How to cut the loquat in an exemplary manner - tutorial with all types of cuts and dates

How to cut the loquat in an exemplary manner - tutorial with all types of cuts and dates

Types of cuts and dates

The best-known representative of the common loquat genus is the red-leaved loquat with its star variety 'Red Robin'. The most beautiful ornament of the decorative ornamental shrub is a bright red shoot of young leaves. In sunny locations, the play of colors inspires from spring to summer. Nice contrasts arise when the white flowers appear from May to June. In autumn, the flower panicles turn into red, apple-shaped berries, which birds serve as a valuable source of food. With a cut at the right time, you can support the picturesque festival of colors and keep the loquat in shape. The following table summarizes all editing options with information on the best possible dates:

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Cut typeGoal / occasionbest dateAppointment option II
Plant pruninggood branching at the base of the bushafter planting in springEnd of June to mid-July
Body sectioncompact growth to the final heightafter the flowering periodMid to late August
Clearance cut solitaireThinning out dead wood, maintaining the shapeevery 3 to 5 years from February to early Marchno
Topiary hedgeGrowth control, encouragement of colorful leaf shootsannually after the flowering period at the end of Junemid to late August if required
Topiary high trunk crownPreservation of the crown shapeseveral times per season from late June to late Augustno
Taper cutrevitalization in stagesover 3 years in January / Februaryno

Loquat species bloom from May to June on the previous year's shoots . It is also the young wood that gives us the colorful leaves. The growth behavior results in the ornamental trees being generally cautiousbe blended. The classic date for pruning trees in early spring is no longer necessary because the flower buds fall victim to it. A suitable time window opens up after the flowering period for shape and corrective cuts on solitary trees and hedges. However, with withered inflorescences, the attachments for the decorative fruit decorations are removed at the same time. The cultivation of medlars as a hedge therefore confronts the gardener with the decision between a neat, accurate appearance or autumnal berry decorations. After all, regular maintenance cuts keep the wood young and vital, so that it can boast of its bright red shoots from spring to summer.

Cut on the day of planting

Newcomers to pruning care have reservations about pruning young medlars on the day of planting. Although 'Red Robin' and other species thrive at a rate of growth of up to 50 centimeters per year, the pruning on the few young shoots creates an unsafe feeling. The background explanations below explain why you should overcome all concerns and plant pruning on your loquat. As a result, you will be rewarded with vital branching at the base of the bush that will last. How to do it right:

  • After planting, cut back all shoots by a third or half
  • Remove noticeably weak or damaged branches
  • Place each cut 3 to 4 millimeters above an outward-facing bud

Measure the circumference of the cut according to the rule of thumb: the better the young plant branches, the less it needs to be cut. It is an advantage if you aim for a pyramidal shape at this early stage of the incision care. This premise applies equally to the solitary shrub and the hedge. Light and sun rays can only get deep into the interior of the wood if the crown is narrower than the base.

Loquat solitaire cut back


No branching without sap pressure - pruning makes it possible

In many plants, the summit bud dominates growth. At this point there is stronger growth than on the side buds. With pressure, most of the nutrients are pumped towards the top bud because the plant wants to win the race to light. The effect is clearly visible when the summit bud is removed. Immediately afterwards, the side buds that were previously subordinately supplied are subject to increased budding. The above-mentioned dominance of the tip bud is less pronounced in evergreen woody plants than in herbaceous or deciduous plants. At the same time, the removal of summit buds on the main shoot and on the shoots underneath has the effect that the buds at the base of the bush sprout more and trigger dense branching.

Gradual build-up section

The most beautiful loquat varieties inspire with their loose, broad, bushy growth. Primus variety 'Red Robin' achieves an impressive width of up to 200 centimeters at a height of 300 centimeters. This carries the risk that the shrub will quickly fall apart as a solitary and hedge. With a step-by-step construction , you promote compact, densely branched growth. Here's how to do it properly:

  • Prune solitary or hedge after flowering at the end of June
  • Shorten this year's growth to 10 or 15 centimeters
  • Optionally, cut back the new growth to 10 or 15 centimeters in mid-August

Trim the top and sides of the medlars to create a dense, bushy habit. From the beginning of September there is no more cutting so that the branches mature before the first frost. Remain true to the conical cut profile so that the woody shrubs or hedge always flourish flooded with light.


Loquat species are closely related to hawthorn (Crataegus), firethorn (Pyracantha) and cotoneaster (Cotoneaster). The genera are assigned to the rose family. In contrast to the scratchy relatives, gloss medlars dispense with sharp thorns. Only the not hardy Photinia davidsoniae is armed with small thorns.

Cut solitaire rarely

A skilful structural cut releases the medlar with a harmonious, stable silhouette at the desired height. The subsequent section of care is limited to pruning of dead wood and shortening overlong shoots that protrude from the mold. How to do it right:

  • Cut the common loquat shrub every 3 to 5 years
  • The best time is from February to early March
  • Cut off dead wood at the base beforehand
  • Remove weak and transversely growing shoots that are directed into the interior of the bush
  • Branches protruding from the shrub shape lead to a young side shoot

Please note the different choice of dates compared to the structure and shape cut. A clearing cut intervenes deeply in growth so that it is subject to the regulations of the Federal Nature Conservation Act. It stipulates that radical cuts in woody plants, such as thinning out or sitting on the stick, are permitted from October 1st to February 28th. In the middle of the summer grace period, light maintenance and shaped cuts are permitted in this year's growth.

