Q.Can you cut off a Rose of Sharon tree that is split and has large dead sections, and have the stump grow into a bush?
I have two Rose of Sharon trees that are several years old and have trunks that are 4-5 inches in diameter. They did fine last year but are both splitting vertically down the trunk where they “Y” into a few large branches. This year both trees only grew leaves on one half of the tree. The other half looks mostly dead. They look really poor with only leaves on one side.
If I cut these down to maybe a short stump, would the root system grow new shoots and grow back into a bush? How short would I cut the stump?
Yes, this can help to rejuvenate the shrub, and get it growing like it should again. It will not hurt to aggressively prune these back to the ground if you need.Leaving some stump can help the growth process and help it to be more manageable. This article will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/rose-of-sharon/pruning-rose-of-sharon.htm