Pruning Overgrown Rhodedendrums

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Coach Tim, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Coach Tim

    Coach Tim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    I have a customer who wants me to cut back some enormous Rhododendrons. They are about 15 feet high and he wants me to cut about 5 feet or so off of them.
    Will they be able to survive this harsh of a pruning? Any suggestions or tips to insure they survive?

    I also have two dwarf blue spruce trees that need to come out stump and all.
    They have really thick trunks (about a foot wide), any suggestions on how to get these out of the ground. They are about 5 feet tall. I was thinking about chaining them to my F-250 and ripping them out of the ground.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    I've pruned rhodos from 10' down to under 3' and they always came back. They will look like a coat rack for a few weeks until they start to leaf out but they should be just fine. If you do them early enough in the year, you will still get blooms for next year too.

    As for the spruces, I'd do as you suggested and pull them out with your truck. Far less work than trying to dig them up.
     
  3. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    Take no more than 25% off them in one season.

    General rule of thumb.

    :)
     
  4. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    I have cut them to a stump and they have come back. It will take longer :waving:
    John
     
  5. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    You may have cut them to the stump before and they came back but that dosn't mean you pruned them correctly.


    :rolleyes:
     
  6. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    I wanted to get rid of it. :rolleyes:
    John
     
  7. launboy

    launboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 273

    better not trim them till after they bloom out at the end of spring
     
  8. Coach Tim

    Coach Tim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    If I trim them back before they bloom will it risk them not surviving or just not flowering this season?
    Thanks,
    Tim
     
  9. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    Just not flowering, they will be fine when you prune them.
     
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Had this same question last year...overgrown rhody's and cutting them back. Went to the nursery we use. He said you would do selective pruning on the rhody but take no more than 1/3 of the stem/s back every year after they are done flowering...I guess if you don't care whether or not they bloom then do it now...otherwise wait a few weeks.

    Anyway, after one season, it has gotten 1/3 smaller (although did grow a little after I cut it) and I plan on cutting back another 1/3 this year. Seems to be working fine, showed no signs of trouble last year or this year.
     

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