Pruning Texas Mountain Laurel
I have never mastered bush pruning and need advice.
I have a single trunked 7' tall x 6' wide Texas mountain laurel that is leggy due, I think, to getting not quite enough sun and to my too cowardly clipping of 3 years ago.
It has several thin branches that extend nearly 3' before they bush out with several leafy sub-branches. You can see three years of growth on these branches. Near the trunk, they are woody for about a foot, then green/brown another foot, then new green in the final section before bushing out.
The branches presently droop badly due to weight of new leaves and the few seeds that are forming. It is not very appealing visually, but mostly I am worried that they will break under the weight.
It seems that to make the tree bushier closer to the trunk will require some very aggressive trimming tighter than I performed three years ago. This will just about denude the tree in its lower half.
I don't mind a year with a naked tree, if that's what will happen, but I don't want to permanently damage it. Maybe someone could give some general small tree pruning advice, and maybe someone can specifically tell me if most of the growth cycle is over for the year for a mountain laurel. I'm not concerned about loosing a blooming cycle next spring. It rarely blooms and never profusely, anyway.