Azalea "Yardadori"

I saw my inlaws were ripping out a bunch of there plants to redo their landscaping and in the process found this one in the pile. I know its the first day of april so it might be a little later than ideal but i figured i would give it a shot. I am in south LA so its getting warm here. What suggestions do yall have for what i should do. I have a box built and will be placing it in there today. Plan on only removing the roots that are damaged from pulling it out the ground and removing essentially no foliage in order to allow it for the best chance of survival.

All help is welcomed!


Not direct experience with Azalea, so take with spoons of salt and proceed at own risk (I’m clear that this now is potentially not that helpful).
I woul try to remove some more of the old soil, potentially clearing the shin. Protect from wind/blistering sun while providing lots of light. Also use rooting hormone applied with watering. Eventually place in polytunnel or plastic bag to increase moisture levels for the first weeks.

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OK so I removed a nice one from my garden years ago and now regret not having cleaned it to get a good sheen or using the strength you get when lifting from the garden, you’ll never have this much strength again so us it, Peter warrens reppoting streams are great info. Personally I’d say clean under the trunk if not all so you can develop a sheen asap :+1: I just saved my grandads 60year old one so I’ve been stressing over it all this winter.

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From the Peter Warren guest appearance on the live streams, he instructed azaleas should be bare rooted when they dug from the field. Also when you first work azaleas from nursery stock. He said that is the point when you should get all the field or potting soil out of the roots.


Got about 75% of soil removed before I chickens out and didn’t feel good about going further. Kept the roots wet and got it in its new box and some good soil. Watered it in and now we wait to see what happens. :crossed_fingers: thanks for all the advice. Definitely encouraged me to remove more soil from the roots than I would have.


Sweet it’s gonna be a bad ass tree🙌 misting seems to be the key and keep it out of direct sun’s until it perks up👍 I’ve picked up and reptile fogger for the greenhouse that works a tree for yamadori and sick trees.

If you did have a style in mind that needed major chopping I think its best to do it now :grimacing: it’ll probably never have as much strength again to back bud as it has this spring. Scary :grin:

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O gosh you think so? So treat it like a bald cypress? So scary but I’ll definitely look into that this afternoon. Thanks!

Yes, if you’re going to cut it back, now is the best time to do it. I believe they mention that in the Peter Warren stream and John Geanangel has some YouTube videos on the topic. I’ve done it and had success. Will post pictures later.

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Im curious how far i should take it back. I initially thought I should take it back pretty far but I don’t want to remove all the foliage unless everyone thinks it can handle it… I don’t have any real experience with azaleas as bonsai, just in the landscape. Thanks for the help!!

I’m really curious how this will work out for. I want to dig out one in my garden next year. My plan was to cut it back this year and then do the digging next year. I hope yours will make it. Looks gorgeous.

It’s all in those Peter Warren streams, weak branch leave a leaf etc, I suppose use the energy to fix/grow what you need now rather than grow a load of stuff to cut off later. Good luck👍

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I’m going to take a poll on thoughts. I have a picture with red, purple and blue lines on it as “levels” of cut back. I really want this to be a good tree and think to do that you need to go back to the red line but not sure that it can handle that cut back. What is everyone thoughts on this? It seems to be doing just fine for now. Just haven’t made any foliage cuts yet.

If it were me, I’d cut it back to about 2"ish above where each of the multiple trunks start to really emphasize the broad spreading trunk. Above that, you currently have long sections with no taper. Better to take it back and start building that now.

As it came out of the ground in 2013:

And as it stood last year (less than 20% original height):

Still some refining to do, but you get the idea.


These would be my cuts based on what I can see, I think as long as you shade and mist it often you should be good to go :+1:


Beautiful tree. That base is incredible. Thanks for the help

I will do it today. Thanks for your advice on this. Wouldn’t have had the confidence without talking to y’all about this

If it’s warming up where you are try popping it in a big clear bag and mist iinside the bag once a day, but I suppose you have plenty of misting time at the moment.

Misting in addition to watering?

Joel Jenkins

I’ve never had to do the bag thing with Azalea. If it’s healthy, it will pop buds everywhere. Especially in your climate (not too different than mine)