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I have a barberry bush. How can I maintain the graceful arch of the branches?
If you are keeping your barberry shrubs as a hedge, it is necessary to prune a couple of times a year. Pruning barberry plants increase shrub health and vigor. Prune for shape during the winter or fall after the plant has fruited. Remove dead wood during the summer and winter months.
it sounds like you have only one bush and not a hedge so this should be easier to trim but they all have "deadly" thorns!
Here is a link to the full instructions shared by Attosa. www.gardeningknowhow.com/
Be sure to dress accordingly before starting your trimming as these thorns can really cut deep and even poke an eye.
Barberry doesn't shear well, so prune individual branches back into the bush to encourage new growth to arch gracefully.
There are several types of Barberry and each one has a little difference in when to prune so maybe you can read the information on these links and find out which bush you have.
These are nice bushes but be sure to plant away from any walkway or driveway as they might "grab" someone with their thorny branches.
Several bushes planted together make a great hedge but they do require maintenance every so often and often need to be completely cut to 3 inches off the ground.