I haven’t read/seen any detailed blog-posts yet in how to achieve this. I’ve only seen 1 YT video so far, about how to create a single-trunk “whip.”
From what I’ve seen, Most western/US people seem to just keep it broom/multi-trunk style and chop it down to a stump (just to become a broom again in the future… although with taper and ramification now of course).
I like the ones from Japan much more… tall, single-trunk and informal-upright.
Because it’s basally dominant… Do I just cut all/most of the undesired lower trunks and branches off? Keeping just 1 tall trunk line, leaving the growth alone at the apex of trunk, and turn it into a single tall whip? And, continue to prune most lower branches off as it grows (since it’s basally dominant, it will continue to send shoots mostly from the base).
When should I do this drastic cut back into a single whip (after it blooms in late spring)?
I have 3 kurume (first 3 pics) and 3 satsuki (last pic)… all young sampling, all common multi-trunk small bushes, etc.
But, out of all my plants, I am very cautious of hard-cutting back the azalea… because 6 of mine died last spring/winter (n00b mistake of leaving them in the full-sun all summer, and/or also pruning them when just received in the mail and as very very young 1-2yo saplings).
I’d love to see any detailed links or blogs of training an azalea to become single-trunk and informal-upright… and any useful info too.