Transplanted Rhody is dying. HELP please!

Transplanted 1 year ago by a non-Rhody person... it has some green drooping leaves and a lot of yellow/brown leaves. It lost some root mass durring the transplant. I'm concerned that the current rootmass cant support the dense 30 year old rhody that's roughly 5 feets tall, doe that sound right?
Shall I prune it back so the roots have less to support? If so, can someone please make some basic suggestions on how to prune them please! I'm a rose guy, I don't know these things and I want to save it, it was my parents.
Thanks in advance! -Brendan
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what is your temperature? my rhodies are dropping cause it is cold outside. however, I use "cloud cover" an antidessicant to help prevent water loss. last year I forgot to use it and this spring one of mine was almost dead. the prettiest one of course. but it is coming around. rhodies are very shallow rooted. if it did well in the last year, then a light pruning is all that is needed. continue to water until the ground is really frozen. and mulch it cause dont want freeze thaw cycles hitting those roots. Ingrid
snipped-for-privacy@stealthtech.com (Brendan OMara) wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@stealthtech.com (Brendan OMara) wrote:

Many evergreen rhodies drop their leaves in two-year cycles. If it produced less foliage after the move you may be seeing normal shedding but with fewer newer leaves to maintain the evergreen look. Newly transplanted rhodies are more susceptible to summer sun-damage which can result in yellowing & leaf-loss the following winter when added winter wind-desication rips through the limbs. A degree of increased loss of the evergreen leaves the year of any disruption or stress doesn't usually mean they're dying. If it can be pruned without injuring its appearance I might try that, but rhodies tend to transplant very well & bounce back even from root damage without needing to have their woody structure compromised. Real threats are drying out before roots are re-settled; or poor drainage or too much watering while the roots are bruised & sensitive to fungus or insect attack.
I'm of the belief that use of beneficial fungus tablets under the roots at time of transplant assists woody shrubs, as does dilute vitamin B. A healthy measure of beneficial fungus ought to help keep harmful fungus from appearing. The fungus tablets can be inserted around the edges of the root system with a dibble even after the fact.
Shallow roots may be more susceptible to frost burn after disruption & bruising, so a topcoating mulch of well-composted manure (not of woodchips or straw which could encourage insects) could well be of help.
I installed several new species rhodies within the last year & some that are allegedly evergreen look semi-deciduous right now in December. I worry about them but probably do so needlessly, as past worries about new shrubs almost always turned out to be unnecessary as the shrubs turn out to be fine. I did lose (later replaced) a first-year-planted Stewartstown azalea. Rarely can one be totally sure why something fails once in a great while but there's always a pretty good guess one can make, & for the Stewartstown azalea I rather assume the sharp draining soil at a cliff-edge caused it to dry out once too often during its first year in the ground, &amp also it had been severely pot-bound & that can result in a shrub having trouble sorting out its roots for the best possible water use. I replaced it with a better-formed Stewartsown anyway, but worked in tons more compost over a larger area to make the soil has good moisture retention, & give closer attention to be certain it doesn't get too dry, & placed it a couple feet further forward from the cliff. But being a worry wart, I've considered the possibility that it was actually a fungus got it, in which case planting the same variety close to the same spot, the fungus could get it again! Worrying is part of what gardening's about .
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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