I've got a lovely Rose of Sharon that has been growing nicely in my Manhattan garden for about 15 years. It has wonderful white flowers and, true to form, puts out lots of flowers during the late summer and fall.
Suddenly this spring, it was not shooting out leaves and the upper branches are brittle. The branches lower down are less brittle and seem to have a little flow of juices (There's a correct term for those juices, I know, but I'm not a horticulturist!) in them...a little bit of green. Also there are a lot of suckers surrounding the plant.
Buoyed by this profusion of suckers, I've clipped most of the brittle top branches. The result is a rather ugly skeleton with lots of bushy little would-be trees below.
Have I done the right thing? Someone said on this website recently: There are not mistakes in gardening, only experiments. Well, this experiment may have been a mistake. I'd like to hear from the good people on this forum and I promise I will report progress.
PS. I've just added a picture with the shorn tree surrounded by the suckers.