Azalea Bark cleaning

I recently acquired an imported satsuki azalea osakazuki variety. This was imported about a year ago, and i picked it up at a local bonsai nursery. I want to get it to top health prior to repotting next year. I’m cleaning off the bark. Can anyone tell me what the dark discoloration is? Does it come with age?, built up dirt? It seems to be coming off with a soft nylon brush and a little elbow grease, but I’m also exposing a little cambium layer in some areas, azaleas have very thin bark. If its not harming the tree I don’t mind it, but if I can get it off I would like to. Thanks for the feedback!

Congratulations on your azalea purchase! If you’re getting down to the cambium you are being too aggressive. I don’t know what is causing the discoloration, but I would try to figure it out first before going to the extreme of scrubbing the tree with a brush.

Unless a disease is causing the discoloration, it won’t affect the tree’s strength. I would advise against scrubbing the bark. I would focus on fertilizing, keeping it watered, taking off all the blooms promptly after it flowers and other good horticultural practices. BTW, it is best to remove the flowers all at the same time in order to get the next year’s flowers to bloom at the same time.

Thank you for your input. You re right it could be a natural process, I don’t see any disease related issues, besides leaf spot which I don’t believe is connected. But as you stated ill focus on the basics and see how the year goes.

I don’t know if it’s got anything to do with it but in the top photo there seems to be something that is really biting into the root just where the mark is, or is that large root slowly dying off? Hard to see from the photo so I may be wrong

Hey thanks for catching that keith, but actually its a tiny root that I took off, and it looks way worst in the picture now that you point it out lol.

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