Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:34 am
Location: Columbus, GA

Cut down to the ground, now what?

My next door neighbor and I share about a half dozen very large oak leaf hydrangea. I noticed this weekend that he had cut them down to about an inch from the ground. We had never prunned them before and had let them grow natural. In the summer they would stand about 8 feet tall, I would normally remove dead branches in the summer but now they are all cut down to the ground. I assume they will grow back since they are very well established but what should I expect to see this year and how long will it take for them to recover?

Greener Thumb
Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: Central PA

in my experience, the year after a 'to the ground' haircut you'll see a modest plant size with seemingly skimpy blooms.

if left alone through the growing season, it'll likely be nearly as big year two as it was pre-haircut, presuming it has good soil and nutrition / fertilizer. obviously that much rapid growth needs good conditions.

I use a chain saw on mine every 4-5 years.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 815
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Oh my God! You need to discuss proper hydrangea care with the neighbor soon.

Your recently pruned oakleafs will resume growth as if they were recently planted hydrangeas and it will take years to reach 8' again.

I would not expect bloomage this year but I would expect the plant to generate new stems from the crown. Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom on old wood and this Spring's flower buds got cut when the shrubs were pruned. The plants will produce flower buds in July-August 2013 and those bl=uds will open in Spring 2014.


PS - A chainsaw does not leave a clean cut so I would try some large loppers instead if at all possible.

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