|Rhododendron sizes affect where they should be planted
Rainier Rhododendrons is a small family nursery business. Our hope is that these newsletters will give you some useful ideas and interest you in coming out to visit the nursery.
We just spent the day outside in 60 degree weather- February 4th. The ground is starting to get warmer; the weeds, if nothing else, are showing signs of life; the perfect time to begin.
What to begin... Winter cleanup... Weed patrol... Plans for new beds and plants...
Here at Rainier Rhododendrons the process is never ending. Our big project this year seems to be pruning. The canopy of large oaks and firs above one of the rhododendron beds has been getting thicker by the year, which leads to leggy plants searching for a ray of sunlight. Winter is the best time to tackle this project along with the others. Pruning high branches is quite a trick when they are directly over a large rhododendron or azalea that you would rather not demolish. Sometimes it just pays to get an arborist. We use our Kubota tractor, a fork lift, pole pruners and ropes, chains, cables... it gets a little tricky sometimes.
As far as pruning the rhododendrons themselves, we prefer to leave that project for just after they bloom. Although they can be pruned just about anytime, I find it hard to prune off a rhododendron bud that could be the most beautiful bloom of the season. This is a topic for June.