flowers, photography, seasons

Rhododendron Rescue in 2023

Where I live, it’s normal to get a big snowstorm around the middle of March.  It’s not normal to have so much heavy wet snow on a lopsided rhododendron rooted in such soft thawed soil that the whole bush topples over.  Could it saved?

On a mild day after the snow finally melted away, I went out with a bow saw to cut the big rhododendron into pieces I could lug to a brush pile.  I cut away some branches that had been high on the bush, then had second thoughts.

Hmmm.  Some of the roots are still in the ground, and those now up in the air took some soil with them.  Maybe what remains of the bush is light enough that I can stand it upright and then stabilize it.  Maybe what remains of the root system is enough for what remains of the leaves, and vice versa.  I’m tired of sawing anyway.

I piled some rocks at the base to weight down the uprooted side of the root ball.  I used some stout sticks to prop up some branches.  The weather was benign for weeks, with moderate temperatures and a mix of sun and light rain that I presumed would be good for a convalescing plant.

Click on a thumbnail to see the full image.
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The buds and leaves on pruned branches in the brush pile had already wilted when I examined the rescued(?) rhododendron.  I found it reciting its own version of a few lines from Robert Frost:

My roots are shallow, should be deep.
But I have promises to keep
and years to grow before I sleep.

Click on a thumbnail to see the full image.
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– Gray button (upper left corner) reveals widgets, –
– above post (on phone) or beside it (on desktop). –

3 thoughts on “Rhododendron Rescue in 2023

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