Southern Charm Azalea


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Mooresville, NC - USA
Hello to all. I am getting ready to start cleaning out the rotten wood, and getting the deadwood treated on an azalea. The inside of the main trunk had some areas that needed cleaning off before putting the sulfur on. I used a sandpaper wheel on a dremel tool, and cleaned it out. As i was getting started, i noticed a spot where i could see green from the living tree. Should i put cut paste on this to protect it, or is it ok to put the lime sulfur onto it? I know you dont get the sulfur on living areas, so i want to make sure before proceeding. Ive put up a couple pics, not sure if you can see it though. There is a branch covering up part of where im talking about. You can see the white areas near the top of the old trunk. What do you think about my new find?


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Great little find! Love the base. Don't worry if you get a little LS on the live branches, you just don't want to be sloppy.
Thanks Brian. Its not really the branches im talking about here. The original trunk is hollow, but has branches still growing from it, and on the inside of it, i cleaned off some rotten wood, and barely got into some live greenwood. From the branches aspect, the sulfur would be coming from inside the tree, or on the other side of the trunk if that makes any sense. Kinda hard to explain. Yeah, the top isnt hitting on much yet. It has been cut back pretty hard, but has about 4 new buds opening up on different branches, so hopefully it will be ok. Im not gonna do much to it until it starts growing good again after the shock, but i thought it would be best to get anything that might start rotting, and treat it before it gets worse. Thanks for the input. Hopefully ill get some good pics from this one in the future. ive been checking out your website, and am very impressed with your trees. Thanks for helping out us new guys. Its so cool to have a place like this to get help, and advice, or just to study other posts. It sure does help.
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When is the best time to prune azaleas? Root and top? Should i let this fill out fully before doing any carving or pruning? Or if anyone has any good links to working guidelines for azaleas. I would appreciate any help. I have some in my yard, but not as confident about using as bonsai.
The traditional time is right after they bloom. But for the best long-term health of the tree, thy should be debudded in the fall and winter and worked on in early spring just like any other tree.
Ive always heard that you should prune the tops of your landscape azaleas after they bloom. I would much rather look at the long term. Thanks alot for your advice. This is a great tree, with lots of potential, and i dont want to take any chances. I am looking for advice or links to information on these trees. I think they are beautiful trees, especially the nebari they create. Thanks again.
You may want to get "Satsuki Azaleas for Bonsai and Azalea Enthusuasts" by Robert Z. Callaham, Stone Lantern Publishing, USA 2006. Also Peter Adams' "Flowering Bonsai."
I agree with jkl...when you're developing azaleas, they're best treated like D-trees; removing all flower buds in the fall-winter, then pruned/wired in Feb-March, and allowed to grow hard in the spring, and cutting it back once new growth hardens in June. It will form flower buds in Aug-Sep, and you'll decide again in the fall-winter whether to keep them or remove them.
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