A: My guess is that yours has reverted back to the straight-stem form of its parents. The curly stems are slightly weaker in their growth habit than the straight stems so the straight stems have come to dominate your clump. If it has any curly stems now, you can remove the straight ones and hope the plant fills in with new curly stems. If you can only find straight stems, remove them all and wait to see what happens in summer.
Q: We had two enormous oaks in our front yard taken out and several mature azalea, ligustrum, mahonia, and elaeagnus shrubs were damaged. Most are coming back from the roots. Will the new growth produce good-looking shrubs eventually?Boyd Leake, email
A: I think you will be surprised how fast the shrubs will regrow. Their big root systems are poised to encourage prolific sprouts when conditions are right. There will not be much regrowth in winter but watch out next spring. You may need to do a bit of corrective pruning then to establish an attractive plant structure.
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