This Azalea had a very poorly root system last year... lots of black dead wood possibly due to the accompanying trunk die back above. So last year it was babied a bit more, all the black dead roots were cut away to lighter live wood, the tree was resited into a smaller pot with less root volume and sieved kanuma was used a the potting medium. It was fed consistently through the season with Osmocote & Viagra
I gently removed the tree and the roots have responded well with some backbuds starting to appear in the crotches of branches. By next year it should have totally colonized the pot and time to get it into a larger container to keep the vigour increasing.
The branch system needs a big restyle. I'm asking for methods of regenerating this tree to improve the branch structure so any tips / articles / timing on pruning or wiring and then maintenance to build an attractive tree would be great from you Azalea lovers out there.
Thanks for reading. First 2 pics - trunk dieback & spiral of dead wood on trunk. I gently carved out the deadwood using my Makita tweezers (it was so soft you could literally scrape it away ... I'm glad i did this as there were a few creatures having a feast on the dead parts & a few slugs).