Chinzan Azalea

Martin Sweeney

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This is the first thread I have ever started on any bonsai website.
Please see the picture below of a Chinzan satsuki azalea I have been growing as bonsai since 1998. I purchased it from a backyard azalea nursery in Irmo (I believe) South Carolina in a 1gl pot that year. It was probably a three year old cutting at that time. It has always been in a pot.
Currently, it is in a pot made by Richard Boggs of Winston-Salem North Carolina. The plant towers 7 inches above the rim of the pot.
Comments and suggestions for improvements welcome.
Regards,
Martin
 

Bonsai Nut

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Welcome to BonsaiNut Martin!

Wow - that is a nice azalea. I really like the nebari! My only comment would be to refine your design and eliminate a few branches higher up the trunk to open up the tree a little bit. Right now the tree looks a little bushy, but if you create some open spaces and tighten up the foilage masses to emphasize your design, I think you'll be please with the results.
 
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I would be careful about taking too much out of the top, though. Azaleas are shrubs and as such are much stronger at the base than at the apex. It's a delicate balancing act. That's not to say it couldn't be refined a little, but you have done a wonderful job of making this tree a healthy specimen.
 

Martin Sweeney

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BonsaiNut and Chris,

Thanks for the replies.

I agree with you both.

Concerning the bushiness and general disorder in the tree, I hope to wire it over the weekend, arrange the branches and see if I can't simplify the design a little.

I enjoy working on azaleas, and one of the reasons is the basal dominance. It is refreshing to have lower branches that need to be restrained from getting too heavy, rather than having to work to keep the upper branches from overpowering a design. Extra leaves will be left on the upper branches to keep their juices flowing and their strength up.

Hopefully, pictures will be posted on Monday.
Martin
 

zelk

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Thats a nice azalea you have there. This may just be my personal preference but i think it looks really good the way it is.
 

wahoo172

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ugggggg

Martin,

That thing is disgusting, but don't throw it out ...
send it to me and I will punish myself by looking at it daily.

Very nice bonsai! I like it alot

George
 

Graydon

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Nice tree Martin. I do like the pot, I have a couple of Richard's pots and I think they are great.

I would like to respectfully comment on a couple of things. The first is the tree seems to be planted a bit tall in the pot. I do like the nebari very much, however I think it would look a lot better if it was a bit deeper.

The second thing is I don't really like that pot with the tree. Not sure why but it just does not make a complete picture in my head. Perhaps a shallower but larger pot would make a better composition.

I hope my opinions do not offend you. I simply love the tree, great job.
 

irene_b

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I agree with Graydon.
Tree to high in pot and needs wider pot to show the nebari off better.
Irene
 

Martin Sweeney

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Thanks for the replies and the encouragement.

I have been contemplating a pot change, and will need to do some shopping. Anyone have examples as to which pot theywould use?

Here is the tree after wiring this weekend. It is now 6.5" above the rim of the pot. Looks like the right side still needs some clarification.

Regards,

Martin
 

Graydon

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Martin,

That's such a nice tree. What color or blossom type is a chinzan? It would be nice to try to compliment the blossoms with a pot color (if you ever let it bloom).

I'm partial to basic pots without glazes. I attached a couple of styles that may work. I could be way off on a proper pot however. I'm sure others here will offer up a much better selection or advice.

I would be proud to have that tree on my bench, good job. Now if you will excuse me I'm headed out back to dump my azaleas in the burn pile...
 

Martin Sweeney

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Graydon,

I like both those pots very much. Thanks for the ideas.

Concerning bloom colors on the chinzan (also known as chinsoy, although they may be different varieties) azalea, I found the attached picture on the following website:

http://www.scnla.com/Chinsoy Azalea_3_04.html

So far, it has bloomed many times. Every year without fail since coming home from the nursery..
The blooms are large for this particular tree, but I still enjoy seeing it bloom.

Regards,

Martin
 

Martin Sweeney

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A second Chinzan azalea was purchased at the same time and place as the earlier posted tree. It was also a 1gl plant. I believe I pruned its branches and roots once each before planting it in a grow bed. It was in the ground for the last 7 years, only getting occasional branch pruning. It was dug, pruned and potted into a 12” bulb pan this spring after blooming sometime in early May.

This may be a silly question, but which was the better use of the last 8 years; growing and styling in a small pot, or rampant growth in the ground? I am more attached to the small azalea, having had a lot of interaction with it. Happily, I am growing fonder of the large one every time I work with it.

Regards,
Martin
 

Graydon

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Martin,

I would say both trees used the past 8 years well. You have a great example of comparison and contrast to illustrate small pot vs. in ground. One tree is more developed based on more tending from you and one is larger due to lack of tending.

I have no doubt that both are/will be very nice trees.

Thanks for posting these and please keep it up.
 

grog

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They both look pretty darn fantastic to me. I'm with Graydon on contemplating some bad things for the azaleas I have now after looking at these. They both have very nice taper, I think I like the movement of the trunk on your more developed one best. The other looks to have pretty sexy basal flare to it. They're both drool-on-able for sure.
 

Martin Sweeney

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Graydon and Grog,

Thank you for the kind words regarding the two azaleas. I am looking forward to starting the training on the larger. Maybe this fall, maybe next spring. Probably this fall...

Here are the two side by side, not a good picture, but shows the size difference very well.

Regards,

Martin
 
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Martin Sweeney

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Just a quick update to this thread as I noticed that the pictures are gone and I can't tell from the text if Graydon saw it in bloom or not, so here it is.

I couldn't find a new pot I liked for it, although I must admit that I didn't look that hard. It will be repotted lower in this pot in a couple of weekends after more blooms fall off.

Regards,
Martin
 

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Martin Sweeney

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Update after repotting to new pot

All,

I repotted the tree into a new pot after blooming. Call me old fashioned, but repotting after flowering has always worked well for me with satsuki here in NC, so I stuck with it.

This pot is actually a little larger than the previous pot, but the tree was allowed to grow for 2 years in a much larger pot to improve it's health. I am expecting vigorous new budding and anticipate wiring later this year. I also hope to show it in Asheville at the 16th (I think) Carolinas Bonsai Expo in October.

Constructive criticism welcome.

Regards,
Martin
 

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Bill S

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Once it is wired out, and the top reduced a bit, I am not sure there will be anything you will need to hear fom us , other than Nice work Martin.
 

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