Deriving excessively long shoots - brief instructions derivation cut

If the gardener is familiar with the derivation cut, the bridge from the amateur “somewhere cut” to the professional “know-how cut” is achieved. If overly long shoots protrude from your loquat, the cutting technique of the derivation solves the problem. If you cut the annoying branch at any point, there will be a gap in the appearance. On the other hand, if you proceed as illustrated in the figure below, slim down the drive. How to do it right:

  • Find a short, vital side shoot in the lower area of ​​the shoot to be shortened
  • Pick up sharp, disinfected pruning shears
  • Stabilize the branch with the other hand
  • Scissor blades are set just behind the fork of the old and young shoot
  • Result: young side drive takes over the leadership position

Please make sure that you do not cut into young wood. It is an advantage if you start the cut 2 to 3 millimeters behind the branch on the old shoot. Up to a branch diameter of 3 to 4 centimeters, complete the cut with pruning shears with a bypass mechanism for smooth cuts. For higher drive strengths, we recommend a folding saw (€ 17.70 at Amazon *) also known as the Japanese saw.

Cut the loquat

Cut the loquat hedge into shape

In regions with mild winter and sheltered from the wind, loquat bushes form a hedge with a special flair. The evergreen, shiny leaves paired with bright red shoots make the hedge a feast for the eyes with a privacy factor. To ensure that the green wall stays in shape with that certain something , the time window for cutting maintenance opens at the end of June . How to achieve the perfect shape cut:

  • Examine the hedge for nesting birds and cut it later if necessary
  • Cut back any branches that stick out on the sides
  • Shorten the branches protruding from the top
  • Ideally cut in a trapezoidal shape

If the hedge consists of vigorous loquat varieties such as 'Red Robin' or 'Pink Marble', note another topiary on the schedule for mid to late August. The pruning for this year ends at the beginning of September so that your loquat hedge can go into the cold season with stable shoot tips.


Splendid leaf dress thanks to manual cut care

The gloss loquat owes its name to the elegantly shiny, smooth-edged leaves that are up to 5 centimeters wide and 15 centimeters long. Machine-operated scissors are unsuitable for skillful pruning. Electric shrub and hedge shears work with short or long cutter bars that run against each other. Simply counter-rotating knives work with one movable and one immovable cutting edge. Double counter-rotating knives have two movable cutting edges. The way it works carries the risk of large loquat leaves getting caught in the cutter bar. We therefore recommend manual two-handed hedge trimmers for all types of pruning so that the splendid foliage can survive a pruning undamaged .

Cut the common loquat tree every year

The premium variety 'Red Robin' is about to have a brilliant career as a standard refinement. The innovative variant is perfect for the creative design of small gardens and has recently taken gardeners' hearts by storm. The undemanding cut tolerance allows an upbringing as a shapely spherical crown. Due to the vigorous growth of young shoots, you should use scissors at least once a year. This is how the flawless crown cut succeeds:

  • The best time is after the end of the flowering period between late June and mid-July
  • Cut back all the shoots that hang or stand from the crown shape
  • Ideally, too long shoots should be derived from a young side shoot
  • Remove shoots directed towards the inside of the crown
  • Preferably cut back just above an outward-facing bud

So that balcony gardeners can enjoy the picturesque play of colors, competent breeders have created 'Little Red Robin'. The evergreen trunk refinement remains at a height of 80 centimeters and is equipped with all the magnificent attributes of its big brother. The pruning care of both types does not differ.

Cutting on buds - this is how it works

If young shoots sprout outwards after a cut, you have done everything right. The secret of success lies in the cutting technique on buds. The figure below illustrates the correct procedure in comparison with a faulty incision. Place the scissors just above an outward-facing bud. A bud can be recognized as a slightly thickened knot under or on the bark. A cut into the bud is just as unfavorable as a long stub.

Cut the loquat

Rejuvenate in stages

If the ravages of time are gnawing at a loquat, you can bring the blaze of color from flowers and leaves back to life with a rejuvenating cut. The revitalization succeeds if you proceed in three stages. Far away from their Asian homeland, loquat bushes lack the strength to rejuvenate in one go. How to proceed correctly step by step:

  • The best time for each stage is between the end of January and the end of February
  • First stage: Thinning out dead wood and cutting back one side of the bush or hedge
  • Second stage: shorten the opposite side of the bush or hedge
  • Third stage: prune the shrub or hedge crown by one to two thirds
  • After each cut, fertilize with compost and horn shavings (€ 6.39 on Amazon *) or guano granules

Medlars cope better with a rejuvenating cut if you derive as many old shoots as possible. Before radically cutting off an aged branch, please look for a young side shoot in the lower area. Where old and young wood fork, they cut. If there is no suitable option for derivation, cut or saw the branch in question to a height of 20 to 30 centimeters. A step-by-step procedure improves the incidence of light inside the plant after the first stage. This has the advantage that the first shoots sprout and bald spots overgrow during the rejuvenation process.


