Pruning your blueberry bushes is an extremely important step to getting bountiful harvests. Early pruning of young bushes to form a structure suitable for high yields is necessary when growing blueberry bushes. Maintaining mature bushes is also important to keep the plant producing large amounts of fruit each year.
Young bushes do not need to be pruned per say, but they definitely need maintenance done to them. A typical blueberry bush should be narrow at the middle and slowly taper wider and wider. You’ll want to train your young plants to follow this look early on. The thicker brown branches that come from the bottom are brown are called canes. You’ll want to limit the amount of canes to about five at most. Trim all excess branches that are potentially stopping sunlight from reaching the base of the plant.
Mature plants need annual pruning. A neglected plant will start producing less and less fruit each year until it becomes extremely difficult to recover. When pruning, the first step is to remove all dead, dying, or diseased branches and canes. Once this is done, take a look at how many canes you have. If you have more than 4-5, you might want to cut 1-2 off. A cane should be cut off the bush when it’s 6-7 years old. Removing old canes stimulates the growth of newer ones which will produce more fruit in the long run.
The end goal of pruning is to thin out the plant and stimulate the growth of new branches, thus, increasing yields. You should have a max of 5 canes coming from the ground. There should be room for the plant to absorb sunlight and breathe in the air freely. If you have a lot of clutter at the top of the plant, it will starve itself of sunlight.