Camellias - How hardy are they?

San Diego, CA

My daughter's new home has a very large and prolific Camellia bush at the back of her home. It's about 8' tall. She would like to trim it back significantly to a more manageable size. The first 5' of the plant is all trunk, no flower growth. Can someone tell me whether a Camellia can be trimmed back this harshly and still survive and thrive? We love the bush, not just growing as wildly as it has been allowed to get.

Thanks for your help.

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