Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

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Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  John Lee on Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:10 am

I have been working on this azalea, species wakaebisu, that I picked up as a Home Depot plant last spring. Nothing fancy, just a trim, repositioned a few branches, and thinned and spread out the apex.

Before


After


It has already set a few buds

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  luc tran on Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:52 am

There is potential in there to be a shoin. I'd chop the current apex down to that already natural second apex right below it. Seems like its a branch off of the main apex.

Luc

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:05 am

I was just going to say the same thing luc.

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  yamasuri on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:23 pm

Strongly agree with Luc and Fiona

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  luiscortelezzi on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:24 pm

Hello, you thought an air layering ?
You would have 2 shohins ......Nabrazo from Argentina

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  John Lee on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:30 pm

I was thinking about it too, but got scared. I should have shown it at another angle, the "natural apex" is actually a branch coming off the main trunk and I don't know how it would work out as the apex. I also thought about chopping it a bit lower and growing a new apex, still undecided. Thanks for the advice.

Nabrazo- Azaleas root pretty easily, so if i decide to chop it, I'll just stick it in the rooting bucket. The trunk size that high up is only about pencil size, so it should root.

John

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:38 pm

I would definitely get rid of that apex/branch, either as a cutting or as a layer. I've shown my waka ebisu here several times. They make very nice bonsai.

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  John Lee on Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:16 pm

Jim, do you have a picture of it that I might see?



John

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:08 pm

John, is it possible to post a pic of the tree from the back?

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Links to some Waka Ebisu photos

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:07 pm

I was killing time today, so I thought I'd do Jim Lewis a favor and post links to a couple of his threads with Waka Ebisu.

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10006-waka-ebisu-satsuki-mini
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10016-larger-waka-ebisu
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10490-a-late-bloomer

various satsuki but not necessarily the same cultivar

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10083-red-satsuki
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10185-azaleas-in-bloom
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10477-kaho-color
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10631-my-satsuki-azalee?highlight=satsuki
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10574-dwarf-satsuki?highlight=satsuki
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t10529-satsuki-in-development?highlight=satsuki

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t1380p30-satsuki-in-the-early-fall?highlight=satsuki - I really think the first tree in this thread is exquisite, do page through to the end, the last page has 2 additional trees.

I could keep adding more, use the forum search tab and search on satsuki, you will get hundreds of threads to browse through for ideas.


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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  John Lee on Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:23 pm

Fiona, I will when I get home from work, I took some but didn't include it in the post.

Thanks, Leo, I will try searching again, I have used it in the past, trying to learn all that I can about azaleas.

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:31 pm

If you are planning to do a lot with azaleas, I can strongly recommend a couple of books:

1. The Art of Flowering Bonsai by Peter Adams
2. Satsuki Azaleas for bonsai and azalea enthusiasts by Robert Z. Callahan

The first is probably only available used - Amazon will have it -- and the second is published and sold by Stone Lantern

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:41 pm

John Lee wrote:I was thinking about it too, but got scared. I should have shown it at another angle, the "natural apex" is actually a branch coming off the main trunk and I don't know how it would work out as the apex. I also thought about chopping it a bit lower and growing a new apex, still undecided. Thanks for the advice.

Nabrazo- Azaleas root pretty easily, so if i decide to chop it, I'll just stick it in the rooting bucket. The trunk size that high up is only about pencil size, so it should root.

John

John,
I would not chop it back, Waka Ebisu has fairly large flowers for a satsuki. When doing shohin size azalea, if it is a large flower cultivar, normally the flower buds are pinched out to leave only one or two on each branch. Often they are displayed with as few as a single flower.
If you like the visual mass of color that larger satsuki are noted for, grow this out to a larger tree. Shoot for a size up to say 18 or 24 inches tall.

If this were my tree, I would 'go large'. Your tree is young stock, won't be ready for exhibition for several years, so personally I would do the radical pruning now, foregoing the flowers, to set the framework for the future tree. You can refine branches down the road as the tree develops. Azalea bud back easily enough that on wood less than 5 or so years old, there is a good chance that where ever you need a branch a bud will sprout near enough that it can be made to work. So now is the time to set the shape of the main trunk line. If you want to introduce some movement by bending, now is the time to do it as once azalea wood gets 3 years or so on it, it becomes too brittle to bend. After that, you have to resort to chop back and grow out.

First I would go through and look at every point were there are branches, if that point is has more than 2 branches, cut one out. That is part of the problem with your apex, it looks like is has a "wheel and spokes" arrangement up there. By the time you are done pruning your tree will look pretty bare, but 2 years from now you will be very happy you did this.

It is a little late in the season for me, you might have enough growing days that you can get away with it. Even if it is late, I would fore go next years flowers and do hard prune back, chop all the straight branches way back. Leave no section of straight stem longer than 3/4 the distance from the roots to the first branch. (except for your trunk) The new growth will come out at angles and give movement to the branches. Each subsequent pruning the length of straight stems allowed to remain should get shorter and shorter. Also shorter as you go up the tree.

In this late pruning, cut off every branch tip. Then in several weeks you will have buds popping everywhere.
Dormant buds will sprout along bare stems and hopefully the trunk too. Allow these to grow out to get woody enough to survive the winter.

About timing when to prune, check with Russel and others on the forum that grow IN YOUR AREA, don't listen to me on timing, because I am 750 miles north of you and my calendar is quite different)

If you decide it is too late in the season to do the serious pruning, prune out and chop back, do it next year at the ideal time for your season.

Nice tree, it has potential. Five years from now you could have a very nice and show worthy bonsai.

Leo Schordje
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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  John Lee on Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:43 pm

Thanks, Jim, I have those two on my wish list

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  John Lee on Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:58 pm

Thanks for the advice, Leo, I will probably wait until next year on the cut back because of the season. Here in Mobile, you can never tell if the winter will be cold or just a couple of more months of fall. I almost did what you said on whacking it hard, but sometimes it is better to do it in stages for me as I tend to get carried away sometimes.

It was blooming when I purchased it and the flowers were larger than a quarter, but much smaller than a 50 cent piece, so I am hoping they remain so. Russell and I are in the same club, the Azalea City Bonsai Society, I rely on him for advice all the time, he is very knowledgeable. I had him show me how to prune another shohin size azalea that I have.

John

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:37 pm

A couple of years ago I had lots of BIG blooms on mine. When yours flowers next, please take pictures.


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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

Post  John Lee on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:13 pm

I will. I try to photograph all of them.



John

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Re: Azalea, sp. Wakaebisu

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