Initial Styling of Burning Bush

I got this burning bush last year at a season end sale at Sheridan Nurseries. I then quickly planted it into a colander. I’m happy to see a lot buds swelling this Spring, which means it reacted well to the repotting, and overwintering in my backyard. The only issue was with a little pest that chewed off many of the buds, and also did some minor damage to the trunk. Next year, I’ll have to make sure I surround my trees with chicken wire.


The burning bush is somewhat daunting to pick a front. Since there were many branches to choose from. As always, I looked at the roots, and the main branch, to decide a front. Below was my original front I decided on last fall. Upon further investigation, the root system here wasn’t going to offer a nice nebari. So I had to look for a more appealing front.

Burning Bush

After digging around, I found that a few roots popping up the surface can be trimmed off. After trimming the excess roots, I can see the nebari clearly. Although this side doesn’t offer the same trunk tapering as the original front, but the roots does position it for a nice nebari in the future. So I decided to use this as the new front.

Burning bush trunk damage

Now it’s simply working my way up the tree, and selecting my first branch, second branch and so forth.


With all the branches sticking up, this looks like an immature tree. The issue with burning bush is that it’s branches are quite strong and brittle. Extreme care must be taken with the greyed branches, to ensure I don’t snap them by accident.

Burning Bush after initial styling

The first branch on the right presents some challenges. The plan is to use this guy wire, and then slowly bring it down, a tiny bit, bit by bit, every week. Alternatively, I can still tip the tree more to the right, to give the impression that the first branch is lower than what it really is. I’ve removed a lot of branches already, I won’t be chopping any more off for a while. The tree will be in full sun and fertilized, hopefully I’ll be seeing some leaves soon. This time I purposely left more branches, in hopes that I didn’t kill yet another tree with my excessive pruning.


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