Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

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Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:57 am

I have an older Pieris which is growing "gang busters" and is now making flowers. (the photo is from early Spring repotting this year) I estimate the trees' age to be 15 years old; it grew in the ground for approx 10 years before I dug it last Fall. I would like to hard prune - to get back budding but I'm not sure if I can do it now, or wait. I have fed it well this year, there is lots of new growth, and the flowers are forming. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks for your help> Salut, Todd



Last edited by Todd Ellis on Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:55 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : moving it to "Bonsai" for chance of responses.)

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  bezmar915neo on Wed May 04, 2011 6:03 am

Hi Todd
I'd also appreciate some input on this species as I recently removed a few for a friend. I so know that they are similar to azalea and rhododendron in growth habit. Mine are fresh dug but in a couple years I need to know how to prune and how to reduce leaf size and internode distance. Any info would be great. I've seen some pics on the web that look good but I wonder can leaf size be reduced
Thanks
Mark
NE Ohio USA zone 5

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed May 04, 2011 12:04 pm

Hi Mark,
I lost this tree after hard pruning last Summer. I pruned approx 2/3's of the foliage off in the Summer at one time on every branch and the tree just declined and died before Fall. I tried to not over water too much. I put the tree in the ground while it still had some green leaves left but it never recovered. A big lesson learned. My advice is to go slow with yours. I know my tree was vigorous before I started the drastic pruning campaign.
Best, Todd

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  bezmar915neo on Wed May 04, 2011 9:42 pm

Sorry to hear your Andromeda died. Mine are doing quite well in spite of their removal. I will be cautious then. I know they grow like crazy and my plan was to prune hard each season. Guess I'll have to find another way tho I'm not sure what that will be. I haven't read any useful info on them and can't find any either. It's very early in their development so maybe in next year or two I can dig up some info.

thank you much for your input
mark Ohio zone 5

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 3:23 am

I'm sorry you lost the tree too

I've killed in my time too, the rule of thumb Ive learned from it is I never hard prune or do any severe pruning after the June. Maintainence pruning here and there sure, but nothing drastic, not with bonsai except maybe the tropicals of course, Plants slow down in the heat of summer and I dont think they can recover nearly as well as they do in spring when they're rarin' to go. Lost a rhody purple gem, and a rosemary as the price of that wisdom

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu May 05, 2011 3:56 am

We live and learn Sad But the good thing is (I hope) I'll never do that again! I'm sorry you lost trees too. I tell many folks that "most bonsai people have a collection of used pots" Laughing

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  bezmar915neo on Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:35 pm

Well Todd...ALL of the Andromeda I dug up this spring are alive and very vigorous and recieving lots of fertilizer. Maybe nxt year I can cut some of the shoots in unusable places off. Very frustrating year for me this year. I collected quite s bit of nice materials this spring but cannot really do anything to them for another year or two. I put the Andromeda in big boxes with surface and bark for soil. They seem to b happy. I wonder how well dead wood holds up with these as I will at some point b doing some carving on them. All are very large which is good because I don't know if the leaves will reduce in size

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  Jarrod on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:01 am

I have seen somewhere (I can't remember where) that you take the tips out as the flowers start to finish. Drastic cut backs should be done early spring which will of course remove all the flowers. I think you should be removing flowers if you want to develop the branches as these put a far bit of energy into flowering. I have collected a few about a month a ago (very large) and they are shooting off very old wood and seem to be doing fine. Plase note that I am in Melbourne, Australia.

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  bezmar915neo on Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:38 am

Well thank u very much. That's the only info I've heard so far. Not sure how our climates compare but im sure leaf reduction should b similar. So these flower only on one yr old growth I assume?

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  Jarrod on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:05 am

I have noticed that they start to form flowers in autumn (where I am) and these hold till early spring then open. Treat them like an azalea (as mentioned above) and dead head once flowers are finished. You could probably also prune for shape then. You will need to wire when the branch is young, in the first season, as they are very prone to snapping. I am still learning with them but I have found them very forgiving.

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

Post  jonkatzmail on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:19 pm

I know this isn't much help, but I bought a small damaged one earlier this year from Lowes and fed it Holly-Tone fertilizer, which is acidic, and it started growing and had reddish new leaves and is still alive! I never took it out of its pot so that prevented me damaging its roots. I like it, it doesn't look like anything else I've seen in Indiana since the soil here is not acidic. How it will do going thru the winter I don't know, we are probably both in the same climate zone.

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Re: Please help with suggestions for when to prune an old Pieris japonica, aka Andromeda

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