Camellias: Generating new growth in lower branches

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    marksmarks
    Greenhorn
    Private message

    Hello,

    I am hoping you can help me with advice on my healthy + mature camellia, growing outside a window.
    Each year it grows higher, blocking the view through the window.
    I have been able to prune the top, but there is no new growth beneath, creating a canopy effect.

    Is there any way I can encourage new growth in the brown wood beneath?

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    Nate from N&GNate from N&G
    Expert gardener (moderator)
    Private message

    Hi Marks, the trick here is to make sure light can enter in the center of the tree. If there isn’t any light, it won’t start buds there.

    Best is to dive under the canopy and selectively cut off branches with a regular spacing. This will punch holes into the canopy. It’s also the chance to remove any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other.

    Another option is a hard pruning. You’d do this after the blooming is over, and you can cut back pretty drastically if you need to. Camellias can take a hard pruning, the only drawback is that you might not have flowers in the following year.

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    luis_prluis_pr
    Expert gardener
    Private message

    Hard pruning, pinching and sunlight that reaches that area can help. A huge freeze like I had in mid February 2021 can also help (unfortunately, it seems to have dried out all branches and all leaves but!!!… late last week, I noticed tiny leaves coming from the bottom of the main trunk about 2 inches above the soil line.)

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