Euonymus alatus, burning bush, spindle tree

jeanluc83

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I just got done collecting a large burning bush from my back yard. It was getting too big for where it was located so the wife decreed that it would be destroyed. After seeing Walter Pall's Euonymus I figured it might be somewhat promising.

The collection wasn't too bad. It took about an hour an a half then another hour or so to get most of the soil out of the root ball. I managed to get probably 90% of the native soil out. I see if I can get the rest out during the first repot. I was happy to find lots of good fine roots close to the trunk. I was able to reduce the large roots considerably.

The trunk is about five inches across and the tree is about 30 inches tall. I'll probably reduce the height more later. That long branch was left there for leverage during collection. I had intended to cut if shorter but it was about half potted up when I remembered. I'll probably take care of that over the next couple of days.

Its not much now and it has its share of problems, mostly some areas of reverse taper and some big branches in some bad places. But I hope it might become something. So what does everyone think?
 

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Paradox

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Do you have any other pictures from different angles?

Seems like there are alot of branches. Youve done alot of cutting already, but you need to decide what your final branches will be. You might consider starting to eliminate one or two of the branches you dont want and deciding how long you want the ones you do want so you can start building taper.

Do you have any buds forming on it yet? That will help you decide on how much more to reduce the branches you want to keep. I wouldnt do that yet though. I would wait too see how well those buds do first. Also make sure you seal any cuts ASAP.
 

Neli

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I just got done collecting a large burning bush from my back yard. It was getting too big for where it was located so the wife decreed that it would be destroyed. After seeing Walter Pall's Euonymus I figured it might be somewhat promising.

The collection wasn't too bad. It took about an hour an a half then another hour or so to get most of the soil out of the root ball. I managed to get probably 90% of the native soil out. I see if I can get the rest out during the first repot. I was happy to find lots of good fine roots close to the trunk. I was able to reduce the large roots considerably.

The trunk is about five inches across and the tree is about 30 inches tall. I'll probably reduce the height more later. That long branch was left there for leverage during collection. I had intended to cut if shorter but it was about half potted up when I remembered. I'll probably take care of that over the next couple of days.

Its not much now and it has its share of problems, mostly some areas of reverse taper and some big branches in some bad places. But I hope it might become something. So what does everyone think?
It has potential and needs shortening...
 

jeanluc83

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No buds forming yet. But then again it was just cut back less than a week ago. Some of the branches had some existing buds that should start moving soon.

The big problem right now with this tree will be selecting the branches to keep and develop and the ones to remove. I can tell that there is going to be some carving in this trees future as most of the branches are between 2 and 3” in diameter. I did cut the long branch back but the rest I plan on letting grow for now and see what develops.

I joined a study group this spring that is having a carving workshop later this summer. Depending on how the tree recovers I may start some of the work then.

When I get a chance I’ll get some more pictures posted.
 

Paradox

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You just did some major work to this tree. I would recommend not doing alot more to it this year and let it recover until 2015.
 

jeanluc83

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Here is an updated picture of the tree. It is making a strong recovery. It still amazes me how much a tree can grow in such a short amount of time.
 

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drew33998

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Just let it settle in its pot this year and let the roots gain strength. They will need it because you are going to have to do a severe chop in my opinion.
 

Dav4

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Here is an updated picture of the tree. It is making a strong recovery. It still amazes me how much a tree can grow in such a short amount of time.

They are super vigorous growers both in their canopy and roots, as well as being tough as nails. Don't be afraid to start working this one aggressively next year...it has a lot of potential.


PS I agree with Neli- you need to lose the tall, straight trunk.
 

GrimLore

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Here is an updated picture of the tree. It is making a strong recovery. It still amazes me how much a tree can grow in such a short amount of time.

I did a very similar save from our new place a few weeks ago and am also amazed at how quick they are to bud back and grow. Good save! I left mine a bit tall as well but now that I see how good they come back I am going to take mine down to 12 or 14 inches in the Spring and leave it in the crate another full season. Just no time this year with renovations. http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?14956-Burning-Bush-Finally-Collected. Have fun with that one!

Grimmy
 

MidMichBonsai

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These things are crazy vigorous and strong. I cut one back at my parent's place about 3 years back that was over 10' high. It took 2 years to look like an appropriately sized bush (4') with complete fullness.

