Cotinus obovatus syn. Cotinus americanus is a large shrub/small tree to grow as specimen or to rear of border. Pink plumed flowers in mid summer give it the nick name of 'smoke tree'. The autumn foliage - as seen here - is one of its best attributes.
Not a shrub for confined places, nevertheless Cotinus obovatus - like most of the other Cotinus - can be pruned quite hard in the spring if required.
This will produce a shrub that is different in shape to the broad - but conical shape of the untouched specimen.
Hard pruning from time to time, will rejuvenate the shrub, and also provide larger leaves - spectacular in the autumn. The downside is that you will lose the 'smoke plumes' for the season after hard pruning.
Those who write that Cotinus obovatus can be easily raised from seed
or softwood cuttings, are mistaken. Though not impossible with seed, the
young seedlings need quite a bit of attention to take them through to
there next stage. Softwood cuttings are even more difficult.
The average gardener will only want a couple or so Cotinus obovatus for friends - or plant fairs. Far better to layer a few young shoots in the spring and remove them from the parent plant in autumn. Easy as that. Simply peg down a few of the newer shoots.
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