Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: MatsuBonsai on June 14, 2009, 07:58 PM

Title: June Satsuki work
Post by: MatsuBonsai on June 14, 2009, 07:58 PM
It's June, and that means it's time to work on Satsuki Azaleas again.  This particular Satsuki (Gyoten) I've been working on since 2006.  It initially had quite a few flaws.  At that time I decided it was best to remove the flaws and rebuild the tree making it the best it could possibly be.  Sometimes, that requires big cuts and a few years of the tree looking "not so good".  However, it has paid off, and this tree has improved quite a bit.  Many of the "problem branches" that were removed have been rebuilt with new shoots.

There's still quite a bit of work left to be done on this tree.  It has been thinned and trimmed and will be wired again later this year. 

I repotted this tree on February 7th of this year.  All of the flower buds were removed, so that all the energy would be directed at new growth.  It was thinned and trimmed on June 13th.  For this I trimmed down to 2 shoots, 2 leaves.  This means that all of the old growth was removed, and the new shoots for this year were thinned to 2 and cut back to 2 leaves.  Since azaleas are basal dominant and we must strive to keep energy near the top of the tree I left 3 leaves on top and in weaker areas of the tree.

After work was done the top inch of soil was refreshed and a fine layer of milled sphagnum moss was placed on top to keep in moisture.

Here's a picture from 2006 before I started work, and one showing how it looks today.  I'll let it flower next year and be sure to post pictures here.
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: Victrinia Ridgeway on June 17, 2009, 06:07 PM
What time of year does yours bloom? Mine is in the height of it's bloom cycle right now... It bloomed at the same time last year, so I imagine that it will be fairly consistent in this habit.

Victrinia
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: MatsuBonsai on June 18, 2009, 08:10 AM
Victrinia,

It usually blooms the first week or two of June before I remove all the flowers.  By not allowing it to bloom this year and trimming back all at once I should get a very full and consistent set of flowers next year.  I'll be sure to post pictures here at the Bonsai Study Group.
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: johng on June 18, 2009, 02:29 PM
Hello all,  What a great tree!!  I love azaleas.  I am not sure critiques were invited so please accept this with the best of intentions.

AzaleaVirt1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSajWrq5E-U#lq)


Awesome...very easy to embed the video!!!  I just posted the provided URL link from the Youtube page...the forum software appears to automatically embed the video.  I just uploaded the video so it may take an hour or so to become available.

Thanks,
John
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: MatsuBonsai on June 18, 2009, 03:09 PM
John,

I enjoyed your critique very much, and it is certainly welcome.  I agree, the apex still needs some work to get it into the desired location, and this is almost exactly what I had in mind.  However, I think by removing the large branch towards the bottom (at this time) would cause the tree that is currently quite strong and almost masculine to lose power and become more feminine.  This isn't necessarily out of the question, but would require a new pot and looking at the tree with a new future in mind. 

I think I might want to enjoy the tree in it's current (with more adjustments) form and pot combination.  I'll be rewiring it and adjusting branches and pads more later in the year, so who knows.

The tree is quite large and when well watered becomes almost too much for me to carry.  So, a more slender/feminine shape might be in this tree's future in 2-3 years.  My back would certainly thank me.
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: johng on June 18, 2009, 03:29 PM
Glad you enjoyed the video critique:)  Perhaps it is the flowers or the often graceful trunks, but in spite of the mass that some azaleas may have, I see most as feminine...that certainly doesn't mean there can't be exceptions ;)
John
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: MatsuBonsai on June 18, 2009, 03:38 PM
John,

I agree.  However, I haven't seen mine really flower for a few years as I've been removing the buds, so perhaps that's what I'm missing.  Also, this one has a very muscular trunk, and I forgot to mention the large branch that was removed just above (like centimeters) the lowest, so I'm leaving it there for the moment to heal the scar and prevent atrophy at the moment.  Not to mention, the hours spent studying Kokufu books, where the azaleas aren't flowering and are often quite strong and powerful.

Enjoying your virtual more and more I'm curious, what kind of pot would you see this azalea in for the future you've offered?  Maybe back into the blue?  Perhaps something completely different?  I enjoy trading out pots and giving trees an entirely different look as a result.
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: johng on June 18, 2009, 05:00 PM
Pots are tough with Azaleas...Obviously health and vigor must come first...with that said..I can still see something slightly shallower, oval, muted glazed, perhaps a curved profile.  My preferences are always biased toward a container that emphasizes the tree...it virtually disappears until you make a conscience effort to notice it.  

I think some of Sara Raynor's textured pots are very difficult to match well with trees but I think some of her smooth textures can be outstanding.  I have posted a couple pics from her website - http://www.redwing.net/~daalms/index.html (http://www.redwing.net/~daalms/index.html)

I also included one of the pics I created so you can have it:)

John
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: Billkcmo on July 29, 2009, 07:32 AM
Very nice.  Glad to see the low branch on the right side removed.  A branch inside a curve just isn't right.  I wish my tree looked that good.  Bill
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: bwaynef on June 01, 2010, 10:58 AM
Very nice.  Glad to see the low branch on the right side removed.  A branch inside a curve just isn't right.  I wish my tree looked that good.  Bill

The branch in question never really bothered me since it's not coming out of the crotch of the curve.  After seeing it in bloom (or almost), I think the branch really adds to the composition.  See below: (from http://bonsaistudygroup.com/satsuki-azalea-discussion/satsuki-azalea-%27gyoten%27/ (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/satsuki-azalea-discussion/satsuki-azalea-%27gyoten%27/) )

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/satsuki-azalea-discussion/satsuki-azalea-%27gyoten%27/?action=dlattach;attach=5872;image)
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: GenoM on June 03, 2010, 01:51 PM
None of my azaleas look like this, but I've found this thread to be very inspirational.  JohnG - your video was greatly appreciated!  As a novice, I find your comments very insightful.  --Gene
Title: Re: June Satsuki work
Post by: noissee on June 05, 2010, 10:07 AM
I would also keep that low branch. I think, as you said, it adds balance when the tree is flowering.