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Satsuki Azalea, ‘Kinsai’ cleanup…x2

As the show winds down, from this (May 2018):

To this:

It’s time to remove the flowers, pruning to remove the branches sporting the fat-petal flowers while it’s still easy to tell which are which.

Then trim it back:

And lightly wire:

A few weeks later and it’s filling out nicely.

Fast-Forward to April 2019, nearly a full year later. The tree is growing well and within a month of flowering. I’m debating about the front, and have been toying with this front, which gives the appearance of a cascading first branch. If I go with this front, I’ll re-orient the tree in its pot to center it and keep the exposed roots upright and not leaning. I like the widening canopy as well.

Here is the tree in bloom, 2019:

And in our club show, just a little past peak blooming:

And over Memorial Day Weekend 2019, I had a chance to clean it up again. From this:

To this, with a rough trimming to start:

Finally, flowers removed, and more pruning done. Here is the final result:


Satsuki Azalea, ‘Kinsai’

The bright red, strap like flowers make this a unique and beautiful cultivar. However, as a hybrid cultivar, they have a few foibles. Do you see a flower that looks a bit out of place?

They tend to throw a sport, reverting to the “mother plant” with a full-petaled flower here and there, which will become the dominant flower if left unchecked.

See it now?

When the tree is in full bloom, it’s easy to find the big flowers…

And remove them back to the point where the thin petaled flowers grow.

The following year, the large flowers were fewer:

Next week we’ll look at cleanup after the show, two years in a row.

Alabama Bonsai Society Spring Show 2019

Getting a few trees ready for the ABS club show. It is next weekend at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Admission is free. You should really come.

First up is this Shimpaku Juniper. It got the last 2 years off, after being shown at the US National Bonsai Exhibition in 2016, and at the Carolina Bonsai Expo later the same year. In late 2018, I took it to Bjorn’s and we worked on it for a third time. It was repotted this spring, and allowed to grow for a couple months:

After removing some yellowing needles, adjusting pads and tidying up their undersides, a good pot cleaning, a little lime-sulfur on the deadwood, and new moss:

The pot is Gyouzan, the display table is by David Knittle. Accent is a variegated sage in a cheap blue hexagon pot on a DaSu slab.

Next up, this Japanese Black Pine originally styled with Peter Warren in 2011.

I removed just a few candles that were jutting out last the profile and wired a couple more out. Removed the top layer of soil, and cleaned up the pot.

Finally, applied a covering of moss. This will be the first time I’ve shown this tree. It’s probably a bit soon, but coming along.

The stand is by Jerry Braswell, and the accent is Erodium in an Ino pot in a DaSu slab.

Next up, is the Satsuki Azalea, ‘Kinsai’. This one is easy, trimmed the profile a bit before flowering started, and just tidy up the moss.

And after:

The pot is a Bunzan, stand by David Knittle, and the accent is thyme in a Joshu Shozan pot.

More from the show after next weekend.