The Q&A Archives: Overgrown shrubs

Question: We purchased a house that has overgrown shrubs very near the foundation. Some are tea olive (osmanthus) which is about 6' tall, planted about 1976, and has been sheared. How can we move, remove, or rejuvenate these plants?

Answer: When overgrown shrubs need renovation, it is best to do it over a two or three year period. If you prune back severely in one season, the plant can be stressed enough to die. You can safely remove one-third of the live material in any one pruning session. You can prune now or next month, but don't wait until too late in the season - pruning encourages new growth and if pruned too late in the season, before the new growth has a chance to harden off, cold weather will kill it back. Best wishes with your new landscape!

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