Pruning very old azalea

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Hi. I have a very large azalea in front of my house. It’s actually 2 shrubs that have grown closely together and appear as one and are greater than 6 ft tall and wide. They are over 90 years old and I haven’t touched them in 30 years. (My bad) They still flower beautifully in the spring. They are in desperate need of pruning but I’m afraid if I do they may die. My landscaper recommended that I just take them out as there are a lot of dead branches throughout the inner parts of the shrub that may not come back. I’m very torn about what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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First, I would cut out the dead branches. Second I would cut away any branches that a scrapping other branches, keeping the branch that is most eye appealing. 2rd I would cut away any branches that are reaching for G0D, that will help with the keep the round look. Then 4th. Take it down 1/3rd all around. Nope you will not kill it. Have fun, should take a few days to complete.
 
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I pruned these a few weeks ago, with garden shears as you would a hedge. I do it every year or they will grow too far out over the lawn.

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Or over the pathway.

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I've been doing it for a couple of decades.
 
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Hi. I have a very large azalea in front of my house. It’s actually 2 shrubs that have grown closely together and appear as one and are greater than 6 ft tall and wide. They are over 90 years old and I haven’t touched them in 30 years. (My bad) They still flower beautifully in the spring. They are in desperate need of pruning but I’m afraid if I do they may die. My landscaper recommended that I just take them out as there are a lot of dead branches throughout the inner parts of the shrub that may not come back. I’m very torn about what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I believe that a good pruning would spark regrowth. Thinning so that the inside branches get light would keep it growing. I cut a Burning bush severely. It had not been cared for and had no shape and many dead branches. Look up on a plant site and find out when is the best time to prune your type of plant.
 

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