The Three Bears

Bonsai Iterate

Once upon a time, on an very warm and pleasant December day, three Bonsai went to the bench for a winter cleaning. All three were Autumn Olive (Elaeagnusumbellata). There was a big, thick Elaeagnus; a medium, curvy Elaeagnus; and a tiny, shohin Elaeagnus.

Mama bear before pruning (Elaeagnus umbellata, 2020)

The three bears had been allowed to grow out for the last months of the growing season so each had long branches to be trimmed before hibernating for the winter. Despite being so late in the season, none of them had dropped all of their leaves. But this is normal for autumn olive in Northern Virginia. The oldest, inner leaves had fallen away, and a gradation of leaves from green to yellow-brown still clung to the newest growth on the outer branches. This is how I knew the time for a winter pruning was just right… not…

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