Azalea Question????????

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Azalea Question????????

Post  Bonsai4life on Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:11 am

Hi. I just bought an azalea from local nursery ( i believe not satsuki). I'm new to azalea. I would like to ask if i could cut the tree back to bare wood. i just repotted the tree today (soil mixed of 1/4 peat moss, 1/4 turface, 1/4 decomposed granite, 1/4 sharp sand). Very Happy

Thanks, Jason

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Re: Azalea Question????????

Post  JimLewis on Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:06 pm

With azalea you are always safer if you leave a branch with green on it behind your cuts. You can cut it back more after new growth has sprouted down the branch.

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Re: Azalea Question????????

Post  Guest on Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:24 am

My avatar is a deciduous azalea called northern lights, If you have an ever-green azalea definitely follow Jim's advice and work down slowly, I have found with my deciduous Azalea that I can trim back to a lower bud with no lower green on the stem and all the buds from the apical one just beneath the cut on down will swell and break open. Much like an elm or other deciduous tree..makes it real easy actually but I still leave green somewhere on the tree and if its deciduous and there are no leaves out yet don't dare cut into it until there are leaves or the thing will bleed sap like a stuck pig until there is foliage to heal the wound! Found that out last year the hard way. The other fun thing about the northern lights deciduous is they have the faintest but lovely smell to their flowers.

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Re: Azalea Question????????

Post  Bonsai4life on Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:57 am

Thanks for the reply. Really appreciated. Very Happy

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Re: Azalea Question????????

Post  Glaucus on Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:10 am

Cutting down into old wood and removing all foliage on a evergreen azalea is not uncommon. But I don't know about the risks involved.

I have some suspicions that the issue of dieback may be different from when all foliage is removed from one branch and from when all foliage is completely removed.

It may also be that timing is important. I have two books on azalea as related to bonsai and neither talk about cutting back or chopping so that no foliage remains.

So yes, it would be safer to leave on foliage. Question is how much safer. I am talking a bit with some Japanese satsuki bonsai people. My Japanese is bad but I think this question would be high on the list to try to ask.

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Re: Azalea Question????????

Post  JR on Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:55 am

hi
The Japanese call cutting back into old wood Kiri-modoshi. It's used to reshape your tree but don't leave it to late in the season or you may leave your tree susceptible to dieback. I have used it on one of my rhonnies with disasterous results. Good luck

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