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Old 09-07-2018, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,180 posts, read 10,591,250 times
Reputation: 9346

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post
Rhododendrons are hard to trim the more overgrown they get. I had 4 or 5 close together in my backyard--they might have originally been one bush (?)--that were 25 ft. tall, & the trunks were 4 or 5 inches in diameter. Like the tree guy told me, there was no real way to trim them--if I'd had them trimmed down to 5 ft. tall, there would have been just the 4 or 5 trunks left. I had them all cut down, & now there's one small one growing back, but it's kind of sickly with this whitish stuff on some of the leaves. Here's a pic, would anyone know what to do? Spray it with something?

Here's also a pic of 2 Rhododendrons in front of my house that I pruned myself. They were very overgrown, at least for where they were located. I think I did a fairly good job; but it was a LOT of work. I think I had 4 or 5 large 32 gal. trash cans of trimmings. I tried not to cut any flower buds.

BTW, OP, that really stinks what that incompetent did to your bushes. You have to be there, or DIY. How big are the lower branches, or trunks? Really big & woody? You could consider cutting them back even more, & just letting them start over.

There are three types of pruning for your Rhododendrons: https://www.finegardening.com/articl...-rhododendrons. Yours look they simply have to be shaped. They are not too high and should be an easy project once you get the hang of it. You do not want them so large you cannot see out your windows and they are pressed up against your house. Ants love to run up and down the plants and the large plants, leaning on your house, will just act as a ladder to get up and in your house.

The one very close to your house you might want to rethink and move it to where it could have more room. It is not an easy job moving one that size and there is the chance that you might kill the plant. But that one will require constant pruning to keep it's size in check.

The dead leaves on the plant on the left could be from a borer? That limb, if it is a borer; you might want to consider cutting off below the borer hole. Check for a hole in the middle of the limb when you prune. It is one of the reasons that you should also inspect your bushes to make sure you do not have that problem. Pruning sealers can help when you prune off the larger limbs. The sealers are like tar and insects do not like to get stuck.

Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:02 AM
 
446 posts, read 568,320 times
Reputation: 936
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
There are three types of pruning for your Rhododendrons: https://www.finegardening.com/articl...-rhododendrons. Yours look they simply have to be shaped. They are not too high and should be an easy project once you get the hang of it. You do not want them so large you cannot see out your windows and they are pressed up against your house. Ants love to run up and down the plants and the large plants, leaning on your house, will just act as a ladder to get up and in your house.

The one very close to your house you might want to rethink and move it to where it could have more room. It is not an easy job moving one that size and there is the chance that you might kill the plant. But that one will require constant pruning to keep it's size in check.

The dead leaves on the plant on the left could be from a borer? That limb, if it is a borer; you might want to consider cutting off below the borer hole. Check for a hole in the middle of the limb when you prune. It is one of the reasons that you should also inspect your bushes to make sure you do not have that problem. Pruning sealers can help when you prune off the larger limbs. The sealers are like tar and insects do not like to get stuck.

Good luck!
Thanks for the article, I'm gonna save it. Mine do need to be shaped more. But I did so much pruning on them this year that I wanted to see how they grew next year before doing any more. And the larger one in front; I kind of pruned too much off the R. side I think. If I keep going I might end up with it 2 feet tall. (Years ago for some reason whenever I went out to trim a bush, I got a little crazed & would cut it down to a little nubbin. Then my then-wife would come out & yell at me. Then the cat would howl, he had to get in on the action.)

Also the larger one must be pretty old, it has a bunch of those big thick woody stems growing from the base. I'm thinking of maybe cutting back one of those every year to a few inches maybe, so eventually the plant will "fill in" more. Of course that might screw up the shape for awhile.

I'm thinking of trying this on the little sickly one:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Miracle-...4510/204631805

Thanks again......
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,180 posts, read 10,591,250 times
Reputation: 9346
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post
Thanks for the article, I'm gonna save it. Mine do need to be shaped more. But I did so much pruning on them this year that I wanted to see how they grew next year before doing any more. And the larger one in front; I kind of pruned too much off the R. side I think. If I keep going I might end up with it 2 feet tall. (Years ago for some reason whenever I went out to trim a bush, I got a little crazed & would cut it down to a little nubbin. Then my then-wife would come out & yell at me. Then the cat would howl, he had to get in on the action.)

Also the larger one must be pretty old, it has a bunch of those big thick woody stems growing from the base. I'm thinking of maybe cutting back one of those every year to a few inches maybe, so eventually the plant will "fill in" more. Of course that might screw up the shape for awhile.

I'm thinking of trying this on the little sickly one:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Miracle-...4510/204631805

Thanks again......

Your insecticide will probably not work on the borers. They are tucked safely away in the middle of your branches (if I am right). The only insecticide that might work is one that is 'systemic': https://plantcaretoday.com/systemic-...cide-uses.html. Many of these are controversial and I do not think I would want them around a well casing.

My wife would effectively just break off all new growth to stop ours from growing larger. But when she forgot; they got out of her reach. Which is why we turned to the rejuvenation cutting. It is a hard decision to make because we all love them when in full bloom. Once you drastically cut them back it is years before you will again see their beauty.
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Old 09-08-2018, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Floribama
13,522 posts, read 29,473,042 times
Reputation: 11934
They will grow back and probably look better than before. Just look at the forests after a fire sweeps through, all of those native shrubs come right back looking nice and healthy. Rhododendrons store a LOT of energy in their roots.

Honestly, if they are “butchered” and leggy looking, I’d be inclined to go ahead and cut them about 6 inches from the ground, but I’d do it while they are dormant, so the tender new growth doesn’t get zapped by frost.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,629 posts, read 3,576,255 times
Reputation: 22791
Well he only cut off the branches on one side that were encroaching a bit on my stone walkways....so the opposite side remains the same and he did not cut the tops...going to wait til spring to see what happens before I do anything...
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:14 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,606 posts, read 42,768,368 times
Reputation: 57291
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Well he only cut off the branches on one side that were encroaching a bit on my stone walkways....so the opposite side remains the same and he did not cut the tops...going to wait til spring to see what happens before I do anything...
It sounds like maybe youíve calmed down a little? I bet after they bloom, you can have at them according to your original plan, and all will be well.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,629 posts, read 3,576,255 times
Reputation: 22791
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
It sounds like maybe youíve calmed down a little? I bet after they bloom, you can have at them according to your original plan, and all will be well.

I'm relaxing and remember they're likely to come back. Was just as angry as I was crushed...I could not talk with the guy about it without losing my cool then, so I must discuss it with him this week.

I should have put this info under
Trials and Tribulations of life, humorous side.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:53 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,606 posts, read 42,768,368 times
Reputation: 57291
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
I'm relaxing and remember they're likely to come back. Was just as angry as I was crushed...I could not talk with the guy about it without losing my cool then, so I must discuss it with him this week.

I should have put this info under
Trials and Tribulations of life, humorous side.
...or, First world problems. I would have been upset too, though.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
2,050 posts, read 922,898 times
Reputation: 1203
This has nothing to do with the OP's issue, other than the name of the plant. But ... I have one rhododendron that I planted 4 or 5 years ago, and it has yet to bloom. Otherwise, it appears to be healthy.

Do I need another one to enable it to bloom?
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:31 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,606 posts, read 42,768,368 times
Reputation: 57291
Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDawg View Post
This has nothing to do with the OP's issue, other than the name of the plant. But ... I have one rhododendron that I planted 4 or 5 years ago, and it has yet to bloom. Otherwise, it appears to be healthy.

Do I need another one to enable it to bloom?
No, you donít. Have you given it some acid fertilizer?
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