is it too late to prune a big, old camellia?

klew(Z7b/8, NE PDX, OR)August 10, 2010

I just read that you are supposed to prune them right after blooming, but that ws months ago. I'd like to get it off the roof and away from the wall of the house before winter.

Will I cause significant harm to the plant if I prune it now, mid-August?

Did I mention that it's a BIG, OLD plant? I mean BIG like 20' tall and 8' wide, and OLD like the trunk is about 11" in diameter. It's healthy and strong, no pests or diseases in sight.

Advice appreciated.

klew

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You can cut these back to any point on the stem at any time and they will eventually sprout and come back.

Albeit not very quickly.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 12:00AM
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eightzoner

You can prune it any time of year, you will just sacrifice next year's blooms doing it this late in summer.

I had to do the same thing when we moved into this house in the Fall. Some genius planted a camellia about eight inches from the foundation and it was HUGE!

It has come back wonderfully -- cut from its original 7 ft to about a foot. Now, four years later it is about three feet and nicely bushy. Has bloomed every year except for that first spring.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 12:47PM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Camellias can be pruned any time of year, so long as you don't care about getting maximum bloom the next spring.

One caution about pruning shrubs in this heat, you will expose to the hot sun parts of the plant that have been shaded by the branches you're pruning off, and that can cause significant shock and stress. Wait for the heat to subside, and give the plant a good soaking when you do prune it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 12:10PM
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xantippe(8 Portland OR)

Do what reg pnw7 said--wait until it's a little cooler. We did a massive pruning (in anticipation of window installation) last September and October, and everything did great.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 2:11PM
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