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Elaeagnus umbellata is native to Eastern Asia and has become naturalized in many parts of the U.S. In many locals it is considered invasive. They seem to grow everywhere in my area, especially in unmowed fields, along the edges of wooded areas, and along fence rows. 

They make fine bonsai material. Here’s an Elaeagnus that is part of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection in Washington D.C.

I can dream, can’t I?

Obviously the trees I am showing you today will be nowhere near this caliber. In fact they were collected over the past two springs. The first was collected in spring 2016. 

It has a sizable trunk and a decent base (which you can’t see in this photo), and obviously everything is going one direction, which should make for an interesting design. It also has a secret. 

Ok. Not really a secret, but a large deadwood feature on the back… or maybe that’s the front. 

I haven’t decided yet. I hope to make a decision and do some wiring in the coming year. 

Tree number two was just collected this year and at the moment is rather long and lanky. 

This part is not so inspiring. 

The silvery underside of the branch on the left is showing as I just wired that up as a possible future trunk direction. But check out where that is coming from…

Look at that twist! Pretty sweet! I will be excited to see how this tree develops in the coming year!

Maybe you have some Elaeagnus growing near you. Considering its status, folks might appreciate you offering to dig one up for them. Just a thought.