Ask a Question forum: Tree killing my rhododendron?

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Mar 5, 2017 7:09 PM CST
I bought a house last spring and was very excited about the rhododendron in the front yard. It didn't bloom at all though, and was very sickly all summer. I've recently discovered a small sapling growing up through the middle of the bush, and I'm worried the saplings roots are what's hurting the rhododendron. Is there any way to remove the sapling without causing further damage?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Mar 5, 2017 7:23 PM CST
It could be that your rhododendron is in desperate need of food. They have a very specific diet.

Even though this article says if you have fertile soil... you will still need to fertilize them. They are very heavy feeders.

The sapling could eventually/potentialy be a problem. Is it something you want? They could grow together with a little effort of your part.

But if it has to go and you can't pull it out, you will have to CAREFULLY poison it. Cut it off a couple inches above the ground when it begins to sprout. Then paint the trunk with full strength brush killer. ONLY the trunk. If you get this stuff on the soil or the rhododendron, you will kill the rhododendron also.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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