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Fix a Severely Root Bound Rhododendron planted over 10 years ago

last month
last modified: last month

This plant appears healthy but stays at about 3' (EDIT: actually 4') tall while others are 8-10' tall.

If I can "fix" the roots, will the plant begin to grow big like a healthy rhodo?

Some thoughts how to fix:

  • work on one quadrant at a time, perhaps one per year to minimize trauma?
  • Radial Cuts: cut radial slices through the soil? (I have a 16" long Sawzall blade)
  • Completely remove a small "pie slice" from the root ball?
  • Severly cut back the roots that are shallow leaving at least 2/3rds of the bound remaining to reduce trauma - perhaps the the shallow would grow vigorously and eventually become the primary roots for the plant?

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