Rhododendrons: Overgrown rhododendron?

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Sheena, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Sheena

    Sheena Member

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    North Vancouver
    This very large rhododendron is growing in our back yard, it is over 25 feet high and blooms huge pink flowers in the late spring. I have no idea how to care for it or how to prune it. According to neighbors, this "tree" has been in this yard for as long as they can remember. Any information would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Rhododendron ponticum. Other kinds used to be grafted onto this comparatively tough, vigorous species until propagation from stem cuttings became prevalent. If you wish to maintain the treelike habit, with bare trunks and elevated crowns, you will snip off the trunk sprouts coming out of the one on the right (in the photo). Otherwise, their main interest lies in their loftiness, so cutting them back would not be an improvement, unless they develop dead or weak branches that will need to be cut out to maintain their appeal.
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Generally rhodos dont "need" pruning but can take it well. Look for dormant or latent buds on the stems, if they are visible you should be able to reduce the rhodo or thin it if necessary and your cuts should be located just above a good size latent bud. Rhodos are also well suited (generally) to the one third method of pruning, where you take 1/3 of the existing mature branches and reduce them significantly, the second year remove the send third and the third year remove the remaining mature stems to produce a rejuvenated vigorous shrub. Or, you can call someone in and have them do it for you. ;)
     

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