I live in the mountains at 4200 feet above sea level. I have many
Rhododendrons that are about 30 years old, and I also have four Japanese
Yews of the same age. All of these plants are very healthy.
Last summer, I decided to trim four of the Rhododenron, and two of the
Japanese Yew. All of these plants were getting so tall that it was
getting very hard for me to lightly trim the tops of them. I would say
that I cut about 1/3 off the top of these plants. The trimming was done
Now, two of the Rhododendron are dead. I have cut back the bark, looking
for green, but they are totally dead. I have read, and I have had others
tell me, that you can trim these plants down to just 12 inch stubs off the
ground, and that they will survive.... But such was not the case for me.
On the Japanese Yew, they almost died, but had some signs of greenery in
some branches. I have babied them back to life, so they are going to be ok.
However, I am now afraid to trim more than the new shoots of these plants in
the future, for fear they will die, but in several more years I will not be
able to reach the tops for trimming !!
Any thoughts, or ideas ??