves cutting back a shrub drastically by one-third or more every three years or so. It removes old branches that may no longer flower as vigorously while encouraging new shoots from the base which will replenish older wood over time.

Selective Pruning
This type of technique is less drastic than rejuvenation pruning since it only involves removing unwanted branches without damaging those that produce healthy flowers.

Here’s how:

– Start by removing deadwood with a pair of sharp shears.
– Cut out any shoots coming from below the graft union (if present). These shoots do not produce flowers.
– Remove any weak stems growing towards the center of the plant.
– Thin out crowded areas if necessary.
– Trim down lateral stems 1/3 –1/2 inch above an outward-facing bud at a slight angle away from it.

Tips for Successful Tree Peony Pruning

Before starting your pruners follow these tips:

1) Always make clean cuts close enough to living tissue so they heal quickly without leaving stubs.
2) Avoid cutting too close to the bud as this may cause it to die.
3) Sharpen your pruning tools before use, which will make clean cuts and reduce the risk of transmitting diseases from plant to plant.


Pruning is an essential part of maintaining the health and beauty of tree peonies. Rejuvenation pruning should be used sparingly since it removes a lot of wood at once, but selective pruning can help keep plants healthy by removing damaged or diseased branches while encouraging new growth. Remember to prune your tree peony every year in late winter or early spring for best results. By following the tips highlighted above, you’ll have gorgeous tree peonies in no time!