Time to drastic prune that lavender azalea

vmcenroe(z6 OH)May 1, 2006

If you've seen my post about the foundation plantings then you know the azaleas I'm talking about. The flowers are dying so I'm ready to prune. I've read ever article I can find on pruning and I'm still anxious about doing this. Here is what I am going to do. Please tell me if I have anything wrong with this proecure.

1. Cut shurb to 20 in. so I can get to the crown better.

2. Cut out all dead wood to the main branch or the ground.

3. Cut the main stumps to just above the knob with a pruning saw. These cuts should be straight, not slanted. Can this cut be any distance above the knob? The knobs may be at different heights above the ground, but don't I want all of my stumps to end up at 10-12 in.?

My main question is about which branches to totally remove to the ground. Do I cut any of the big branches to the ground? Do I leave any of the smaller branches coming out of the ground if if looks like it might be well positioned to become a main branch someday?

Does anyone want to come over and do this for me?

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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I read your other post. What makes you think the Azalea is overgrown? You are going to move it anyway. Why not move it to a place where it has room to grow without pruning? If the lawn is in the way, can you move it out abit? Azaleas move easy and you don't have to prune ahead of time. That goes for the branches and roots despite all that you have read. Nurseries don't do that when moving field grown azaleas, why should you?

Here is a link that might be useful: Azaleas in my yard

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 10:41AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Amen.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 1:48PM
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vmcenroe(z6 OH)

I had a landscape designer come to my house today and he pruned my azaleas for me. I wanted to pass on everything I learned because as it turns out I would have done it wrong. No amount of reading could give me the information I needed to correctly prune my azalea. My azaleas were close to 5 ft. tall...much too large for a front yard foundation. If you look at the photo, they were up to where the leaves on the Serviceberry begin. I was going to cut EVERYTHING back to 6-10 in. which he said was okay, but he pointed out that there was a massing of leaves at about 2-3 ft on the newer, thinner branches. He cut all of the thick, old branches (1+ in. diameter) back very low to the ground. All of those branches were 4-5 ft. and only had growth at the ends. After he did that, what was left is what you see...a 2-3 ft shrub all on fresher wood that is going to fill in even more over the summer. Next spring it will be perfect when it blooms. Maybe, just maybe, that serviceberry will have a chance now. I hope this helps those of you who are mystified by the process of pruning an overgrown azalea.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 5:54PM
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