Radically cutting barberries - this is how the rejuvenating cut succeeds

Radically cutting barberries - this is how the rejuvenating cut succeeds

The choice of date depends on the weather and the Federal Nature Conservation Act

The radical pruning of barberries and all other shrubs calls the legislature on the scene. When pruning deeply, protecting breeding birds is the top priority. In the Federal Nature Conservation Act it is therefore stipulated that tapering cuts - called in technical jargon 'put on the stick' - are limited to the period from October 1st to February 28th.

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The specific choice of date within this time window depends on the weather. Ideally, choose a frost-free day with dry weather and no blazing sunshine. In gardening practice it has been found that a slight frost of - 2 degrees Celsius does not affect the result.

Radical cut - how to do it right

Before you dedicate yourself to rejuvenating your sourthorn bushes, the focus is on protecting your health. Berberis species are not only poisonous, they also have thorns up to 4 cm long. On various varieties, the leaf margins are even reinforced with pointed spikes. Put on thorn-proof clothing, boots, gauntlets and protective goggles. How to radically cut back barberry:

  • Shorten all shoots to a length of 10 cm
  • Select the cutting depth so that at least one leaf node remains
  • Cut off dead branches at the base

Barberries also sprout again as old wood, if given the opportunity in the form of sleeping eyes. These vegetation points are recognizable as slight elevations under or on the bark. If you apply the scissors a short distance over a sleeping eye, the dormant growth energies are activated. It is important to note a smooth cut without frayed edges. Therefore, sharpen the scissors beforehand with a whetstone.


After radical pruning, raising a barberry hedge is aimed at a trapezoidal shape. With a broad base that tapers towards the top, form a sun-drenched hedge. As a result, barberries can photosynthesize even near the ground, so that renewed balding is impossible.