azaleas pruned to standard tree shape - pics wanted

sojay(8a)May 23, 2006

I have quite a few overgrown azaleas against the house. I'm planning to do some severe pruning, some pruned into standard trees, others severely cut down very low. Now is the time, right? I'm looking for pictures of azaleas pruned into trees for inspiration.

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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

I don't lollipop or prune azaleas into quasi trees, giraffes or rabbits. There's many on here who do, so I don't know that you'll have to wait long for a response.

While I empathize with your having to address overgrown foundation plantings, I'd opt to heavily prune and transplant, but that would've been done in March (sacrificing this year's bloom to an extent) and allowing the plant to grow as intended. Just my opinion.

Good luck with your endeavor.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 8:51AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 2:21PM
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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

Well Henning ol boy. That's in a container, so I presume that you or whomever planted can get away with it as it doesn't look half bad. As a permanent fixture within a landscape, will never do it for me. Plants, like children....GROW. I prefer to let them grow at their own pace with very little interference. Just the occasional guidance; that is if they require it.

I think I have seen just about enough topiaried plants in today's modern landscapes to make me never want to visit Tuscany, Howard Beach Queens or some of NJ's hoity toity suburbs with that landscaping gestalt. JMO :^ )

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 3:23PM
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Birdsong, I know what you mean. I want them to look natural, not poodle'd. I was just thinking of removing all the lower branches to lighten things up and make it look like a tree as opposed to an overgrown shrub that's swallowing the house. But I'm afraid of making them look leggy and scruffy, that's why I'm looking for pictures.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 4:51PM
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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

However you may prune, try to not do it drastically (if you can avoid it). Do it over a 2-3 year period (again if possible) in order to restore the plant to it's natural state without it looking awful.

Again, good luck.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:22AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Most azalea and rhododendron gardeners cringe when they see one that has been trimmed with hedge shears, but in Japan where the best gardeners in the world hand manicure all plants, it is fairly common to see "hedges" of evergreen azaleas. In fact they rather like the look you get when you prune after the flower buds have started developing so you get the green leaves with the isolated flowers rather than the look popular in the US where the plant is a mass of color. These people who treat every plant as if it was a hand crafted work of art such as a bonsai like hand sheared azaleas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Journal of Gardening - pruning

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 2:23PM
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