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h2o
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A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

This is my redemption story #4.

When I moved into my house 10 years back, my two shrubs in my front yard looks gorgeous. They stood there like two green giant guardians and never get weary. Throughout time, they grew and grew and almost touch our gutter and block the light in my living room. In fear of they could damage the house eventually, we decided to give them a "hair cut". I got a trimmer and and start trim down leaves touch the house wall. To make the hair cut even, I ended up trimming from all sides and make the shrubs much smaller and give them some room to grown back.

Yet, the problem is, after the first ever "hair cut". They looks ugly now because the dried leaves inside were exposed when I trimmed the green leaves outside. I thought they would grow back quickly. But after waited for few months. They remained very ugly. Did I just kill them? Or I just need to give them some food so they can grow back and turn green again?

New Gardener Needs Redemption.
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The trimmer is going too far? I can't keep both my house and my shrub?
The trimmer is going too far? I can't keep both my house and my shrub?
A bad hair cut for my shrub?
A bad hair cut for my shrub?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

These are something like juniper or cedar?

Junipers have what is called a "dead zone" in the center, where light couldn't get in and the needles die off. If you cut back in to this dead zone, or cut bare wood that doesn't have needles, it will never come back from that. Generally the shrub isn't dead and it may continue to grow in other areas, but that branch is dead and will not come back. So if you cut the green outside off, all you do is expose the brown/bare inside and it won't re-grow.
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applestar
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

There is also a right and a wrong time to prune....
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h2o
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

Post rainbowgardener's reply in other topic here to remind myself the redemption I need. Hopefully I will leave a stop sign for those who is on the way to the mistake I made. :!:

rainbowgardener As with the juniper, it seems like you rushed in to doing things (pruning, applying "solutions") without knowing what you are doing. There is a lot to learn about caring for a lot of different trees and plants. You need to slow down and read and ask questions first.

Do you need it is a good idea to move my two shrubs in my backyard and replace these two?
See my picture attached.
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Two beautiful shrubs in my backyard crowded between my fruit trees.
Two beautiful shrubs in my backyard crowded between my fruit trees.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

I think the two in the original photos are never going to look good again and should be removed.

The two in the new photo with the fruit tree look fine. You are right that it is kind of crowded and will only get more so as everything grows. However, moving large shrubs like that is difficult. In the process of trying to dig them up, you are almost guaranteed to damage the roots at least some. They are likely to suffer in the process and possibly could be severely damaged or even killed, depending on how well you do at being able to dig up a very large and heavy root ball and then take care of them after transplantation.
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h2o
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

To rainbowgardener, thanks for the quick reply. I wish you are my neighbor. :D

Any good reading I should I go through before I start the transplantation. Or, your instruction should be good enough? I don't want to make mistake again.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

Main things about transplanting shrubs: do it in early spring or in fall after they are dormant. In peak growing season is the worst time. Dig the hole where it is going to be first and make it big - a little bit deeper than the rootball and a whole bunch wider. They say make a $10 hole for a 50 cent plant. :) Dig it out with as much root ball as you can and plant it immediately. Before you put the shrub in the hole, put some loose soil back in the hole and then plant the shrub so that it is at the same level it was before. Then when you fill the hole back in, there will be lots of nice loose dirt all around it, making it easier for the roots to spread. Do NOT add fertilizer or soil amendments. The tree needs to focus on rooting in and if you make the environment in the planting hole too cushy, it doesn't encourage it to spread roots outside the hole. Water it in well and tamp the soil down. That will make the soil settle, so then add more soil and water again and tamp again (not real hard, you are just working on getting air pockets out of the soil and making sure everything is moistened).

That should be all you need to know.
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h2o
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

Thanks to rainbowgardener for the detail instruction. Most likely I already past the time to do it. I will put this in my to-do list in fall. Need to bear the consequence of bad hair cut, at least for a while. :oops:

Price for redemption is not cheap. :wink:

tomc
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

Grant yourself a little grace, those bushes look winter killed.
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valley
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Re: A Bad "Hair Cut" Could Kill My Shrubs?

H2o greetings, A good while has past, curious as to how your shrubs have done. Did the bare area fill in? Thanks

Richard

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