I recently moved and my new house has a large Harry Lauder's Walking Stick tree at my front walk. It's beautiful but has started to take over the walkway to the front door. The only info I can find on pruning it is to make sure to cut sucklings coming up from the rootstalk. Does anyone know of any important do's or don'ts about pruning the branches back or removing the lower branches? I don't want to risk ruining this beautiful tree and I don't have much of a green thumb (I'm trying to learn though!).

  Harry Lauder's Walking Stick porpitax2 I recently moved and...
Looking around on the internet, I've found several mentions of pruning away suckers (most of these plants are on grafted stock, so any suckers will be straight, rather than contorted). However, one site mentions cutting out a few of the lowest branches so that the catkins in the winter/spring don't drag all the way to the ground and obscure the view of their groundcover plants (it also sounded like this plant was grafted onto a straight trunk, rather than just onto the base rootstock?) A couple of other sites mentioned occasional thinning of the branches helps to open up the interior of the plant & remove any rubbing twigs. As far as actually cutting back the plant tips, however, I'm not sure. One garden catalog claims its a slow grower, but one of the sites that turned up in my web search (corylus avellana contorta pruning) said that their plant grows fairly quickly (then again, the folks at that site seem to be located in the Pacific Northwest, a climate particularly favorable to plant growth).

I'm not sure how helpful this will be for you. Hopefully someone else out there will have more information...?
The great thing about gardening is that you always get a chance to start over!
Harry Lauder's Walking Stick

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