Rhododendron

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Rhododendron

Post  Kiyalynn on Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:47 pm

So I went to the store today and decided to look at the plants. I came across this little leaved Rhododendron that is suppose to have purple flowers (my hubby's favorite color XD). It also has a very interesting trunk structure. Costing only 6.50$ I picked it up quick. Now, I have to figure out what I'm going to do with it. Its trunk is very thin but with unique bark, I'm thinking with the trunk layout it will do best as a very small bonsai.
Anyone have any tips for working with a Rhododendron? Or any Styling Advice?











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Re: Rhododendron

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:26 am

Request for styling advice - moved to Questions.

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Re: Rhododendron

Post  John Lee on Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:20 pm

It depends on what style you would like to see, the plant is very thin and wispy with foliage at the ends of the branches; typical of azaleas or rhododendrons, especially those purchased box stores. You could just plant it in the ground and let it thicken up. Or if you really want to style it as is, if it were mine, I would first let it bloom and enjoy the flowers, then hard prune it to chase the foliage back down the trunks. Azaleas take hard pruning well and it will put out many buds all over. Then you can choose which direction to go. As you mentioned it will be a really small bonsai - shohin, maybe.

John

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Re: Rhododendron

Post  Kiyalynn on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:15 pm

Thanks for moving it Fiona, I didn't know where it went for advice, and it was a new tree so I put it in with newly acquired trees.

Thanks for the tips too John, its just about to bloom. In fact I have one bloom already going!

I love the color of it!


My husband really likes the 7 trunks the tree has and keeps telling me to just keep it the way the tree is. But he's not very artistic at all... and just loves the number 7. lol. I think having 7 trunks is too many and will make it always look crowded. I was debating going down to 4 trunks, but now... I'm honestly thinking about cutting it down to 3, as I think the base trunk structure that I love can be maintained with having 3 trunks out of it. I'll end up useing a bit of wire to spread the three out a little further, and then letting those three grow and thicken for the rest of this year. As for what I'm going for with this, I don't really know... I'm still pretty new to bonsai and am just experimenting. My goal so far has been to not kill my trees... Gota start somewhere right?


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Re: Rhododendron

Post  EpicusMaximus on Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:15 am

Nice foot :p

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Re: Rhododendron

Post  Ryan on Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:11 am

There's one trunk, but multiple branches (those aren't actually all considered trunks since they come off of one trunk). Personally if it were mine, I would plant it out into the yard for a while and just let it grow. I know it's probably not the advice you're looking for, but with bonsai you're trying to create the appearance of an aged, old tree in the wild, but in a miniature form. This plant has a small trunk, so it'd be very difficult to pull off that kind of a look. That is why I'd suggest just planting it in the yard and letting it grow wild for a little bit Very Happy

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Re: Rhododendron

Post  Kiyalynn on Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:36 am

Everything I plant in the yard ends up dying... (too many other plants still from the previous owner's crazy idea it was OK to plant so many trees and bushes, its over grown and my top layer of soil is all roots, new plants seam to just get smothered. and that's after I've spent two years removing the smaller things. lol).

I'll let it grow in large pots for several years to try and thicken the trunk its suppose to be do-able just take longer.

However, should I go ahead and remove the branches I'm thinking about to let the ones I want thick grow better? What about wiring them to a better position while they are still easy to move?

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Re: Rhododendron

Post  Auballagh on Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:01 am

Yes, I would remove the branches that you don't need. They need time to heal, and young trees seem to heal quicker with less scarring than older trees do. And, leaving these branches on the tree may eventually produce lumps, reverse taper or other problems you can avoid now. And yes again, I believe you are better wiring now while the branches are young and flexible.
- The original, (excessive?) landscaped material planted out in your yard, may provide you with interesting bonsai material to work with. Any interesting, woody/barked shrubs planted out there you don't want in your landscape?
- Plus, it's okay: You can prune, wire and develop this little tree in the ground. Growth rates for trees planted out in the ground exceed that of pot grown trees usually by a HUGE margin. And yes, we would ALL like to see this tree you have, grow and develop into something interesting in the time it takes before we are dead, okay? Suspect

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Re: Rhododendron

Post  EpicusMaximus on Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:32 pm

When is the best time of year to prune these?

Once the flowers are done, or in the autumn?

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Re: Rhododendron

Post  Kiyalynn on Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:59 pm

Yes, I would consider the gardening excessive. Large areas dedicated to flowers, trees and shrubs bordered with rocks. These were placed by my mother-in-Law... 20 years ago, and my husband doesn't garden, so 20 years give or take of wild free growth, lol. All of them were planted with no thought of 'how will this look in 10 years'... so we have a boarder on our lot of Blue Spruce trees, planted so close together that they are all sickly, and unsightly. A Apple tree in the center, (rotting out because someone put a nail in it) and a few trees by the road packed in so tight you'd think it was one tree, if they were the same species. Luckily I've convinced my husband the whole set of sick trees (and the bushes planted between them) need to just be removed. However, with power lines above some of them, and homes around us, that proves difficult. We have yet to dole out a few thousand to have it professionally done. You probably didn't need that much info, but hopefully now you get that the yard is a overgrown mess.

There are a few prospects out there, last year I air layered one, was planing on digging up a couple this year but was very sick at the time I needed to chop them down so I guess they are going to stay out there for another year. (I've got a birch and what I believe is a flowering dogwood with large moving trunks guess they will just get a little bigger for next year).

The hubby thinks we might be able to find a few places in the yard. But in the center of the yard away from the trees I think would run in danger of him forgetting its there and running it over with the lawn mower. We do have a very steep bank where Flowers have been grown for years, that I could plant trees on. However, I'm not sure if placing them in that uneven of ground will be a good Idea?

I have been planning on getting some wooden boxes (maybe at the bonsai show in June), if not, building some this year. My bonsai with Japanese Maples by Peter Adams book seams to say you can thicken a trunk nicely in a wooden box. Would that help growing a Rhododendron without planting it in the ground? I would like to have them nice before I die too, I just don't know how to work with what yard I have. So I've been planning on just keeping them alive and learning until I can clear out the entire yard. (or convince the hubby we can afford to move ) ... Is there any harm in just growing them in a pot until I have a better place?



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Re: Rhododendron

Post  Kiyalynn on Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:01 pm

From what I've read, Epicus, the best time to prune is in the early spring like most other trees, but most people wait until after they've bloomed before trimming them.

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Re: Rhododendron

Post  Ryan on Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:25 pm

Kiyalynn wrote:... Is there any harm in just growing them in a pot until I have a better place?


There's no harm that can be done, growth is just nowhere near as fast as it would be in the ground, as the roots are constricted by walls instead of being allowed to run free.

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Re: Rhododendron

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