Azalea scalped

Asked September 25, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT

Can you please take a look at the photo I have uploaded to you of a hedge of Azaleas that appear to have been scalped and advise me on the current condition and the overall outlook of these Azaleas. Do you believe that they will make a full recovery or should they be replaced? Thank you in advance for your time and efforts. Todd Green

Clackamas County Oregon pruning horticulture

1 Response

Todd,
Your picture looks devastating! what I can't see for sure is why they are that way, is it pruning? or part of the lace bug problem we have had this year?
If it is not pruning please take a pocket knife and cut just the bark of some of the stems, if you see green cambium then the stem will likely recover. Stems and twigs without green cambium are dead all the way to the tips and will not recover. Remove all dead material and look at you shrub if it is over half gone replace it. Careful pruning can restore shape and structure.
Wrong pruning efforts usually recover well but blooms are generated on old wood and pruning time is critical for next years blooms. If the pruning was just done be aware that most of the blooms were removed, but with correct pruning next time they should do well the following year