Rhododendrons: Pruning a rhodo that is now in sun

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by SueJ, Jul 11, 2022.

  1. SueJ

    SueJ New Member

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    West Vancouver
    I have a rhodo which was under the canopy of a diseased plum tree which has recently been removed. I live in West Vancouver and the tree is in my front yard, facing northwest. It now receives more sunshine and needs to be pruned because many of the branches are bending over, some touching the ground. I am afraid that they will crack or break due to the weight of the snow come winter. I’d like to know how I should prune the tree, when and because of the increase in the amount of sunshine it now receives, what kind of mulch I should lay beneath it?
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  2. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    What a beautiful old shrub! It will be in its glory now the diseased plum is gone. I would take off as little as possible at first - just to remove wayward branches - and then see how it looks next year. The American Rhododendron Society, which has many affiliated clubs in BC, offers this advice: Pruning Rhododendrons and Azaleas and Spent Flower Removal .

    As for mulching, a nice airy mulch like compost, leaf mold, or arborists' wood chips would be good choices. Avoid bark mulch unless it is really made of bark (pine bark is excellent) because products with shredded material tend to compact too much.
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Rhododendrons aren't particularly prone to breakage.

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