Favorite Minion came across some pictures of me attending a Ben Oki workshop from 2013 and asked me if I still had the tree.  Of course, I did, and after comparing the drawing that he made for the future tree, I thought it would make an interesting post.

Azaleas are usually classified as deciduous or evergreen, but actually it is not that cut and dry.  I have been growing azaleas for many years now, indicas, kurumes, satsukis, and some that I am not even sure of; but I have come to the conclusion that all are either deciduous or semi-deciduous.  All of them lose a few leaves in winter, some more than others.  Also, as the winter grows colder you are rewarded with a kaleidoscope of colors when the leaves begin to change and drop.

On December 9, 2017, the Heart of Dixie, got some snow.  I know that this is not a big deal for some of you who are reading this, but for those of us who live in Lower Alabama, it is magical, and, well, a catastrophe, too.  It is beautiful, but no one knows how to drive in it so the guardrails take a lot of abuse as do our auto insurance policies.  Anyway, I wanted to share some pictures of the blizzard of 2017 and our whopping 3 inches of snow.  Oh, and by the way, it was a good kind of snow this time, real fluffy and great for snowballs.

I was hoping to write this article and post it sooner, sometime around the end of October, but I did not have time to get it done.  So, I still thought I would share my experiences with this super species for bonsai.  If you have been reading on the site, you know that I submerge the root mass on the cypress from early spring (as soon as the buds start to form) until there is a chance of a freeze (usually the end of October, first of November).  The topic of submersion and its benefits in pot culture is controversial, but I have found that it works, as you will see in the pictures below.  If you would like to read more about the technique, check out this article.

Those who keep bonsai for any length of time usually have some sort of fungus or virus infect their trees.  This year I have been battling two on my azaleas, ovulinia petal blight and rhizoctonia web blight, and another on my maples, anthracose.  Unfortunately, it was very prolific this year due to the constant rain, high humidity, and hot weather.