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Is there any way to save this?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Dirty Water, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    We recently got a new property with horrible landscape, I've been so busy with work I haven't had anytime to redo much of it.

    I have 5 Rhody's like this one, they look ugly, I think whoever was pruning them before butchered them.

    I'd like to keep them, as theres a nice developed root system below. Is there any way I can encourage this to grow back much fuller next year?

    How do you the birdbath :laugh:

    Lots of work to do here....

  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    WEll...you can try but it won't even begin to look better for several years..if you cut it back now you will loose this years bloom,so if you want to try..wait for them to bloom then right after bloom cut it here like this and make sure you leave several at least 3 big lower dormant buds below the bud you cut it to.

    I do not recommend that as a course of action here,I would replace them.It will end up costing your client more for you to make it good..than for you to buy and plant a nice 5 gallon one in it's place.Really for the long run..that is what I would do with them.The blooms that are left are gonna be it and if there are no dormant buds for you to cut too..there is no use.
    Most of this plants future buds and growth look like they were removed a long time ago and they won't grow back.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Or maybe a nice Jap Maple in it's place would look really good there..take little care have an open habit so the window is not blocked..and give your client so much more pleasure for many more years than that ugly thing.
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Sheshovel, These are actually at my house, so money/time isn't a big issue.

    Somebody told me that you could cut them way down to just a trunk and that a rhody would grow back? I don't prune, so I don't know either way.

    I certianly would like to save them because there is a bunch, and its a shame to lose a plant thats already that old.

    Way to close to the house in my opinion for a jap maple, Theres only about a foot between the rhody and the window.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    Yes, you can cut it back to a stump and it will regenerate much like the one shoot that is starting right down at the bottom in your picture. It will take a few years, but they grow. You have a lot of roots to push them along. Wait till late winter, if you do cut them back to reduce desication.

    Go Seahawks!
  6. aquablue16

    aquablue16 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    it might be worth saving somewhere else on the lawn but being its close to the house you'll be staring at an ugly stump long time b-4 it (if) becomes something decent. go with the new 5 gallon and trim it like the pro u are obviously the last guy wasnt!
  7. aquablue16

    aquablue16 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    the trim job the last guy did caused silholuetting (?) cutting the new growth back at the end of the branches over and over instead of going in and trimming correctly. it clumps all the growth at the end ...
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    With a plant that old,I would not recommend cutting it back to the stump at all...it will take much longer than a few years to come back strong and even then it will not look good.That's my professional opinion take it or leave it..those are kinda past the point of helping.
    what you could do though is try cutting one like I have in the pic and see what happens.
    If I were to plant a jap maple there of course I would bring it out away from the home.
  9. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Those are ugly but I've seen worse. I'd prune them back after bloom like Sheshovel marked on the picture or maybe even a bit more. Take out anything that crosses or rubs, and prune out suckers at any time.
  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    I respectfully disagree with cutting it where Sheshovel has marked them. You would be leaving far to many branch ends. That dilutes the buildup of bud wakening hormones. By cuuting it back to the stump, the hormones concentrate in the one area of the plant. That awakens several buds in a limited area. That gives you dense growth that is being fed by a large root system.

    By reducing the crown as Sheshovel shows, you are leaving a lot of plant that needs to be fed and very little leaves in which to feed it. It has a greater chance to further degrade from where it is at now. If you do decide to follow Sheshovels advice, it would make more sense to remove the flower buds now in order to reserve the energy for the upcoming foliage growth.

    Try one of each and see where it gets you.

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