Hello. I have a camellia that the previous homeowner planted in a poor location. too much light exposure, in low lying bottom of slope, frequently in standing water. has evidence of fungal spots and possibly other issues. The plant is also full of unopened (disease free looking) flower buds. I plan to transplant it, and am trying to determine whether to use a long term plan to do gradual root pruning before transplant, or just do it now (expecting to find a short root system with fine feeder roots near the trunk based on the usual overabundance of water near the plant).
Thanks for writing to us you have a really well thought out question,
I found an article that discusses the options you listed on root pruning, hope this helps.
"Transplanting established trees and shrubs is somewhat risky because you will damage many of the feeder roots during the transplanting process. Feeder roots are responsible for absorbing the majority of essential nutrients and water. To minimize the shock to the plant, we recommend root pruning several months to one year in advance of the move, depending on the size and type of the plant."
at this link: root pruning
and here: Transplanting shrubs
When you do move it I suggest pruning about a third of the shrub to help handle the stress. Thanks again for the question, good luck!