Demolition azalea

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Demolition azalea

Post  Tom Simonyi on Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:20 pm

Our University greenhouse (West Virginia University) is being dismantled and replaced by a new facility during the next year.

During the summer this year many of the landscape specimens were tagged by interested parties for removal. I was able to dig/collect an azalea. I am unsure of the cultivar, but it is an evergreen variety. The plant stood about seven feet was quite a job to cut back and dig, and at this point in time (mid-September in Zone 6) it has a good bit of new growth...three primary trunks remain, the tallest of which is about 24 inches in height. They all seem viable at this point. It was planted in the spring of 1973 next to the foundation of the old greenhouse's head house.

The bad news is that all of this was done at the wrong time of year (i.e. late July)....I knew this but the alternative was to lose the plant through building demolition and bulldozing.

Right now it is in a large training container (non-bonsai) that for me to move about is just about impossible. I think I will be able to slide (push, shove) the planting into a suitable spot for wintering over when the time comes.

Do you think it would be safe to move the tree into a more manageable container next spring or should it remain where it is for another year or two? Thanks in advance.

Tom Simonyi

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Re: Demolition azalea

Post  EdMerc on Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:09 pm

If you can leave it in the container it's in then that's what I recommend. The more you move it the more you stress it. As you stated, you moved it at a dangerous time of year. Let it recover before repeating the act.

Patience, it will pay off.

Good luck,

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