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Re: [AZ] Can i plant azalea under my japneses maple tree?

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  • sjperk5@comcast.net
    OK, I will throw in my limited experience on Acer palmatum and growing rhodies. We had a number of seedling japanese maples that had been grown around in the
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 1, 2008
      OK, I will throw in my limited experience on Acer palmatum and growing rhodies. We had a number of seedling japanese maples that had been grown around in the garden. The most vigorous one turned into a tree with a thick trunk and not about 20 feet tall and just became too thirsty for the plants nearby. We had pruned it to keep it open in the canopy for about 10 years but it got unwieldy. So I had John take it down (He cuts I catch the branches and manage the guide ropes). The less vigorous ones are still there and look just fine with lots of rhododendrons and wildflowers underneath. I guess if you are growing named forms that are slow growing you might not want to plant too close in the beginning.

      From the discussion I agree with the general thought that if the tree is fairly small to begin with you can incorporate azaleas and rhododendrons around them and they coexist just fine. But if you are talking about a fairly large established tree you are going to have trouble establishing a nice bed without a lot of irrigation. Although mulch helps at first, mounding mulch around the plant will work too but eventually the tree roots will move in.

      If anyone sees my garden they are amazed that I have rhododendrons planted right at the base of a number of mature trees, white pines, hemlocks, birch. For some it stunts the plants as they pretty much go into suspended animation for the late summer, for others with pretty vigorous habit it seems to keep them in good form.

      CJ Patterson in our chapter was always promoted the use of named Acer palmatum forms in the garden and contends that they are wonderfully compatible with rhododendrons.

      Sally Perkins, Salem, NH
    • sjperk5
      In general Japanese maples do not surface root (see the roots on top of the ground) so they can be planted under. The roots are not way below the surface so
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 1, 2008
        In general Japanese maples do not surface root (see the roots on top
        of the ground) so they can be planted under. The roots are not way
        below the surface so rhododendrons do have to fight for water but
        rhododendrons can be planted under them.

        The question is sunlight and damage from moving branches.
        Rhododendrons do not like to be beat on from above everytime the wind
        blows plus they have to have at least some light to perform.

        I have found R. dauricum to do pretty well under low shade conditions
        (branches 6 to 8 feet up)

        They can coexist but you have to be willing to prune the Japanese
        maples away from the Rhododendrons to help the rhodies. In a fair
        fight the Japanese maples will win here in the long run but it is the
        light more than the roots that is the issue.

        John Perkins
        Salem, NH


        --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, sjperk5@... wrote:
        >
        >
        > OK, I will throw in my limited experience on Acer palmatum and
        growing rhodies. We had a number of seedling japanese maples that had
        been grown around in the garden. The most vigorous one turned into
        a tree with a thick trunk and not about 20 feet tall and just became
        too thirsty for the plants nearby. We had pruned it to keep it open
        in the canopy for about 10 years but it got unwieldy. So I had John
        take it down (He cuts I catch the branches and manage the guide
        ropes). The less vigorous ones are still there and look just fine
        with lots of rhododendrons and wildflowers underneath. I guess if you
        are growing named forms that are slow growing you might not want to
        plant too close in the beginning.
        >
        > From the discussion I agree with the general thought that if the
        tree is fairly small to begin with you can incorporate azaleas and
        rhododendrons around them and they coexist just fine. But if you are
        talking about a fairly large established tree you are going to have
        trouble establishing a nice bed without a lot of irrigation.
        Although mulch helps at first, mounding mulch around the plant will
        work too but eventually the tree roots will move in.
        >
        > If anyone sees my garden they are amazed that I have rhododendrons
        planted right at the base of a number of mature trees, white pines,
        hemlocks, birch. For some it stunts the plants as they pretty much go
        into suspended animation for the late summer, for others with pretty
        vigorous habit it seems to keep them in good form.
        >
        > CJ Patterson in our chapter was always promoted the use of named
        Acer palmatum forms in the garden and contends that they are
        wonderfully compatible with rhododendrons.
        >
        > Sally Perkins, Salem, NH
        >
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