While it is difficult to get rhododendron to thrive in gardens, in the wild the tree quickly becomes invasive once it takes hold. In fact it can be difficult to eradicate.
An evergreen with oval leaves, its bark is fibrous with loose grey flakes. Under the flakes it is light brown with a slightly orange tinge.
Rhododendron is used to make attractive and strong walking sticks whenever suitable branches are found. Though the cross section is often oval rather than round this in no way diminishes either the attractiveness or the usefulness of the sticks.
Great care must be taken in seasoning the shanks as rhododendron is prone to splitting but it is well worth the effort as a nicely finished rhododendron walking stick is worth owning.