Hornbeam help

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Hornbeam help

Post  Michael Cooper on Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:29 pm

Had this hornbeam for some years and rather neglected it when I was working now I have more time to spend on my trees what should i do with it?
I got it from a garden where it was trapped in a pocket of earth between a path and the wall of the house hence hardly any growth on one side,last winter I removed two ugly roots that were two inches above the soil and re potted lower.Now I would like to do something about it's one sidedness.Suggestions welcomed
Should I cut back to trunk alone remove all branches and start again and at what height do you think it would be best to make the chop?





Michael Cooper
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Re: Hornbeam help

Post  JimLewis on Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:35 pm

Nice base and the trunk is OK, too. But rather one sided. I think I'd cut all the branches way back, leaving stubs of whatever length you want and then see what buds out in the spring. Do the cutting in LATE winter. You don't say which hornbeam, but I assume the European or Korean. The Korean would bud back everywhere, given proper watering and fertilization in the spring.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Hornbeam help

Post  JudyB on Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:56 pm

I like side B for your front, the base is nice from there. You may have to work on getting the apex going back the right direction for this side, but you'll want to do as Jim suggests and cut the branches (esp. the one near the top) back for taper and movement. This has some nice potential, good luck with it.

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Re: Hornbeam help

Post  Zach Smith on Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:36 pm

Michael Cooper wrote:Had this hornbeam for some years and rather neglected it when I was working now I have more time to spend on my trees what should i do with it?
I got it from a garden where it was trapped in a pocket of earth between a path and the wall of the house hence hardly any growth on one side,last winter I removed two ugly roots that were two inches above the soil and re potted lower.Now I would like to do something about it's one sidedness.Suggestions welcomed
Should I cut back to trunk alone remove all branches and start again and at what height do you think it would be best to make the chop?


I'd consider doing two things: first, plant in a large grow box and allow the tree to grow more or less untouched next year. Then the year after, cut back all the branches close to the trunk leaving a little stub, and seal the cuts. If your hornbeam is like American hornbeam, it'll sprout new shoots at the base of the cut branches and you can control their regrowth. You may also get additional budding on the trunk due to the extra strength of the tree. I don't know your growing setup, but full sun would probably also help while you grow out the tree next year.

Good luck with it, it's a nice specimen.

Zach

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Re: Hornbeam help

Post  JimLewis on Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:42 pm

I'd advise against FULL sun. Hornbeam is an understory tree and would prefer at best filtered sun.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Hornbeam help

Post  Michael Cooper on Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:41 pm

Thank you everyone
Yes Jim it is a European Hornbeam.
I have been tempted to cut all branches back,right back? But somehow it needs growth on the side that was against the wall. Do you think a total cut back might set it off sending out shoots all round?
Or should I also reduce the height by say a third and alter the trunk diameter to height ration?

Michael Cooper
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Re: Hornbeam help

Post  JudyB on Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:27 am

I think I would try for zach's method and see if I got buds where I wanted them before I did a radical height reduction, unless I was interested in a smaller tree.

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