Friday, September 22, 2023
HomeBonsaiRy2Tree2 Bonsai Weblog: Roberta Walters' Azaleas 101

Ry2Tree2 Bonsai Weblog: Roberta Walters’ Azaleas 101

            Few species of bonsai
can compete with the visible intrigue produced by an azalea in full bloom.
For that cause, at present I’ve to withstand the flowery temptation to jot down a
full on historical past of their use in bonsai and evaluation handbook for Azalea
strategies (perhaps sometime…). As a substitute, I will whet your urge for food with a extra
manageable intro to azalea-specific data by long-lost excerpts
from certainly one of California’s premier azalea skilled, Roberta Walters. Whereas t
he full playlist of Roberta’s demonstration is on the market on the Puget Sound Bonsai Affiliation’s Youtube Channel, this text is meant to function a information to how every clip of Roberta’s discussions suits into seasonal work that may be executed in your azalea bonsai.


This previous
azalea by
Dan Robinson
(collected a long time in the past by his first scholar. Frank) is a major instance of their potential spring magnificence. Though it’s already lined with
pink flowers,
this tree continues to be just a few days away from peak bloom. At the moment it will be so lined in pink you could’t even see the leaves! It is no
surprise this tree received the Folks’s Selection Award on the 2017 PSBA
Spring Present.

            Roberta is a previous president of each the Satsuki (Azalea) Bonsai Membership (now referred to as Bay Space Satsuki Aikokai) in Sacramento and Golden State Bonsai Federation, in addition to a founding member of the Chico Bonsai Society. Amongst her many a long time in bonsai, Roberta intensely studied azaleas below Mr. Gondo and Mr Nakiyama who shared their experience from working professionally on azalea bonsai in Japan. In April of 2001, Roberta got here to share this information because the visiting visitor artist Puget Sound Bonsai Affiliation. This went on to be just one small a part of Roberta’s profession in bonsai training and he or she went on to be awarded the Circle of Sensei Award by the Golden State Bonsai Federation.

            Over the identical years as Roberta’s bonsai profession bloomed, the Puget Sound Bonsai Affiliation maintained an extended custom of recording our visitor artist conferences to make obtainable to membership members by the membership library in VHS and DVD format. The DVD copies nevertheless have languished principally unused by members for a few years now. As most individuals my age do not even have DVD gamers anymore, I have been engaged on and off with my former membership to digitize their assortment and publish the older demonstrations on Youtube for all to get pleasure from. The highlights of Roberta’s presentation are a continuation of this collaboration. Learn under for the foremost subjects Roberta mentioned in her demonstration. 

            Beneath are embeded highlights from Roberta’s demonstration
within the order of relevance to the present season (July, for future
readers). Although she carried out her demonstration in April, a lot of
what she discusses is pertains to azalea care all through all seasons.

A. Skip the Mallsai, Save Time, & Study Bonsai Quicker!

            The primary clip I will
share comprises actually timeless recommendation for any newbie in bonsai. Though
it is a advantageous place to begin for freshmen to first purchase low-cost materials
with skinny trunks to follow watering and preserving bushes in pots alive, many
freshmen will crave extra. Roberta factors although that it might be extra
helpful to get one $100 beginning tree quite than ten $10 stick-in-pot
bushes on account of time.
 There are methods to develop these younger bushes to look extra mature, however
lots of these strategies to achieve a extra substantial tree will take at 5-10
years of ready (relying on if what you are doing!). Just like
my recommendation on my article “
Bonsai Seed Myths“, for freshmen who have to study the fundamentals of bonsai, it might be value it
to avoid wasting just a few years of ready by shopping for larger bushes first (or at the least
concurrently) so you possibly can study probably the most important styling and wiring
strategies quite than solely spending time watering and ready. It will
not solely construct your confidence in bonsai and make you a greater bonsai
artist, however it should additionally make you extra glad in your assortment as you
can have one thing extra consultant of an actual bonsai earlier.

B. Learn how to Safely Take away Giant Branches on Azalea Bonsai

            The second clip I will share
comprises pressing data for anybody contemplating a trunk chop or main
department removing on their azalea. Dan taught me that all these main
pruning are finest executed throughout lively progress intervals so the tree has time
to compartmentalize, restore, and make new shoots once more earlier than winter,
the northerly components of the nation could also be approaching their restrict for
all these operations within the subsequent month. I have never completely labored
out the bounds of the Ohio rising season but however I might think about now
stays a major time for these operations. At any price, If you must
carry out such an operation on an azalea bonsai, you will need to tread rigorously.
Though azaleas will budback prolifically in response to trunk chops,
Roberta’s expertise signifies their roots and branches work just like
junipers through the use of “lifelines.” A lifeline signifies that a single root will
be related to a monitor of branches up the tree and abrupt removing of
that root or of a type of main branches may kill the opposite
parts on that water freeway. Right here Roberta shares the worst story of
lifeline-associated azalea decline she has seen and explains the protected
different to abrupt removing.

C. Nuances in Bonsai Fertilizer – Natural vs Inorganics & Seasonal

            Subsequent, this clip is each
timeless and well timed as the controversy over what kind of fertilizer to make use of is
one which is able to rage on eternally within the bonsai world, however no matter you
use, proper now could be prime time to fertilize (summer season) to assist our rising
vegetation. Right here Roberta discusses her observations on the variations between
natural and inorganic fertilizers with respect to the plant’s responses as
nicely because the science behind when to use fertilizer all through seasons and
totally different temperatures.

D. Repotting Fundamentals & Why Develop Moss for Your Azalea Bonsai

            Subsequent, that is the primary of two
clips you may need to bookmark to evaluation in winter/spring. The meat of this
video is targeted on Roberta’s recommendation and expertise round repotting
azaleas in a number of chapters. She discusses how she instances repotting with
main pruning and permitting the tree to flower, the way to assess the necessity to
change soil, the way to correctly repot and trade soil for the distinctive
rootmat of a mature azalea’s, the helpful objective behind encouraging
moss on the floor of your soil, and he or she reviews the outcomes of her
instructor’s experiment on reusing ceramic pots. 
It must be famous that planting moss may be executed in any season! That
piece of recommendation you may get a head begin on now.

Received all that? No? It is okay, you may perceive higher after watching –
Roberta tells it higher.

E. Azalea Flower Administration: House & Timing

            Lastly, this clip is fitted to
intermediate-advanced bonsai practitioners who’re searching for to convey their
azalea bonsai to the following stage. If you wish to get deep within the weeds (or
shoots because the case could also be) and entice your tree to optimize its flowers by
synchronizing the opening of each flower and guaranteeing every flower has
sufficient house to totally open and be appreciated, heed Roberta’s recommendation

F. Full Roberta Walters Demonstration

            PS. When you’ve acquired time to kill,
please get pleasure from Roberta’s full 2 hour demonstration under. Although I made
separate highlights for an important sections, there are a lot extra
bonsai tales and tidbits inside!

Because of Roberta Walters for sharing her information with PSBA. Thanks the
Chico Bonsai Society who helped me safe permission to breed Roberta’s
demonstration for public viewing.

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