Jul 04, Tea Olive are very easy to tree form. It's best to wait until your shrub is about 4 feet tall to begin the tree forming process.
At that time, select a trunk(s) you want to keep. Then remove unwanted trunks (main branches that emerge from the base of the shrub), making sure that removing them will not harm the look and shape of the canopy. Trim back branch tips in late winter or early spring to shape the tea olive shrub. Make the pruning cut 1/4 inch above a lower pair of leaves, dormant buds or branch twig junction.
Where branch tips encroach on a building facade, fence or other garden plant, trim the branch back farther so regrowth doesn't quickly put the branch right back into the wall or nearby plant. Timing is the key to pruning deciduous shrub. For lush growth, spring flowering shrubs require trimming as soon as the blooms fade.
Do not leave a stud; make the cut as cleanly as possible against the remaining branch, on younger shrubs, prune branches back to non-flowering shoots or back to healthy buds pointing in the direction you want the shrub to grow. How to Prune Tea Olive Shrubs Cut off any broken, dead or diseased foliage or branches from the tea olive, regardless of the time of year. Trim back branch tips in late winter or early spring to shape the tea olive shrub.
Pinch back new growth in early summer with the hand pruners. Sep 21, Though a few varieties bear showy flowers, tea olive (Osmanthus spp.), also known as sweet olive, produces blooms that fill a garden with fragrance rather than color. Pruning the shrub, which is evergreen in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7b to 11, at the wrong time can eliminate those.