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deer damaged rhododendrons

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From: Sandy Brennan
Freeport, ME
The lower 3-4 feet branches of my large rhododendrons have been eaten by deer. Should these branches be pruned as the upper part of the bush just keeps growing taller?

Extension Message
From: Richard Hentschel
Extension Educator, Horticulture
DuPage/Kane/Kendall Unit
Rhododendrons can surprise us by putting new buds on near the point of "pruning" some of the time, especially if the plants have been healthy and vigorous. If that does not occur, for health reasons, prune the stubs a the next appropriate crotch or to the next larger branch.

If there is any regrowth, plan on protecting the young tender branches in the coming winter if possible.

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