This past winter was so harsh that rabbits ate about 50% of the buds that had set in the fall and some of the branches. That being said, that section of the bush is only about 10 days behind the section that was untouched by the little buggers and in a few days you will never know.

I'm guessing this will be great material to work with if you control its initial growth each season. If you don't, they with punish you quickly by being overgrown and disproportionate. Cut, cut, cut. They back bud and ramify very well.

Keep us posted on this and best of luck!
 

jeanluc83

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Just let it settle in its pot this year and let the roots gain strength. They will need it because you are going to have to do a severe chop in my opinion.

I'll see how it grows over the summer and decide from there. They are very tough trees and I know that this one had plenty of fine roots at collection.

I plan on removing about half of what is here and doing some major carving. I wasn't sure what kind of backbudding I was going to get. I figured I would hedge my bets and leave more than I needed.
 

jeanluc83

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I did a very similar save from our new place a few weeks ago and am also amazed at how quick they are to bud back and grow. Good save! I left mine a bit tall as well but now that I see how good they come back I am going to take mine down to 12 or 14 inches in the Spring and leave it in the crate another full season. Just no time this year with renovations. http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?14956-Burning-Bush-Finally-Collected. Have fun with that one!

Grimmy

It looks good. It is suprising how similar they are.
 

jeanluc83

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The tree is continuing to grow well. I did have a battle with aphids a few weeks ago. A combination of manual removal with a jet of water and an application of Bayer Tree & Shrub seems to have knocked them out.

I’m going to need to attack the tree again before next growing season. Everything needs to be thinned back and the stumps that are not going to be used in the final design removed. For those with experience with Euonymus, is it better to do major work in early fall or should I wait until next spring?
 

GrimLore

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I will do my second cutback in Spring. After doing a severe cutback and root reduction I want it to go into Winter as strong as possible. I would recommend you do the same as you also had an Aphid problem. I will be doing my work on it late April or early May depending on the weather. They seem to take around 3 weeks to bud back so it will get very full going into and through the shorter northern growing season. Just the way I will work it and why ;)

Grimmy
 

jeanluc83

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I took the tree to a workshop with Nick Lenz this past weekend. He dubbed it the ugly burning bush but noted that it was very healthy. I cut back the new growth eliminating anything that did not have a future. Anything that was left was shortened and wired. I also removed several of the large branches.

Over all I am happy with it at this point. It will take many years and a lot of carving to get it halfway presentable. It should be a fun tree to work on.

The first picture is the tree a few weeks ago. The second is what it looks like after the cut back and wiring. This is a difficult tree to photograph. Most pictures end up looking very flat. The view from above is to give an idea of the depth of the tree.
 

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GrimLore

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Nick surprised me a bit on this one. Mine will be getting a much larger cutback in Spring including all the forked branch. I am very interested to see how yours develops :cool:

Grimmy
 

Paradox

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I have on that I am thinking of chopping back hard to see what it will need do. It has a nice trunk, but could be developed into a much better tree if I can chop it back.
 

jeanluc83

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I brought the tree to another workshop with Nick Lenz this spring. The number of trunks was further reduced to 3. I also started some carving to disguise where the trunks were removed. I'll continue the carving this fall after a hard cutback of this year's growth. At this point there is just too much foliage to do any more carving.

Next spring the tree will be repotted into a large, yet to be obtained, mica pot. The substrate I planted it in, consisting mostly of Walmart floor dry, has broken down significantly. Despite the fairly large volume of poor draining substrate it needs a surprising amount of water. On hot days it needs water in the morning and at night. For all I know there are dry spots but the tree seems very healthy. I would imagine if there were problems with the roots it would be reflected in the foliage.

The tree still has a long way to go but I'm happy to see it is at least progressing.

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jeanluc83

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I did some more work on this tree over the weekend. I got the tree about half wired and settled on the front and planting angle. I'm hoping to get the wiring finished in the next couple of days.

Here is a picture of where it stands now. I apologize for how bad it is but it gives a good idea of the direction the tree is heading. I’ll get some better pictures when I have it fully wired.

IMG_1084.JPG
 

GrimLore

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I did some more work on this tree over the weekend.

Looking to be going along good so far. Has that been grown in partial shade? Reason I ask is I find they only get that deep green leaf in the shade. And to make it a little more complicated they don't show great Winter color here unless you move them to full sun in the Fall. Curious if it is the same there.

Grimmy
 
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