Reworking An Old, Decapitated Azalea

2 weeks ago Nebby 0

Source: Crataegus Bonsai Blog.

The thing with azaleas is they can lose their heads. The tops often die off after prolonged stress. A few years ago the garden received several old Satsuki azaleas in this predicament. I admit to enjoying these puzzles. What do you do with them? Often there’s a lot of interesting structure left in these old imported Satsuki. Sometimes good lower trunks. Nebari. Maybe a few useable lower branches. The Satsuki featured in this recovery attempt is the ‘Yamato’ cultivar. We put it in a box for a few years to recover vigor, and then it became a head-scratching project for a Seasonal class. Here’s our Satsuki ‘Yamato’ in 2017, after several years of growth in a box. The top of the trunk had died off before it entered the garden, originally twice as high. The questions to my Seasonal students were, ‘Is there still a bonsai in there?’ and if so, ‘How to we restyle it?’ Defoliating and pruning back in June to see what we had. I’d like to believe this was an animated discussion of possible fronts… Each chopstick in the soil represents a Seasonal student’s idea for the new front. The old trunk being cut off halfway up the tree. The new trunkline used a lower branch (to the right) to complete its meandering path. After severing the trunk. The dark area in the middle of the cut was rotted all the way down to the base. Almost the new front…which is just to the left. Brushes…

Go to the source blog (Crataegus Bonsai Blog) to read the full article: Reworking An Old, Decapitated Azalea