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Old 09-04-2018, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
15,186 posts, read 3,091,227 times
Reputation: 21141

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I'm really sad and need to vent a bit. I'm very into the many, many rhododendrons around my home.

He was supposed to wait until I was home so I could direct where and how much to trim. Instead, he just took off with shearing them all the way back.....all you can see are dead wood, bare stems etc. He only left the tops.

I am so disturbed, hope someone understands. And NO, they will not grow back...

Yes, I know someone will say "it's just shrubs" but they were my joy and he did exactly what I asked him not to do....

Just venting, I know of no solution.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:27 AM
 
Location: WA
5,271 posts, read 20,554,482 times
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Unfortunately the shearing this late in the year will severely reduce the bloom next year, but over another season they should recover.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
15,186 posts, read 3,091,227 times
Reputation: 21141
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
Unfortunately the shearing this late in the year will severely reduce the bloom next year, but over another season they should recover.
Thanks...but I don't see how...
they are very old and some are cut all the way back to the main stem...
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
19,736 posts, read 36,112,911 times
Reputation: 20794
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
I'm really sad and need to vent a bit. I'm very into the many, many rhododendrons around my home.

He was supposed to wait until I was home so I could direct where and how much to trim. Instead, he just took off with shearing them all the way back.....all you can see are dead wood, bare stems etc. He only left the tops.

I am so disturbed, hope someone understands. And NO, they will not grow back...

Yes, I know someone will say "it's just shrubs" but they were my joy and he did exactly what I asked him not to do....

Just venting, I know of no solution.

What did he say when you pointed out to him that he had done exactly what you'd told him not to do and that he had destroyed your plants? Did he get paid? Did he offer to replace the plantings?
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
12,590 posts, read 10,308,138 times
Reputation: 8756
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Thanks...but I don't see how...
they are very old and some are cut all the way back to the main stem...

Ours had reached 10 to 12 feet high and we could no longer see from our wrap-around porch. So I did a rejuvenation pruning on them with my chainsaw: https://www.finegardening.com/articl...-rhododendrons. That was about three years ago and the first year it did not look as if they would survive. They were only about a foot and a half high stumps sticking out the ground. some were about four or five inches in diameter. So, first year not a lot of growth, second year there was promise and this year they are about four feet in diameter and four feet high - they look pretty good considering where they were at.

Of course we are not out of the woods yet; the deer have to leave them alone for another year or two and the little buggers do not make promises!
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:59 AM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
5,807 posts, read 5,658,625 times
Reputation: 9992
If he left the tops alone and they are still alive then they will grow back but it will be slowly. I agree with the timeline Fisheye gave above, you could be looking at 4 to 5 years before you see an appreciable difference.


Can you please post some pictures of the plants? It will be easier if we see the job he did on them to tell you what to expect will grow back and where to expect the new bud growth to be and how long it will be before they get full coverage of new leaves and blooms again. Knowing the colours of the blooms of each plant is important too, it can give a better timeline as to when to expect a return of full coverage growth on each plant.


.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,270 posts, read 19,981,477 times
Reputation: 29751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
If he left the tops alone and they are still alive then they will grow back but it will be slowly. I agree with the timeline Fisheye gave above, you could be looking at 4 to 5 years before you see an appreciable difference.


Can you please post some pictures of the plants? It will be easier if we see the job he did on them to tell you what to expect will grow back and where to expect the new bud growth to be and how long it will be before they get full coverage of new leaves and blooms again. Knowing the colours of the blooms of each plant is important too, it can give a better timeline as to when to expect a return of full coverage growth on each plant.


.
Yes, photos would be helpful. I'm trying to picture how he left the tops alone but did severe pruning. That sounds like a weird shape.

Bottom line, though, if you're unhappy with what he did, I'd at minimum, not pay him. I'd write him a scathing letter threatening to sue, or he can just agree to not get paid, etc.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,171 posts, read 7,310,121 times
Reputation: 17686
My two-story high rhodie was fading. Large branches were devoid of green nor did they have blooms. People had remarked how spectacularly beautiful it was when it was in but those days were gone. My #2 Son agreed it needed to be "pruned". He pruned it to the ground with one small (two inch) stem left.

Growth resumed almost immediately and by the next year, it was about 18 inches tall with one bloom. By the second year, it was almost five feet tall and had eight or nine lovely blooms. Four years later and the rhodie has grown and prospered with absolutely no special care.

I agree, you should be upset at the person who didn't wait but don't despair. Time may prove that the plants are hardier than we think and the "person" will get the point of your dissatisfaction when you don't cook his supper for a month!
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
12,590 posts, read 10,308,138 times
Reputation: 8756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
If he left the tops alone and they are still alive then they will grow back but it will be slowly. I agree with the timeline Fisheye gave above, you could be looking at 4 to 5 years before you see an appreciable difference.


Can you please post some pictures of the plants? It will be easier if we see the job he did on them to tell you what to expect will grow back and where to expect the new bud growth to be and how long it will be before they get full coverage of new leaves and blooms again. Knowing the colours of the blooms of each plant is important too, it can give a better timeline as to when to expect a return of full coverage growth on each plant.


.

Here is a picture of two of the three that I rejuvenated (it was actually four years ago):

http://www.city-data.com/forum/membe...ejuvenated.jpg
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:07 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,757 posts, read 25,208,398 times
Reputation: 38653
They will grow back. That's not recomended pruning, but rhodies are tough. Have some patience and maybe don't have that gardener back again.
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