Taper pruning activates dormant buds

When radically pruned branches sprout again from short stumps, trees astonish us again and again. The medallion is one of the diverse shrubs that are capable of this floral masterpiece. With wise foresight, the plants create dormant buds as they grow. The only task of those dormant vegetation points is to replace parts of plants that fail due to adverse circumstances. The loquat interprets a rejuvenation cut as an emergency and sprouts from its dormant buds. In gardening terms, the reserve systems are called sleeping eyes because they are tiny and almost invisible below the bark, waiting to be activated.

frequently asked Questions

Frost damage to my loquat - what to do?

As an Asian immigrant, the loquat cannot rely on the home advantage of a reliable frost hardiness. Especially the young shoots with the red leaves are at risk. Delayed ground frosts in spring leave a picture of devastation on the shrub. Leaves and shoot tips droop limp and frozen. This is no reason to write off the affected loquat completely. Wait until mid / late May. After the ice saints you can see exactly the extent of the forest damage. Cut frozen shoots back into sound wood. To identify healthy wood, scrape off a little bark. You can use the scissors wherever green tissue appears. After the pruning, apply an organic fertilizer to encourage growth.

Can you make the red robin 'Red Robin' as a single shrub into a ball? If so, should I put two plants together for denser growth?

Standing alone, the red robin 'Red Robin' is up to 2 meters wide. For this reason, one plant is completely sufficient if the site conditions are right and sufficient supply is ensured. The 'Red Robin' variety is easy to cut and can easily be cut in a spherical shape.

How narrowly can I cut medlars as a hedge. Our driveway allows a maximum hedge width of 40 centimeters.

Basically, it is possible to raise a hedge from medlars with a width of 40 centimeters. However, the very narrow growth habit requires frequent cutting dates. It must be cut at least 3 times a year so that your hedge does not grow into the driveway. The tree of life 'Smaragd' (Thuja occidentalis) or the pruning-compatible yew tree (Taxus baccata) are more suitable for the design plan. Red beech (Fagus sylvatica) and hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) are ideal among the deciduous trees.

The loquat has become too big for my little garden. Can I prune the shrub heavily in October now?

Locket are generally easy to cut. An important prerequisite for budding after a vigorous pruning is the timing. Ideally, prune the shrub in early spring, ideally in February to early March. Then you supply the medallion with compost and horn shavings or an organic fertilizer. Now in October the plant has stopped growing and is no longer sprouting. In addition, freshly cut shoots are threatened by frost damage.

When and how often should I cut the red loquat for even and dense growth?

The more often you cut medlars, the more vigorously the shoots branch and the more densely the growth. A pyramidal cut profile is particularly important for medlar loquats. The shrub should be noticeably wider at the bottom than at the top. Otherwise, it is to be expected that the bush or hedge will bare, which can only be remedied by a radical rejuvenation cut. For the first three years, we recommend pruning a red loquat in February, June and August. The growth speed is reduced on older specimens, so that an annual topiary is sufficient in late winter.

Should the withered blooms of a medallion be cut off or not? The shrub is in a sunny location in the middle of our family garden.

By autumn, the blooms of all common loquat species and varieties transform into poisonous fruits that are reminiscent of small apples. Consuming a few berries is enough to induce nausea and vomiting. If the ornamental wood is within the reach of children, all withered flowers should be cleaned off immediately after the flowering period. Apply the scissors below the terminal panicles, just above an opposing pair of leaves.

Our 8-year-old Loquat 'Red Robin' has never been cut. The shrub is now pretty bare near the ground. Will the bush become dense again after pruning?

The red robin loquat is very easy to cut and then drives out again reliably. You should do a strong pruning in two or three stages. First, shorten the sides by a third or half. Use this opportunity to thin out dead branches and remove all branches that are unfavorably growing inwards. In the following year, prune the crown of the bush by a third. The best time is in early spring, just before the new shoot begins. The cut causes sap to accumulate in the lower area of ​​the bush, whereupon new shoots sprout. In addition, we recommend that you regularly fertilize the loquat with compost and horn shavings.

The 3 most common mistakes

A loquat without flowers and fruits is the victim of a typical cutting error. The same applies if the ornamental wood develops a misshapen shape or no longer sprouts after a taper cut. The following table summarizes the 3 most common mistakes when cutting medlars:

Cutting errorsDamageprevention
cut in springLoss of flowers and fruit decorationsCut the loquat after flowering
long branches cutmisshapen, patchy growthAlways cut on outward-facing buds, derive excessively long shoots
Taper cut in one goTotal failurerejuvenate in 3 stages


Medlars are native to Asian regions and are only partially hardy . So that the evergreen ornamental trees survive a Central European winter unscathed, cover the ground in the bed with fir branches and leaves. Cover buckets with several layers of bubble wrap and place the containers on a block of wood. If winter comes with freezing cold and bright sunshine, a fleece hood protects the shrub from winter drought stress.