JTred
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Defoliation of euonymous (Burning Bush)

I have a small twin trunk eounymous that I was thining of as a small shohin. these tend to grow straight up like a vase until they mature and become more rounded. To combat this "straight up pattern I was planning on doing a chop of all the shoots down to about 6 inches and defoliate what remains. However, I'm unsure how euonymous responds to defoliation. It has an opposite leaf pattern, so I'm not sure how that affects it as well. I know with boxwood, which is also opposite leaf, I've heard of removing one leaf in every pair, alternating sides. Would it be the same for euonymous. Any info is appreciated. Thanks

-Jack

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Gnome
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Jack,

If you have not yet done the deed, don't. This species only puts out one growth spurt a year so you will likely not get a second flush. I suppose you could cut the branches back but don't defoliate it.

Unless your branches are becoming overly thick I think I would wait until next spring to head it back. If they need to thicken, pruning it now will only serve to slow growth.

I have one that I nearly killed by an ill timed pruning. I chopped one back pretty hard in late spring a few years ago and it just sat there all summer.

Norm

JTred
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Thanks Norm. I was waiting on a reply before I made any moves. I wasn't sure if euonymous had a second, smaller flush of growth late in summer or not. Do you have any advice on how to handle the opposite leaf growth pattern when it does come time to chop?

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Jack,

I only have one of these, a landscape plant that had to be moved for construction, and it is still in the phase of establishing the primary branches. It does have excellent taper, two primary branches, so far, and the new leader. They were all allowed free growth this year in order to thicken them up. Unfortunately aphids damaged the growing tips to the point where they were ruined so it has ceased elongating the branches. Still, I will leave all the healthy leaves in place.

So, as you have probably surmised, I have not yet begun to refine anything on it. Their growth pattern is the same as Japanese Maples and Portulacaria so I don't anticipate any surprises there. My real question is going to be about pinching. The internodes can be kind of long and if they don't respond well to pruning throughout the season I am left wondering about refining them as well.

If you discover anything I would be pleased to know what you learn as I'm in the same boat you are.

Norm

BTW, I am also experimenting with E. fortunei commonly called wintercreeper. This is an interesting plant with small leaves and fairly close internodes. It is more of a vine but does develop a trunk with age.

TomM
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You guys have got me wondering. I'll be checking out my burning bush (out near the garden) and my wintercreeper (which is planted along a roadside bank for erosion control). Want to see if there are any fat little trunks or otherwise suitable material available to 'play with'.

Hmmm! :)

kdodds
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Oh, I've my eye on quite a few stunted trees on my property... just waiting for my wife to build be a greenhouse. :) Or at least a cold frame. :wink:

JTred
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kdodds wrote:Oh, I've my eye on quite a few stunted trees on my property... just waiting for my wife to build be a greenhouse. :) Or at least a cold frame. :wink:
I like them because they are so prolific on my property. They also root extremely well. In my area they are considered a weed, so I check through my woods every fall to see if I can find any that are thick enough for bonsai. I have one that is at the edge of my yard which will begin training soon.

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