HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

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HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  jgeanangel on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:36 am

Recently Ken and I were invited to help Arthur Joura (AJ) of the North Carolina Arboretum repot a large American Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) group planting on a slab. Ken and I created this planting at the 1997 Carolina Bonsai Expo from collected material and material that Ken has grown from cuttings. We were fortunate that even at that early stage in the history of the NCA bonsai collection, Arthur recognized that he wanted to focus on native material and as such he added the planting to the collection. The planting has flourished under Arthur's care!! Here is a favorite picture from 2009.


Arthur and Ken were also kind enough to put up with me shooting video during the repotting process and I hope you will find the attached video interesting and educational! I promise that all of the gossip, political talk, and bad jokes have been edited out:) (well...maybe)



Thanks,
John

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:06 am

Nice work. I'm having sound difficulties on the computer tonight - can you run it by me again why there wasn't much leaf on the trees?

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  jgeanangel on Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:12 am

fiona wrote:Nice work. I'm having sound difficulties on the computer tonight - can you run it by me again why there wasn't much leaf on the trees?

The planting had been in an overwintering cooler...38 degrees F and dark all winter long...and spring and early summer:) The cooler provides protection and also a little flexibility when it comes to the timing of repottings. The plan was certainly not to wait this late...its just how the ball bounced this time.

John

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:46 am

John, fantastic video and a beautiful bonsai!
Is there a preferred medium for Bluets to grow in? I am amazed at how thick the Bluet clumps were before you replanted. They were stunning in bloom.
Thanks,
Todd

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:10 am

Excellent video John. Very easy to follow and a great aid to those who are worried about forest repotting. Very Happy

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  jgeanangel on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:38 am

Todd Ellis wrote:John, fantastic video and a beautiful bonsai!
Is there a preferred medium for Bluets to grow in? I am amazed at how thick the Bluet clumps were before you replanted. They were stunning in bloom.
Thanks,
Todd

Thanks Todd:) I have never seen bluets do as well as they have on that planting in muck. I also grow them at home in turface fines.

Thanks Will!
John

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:45 am

Thanks for the clarification, John. I thought I'd picked up a mention of overwintering in a cooler but wasn't sure the extent of that process.

And of course you have to remember that over here when it gets to 38F the population starts thinking shorts and tee-shirts. Wink


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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:27 pm

This is one of my favorite bonsai, John. Great show with the repotting. A massive undertaking. It looks better than ever.

I've always liked hophornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, for bonsai, and had some down in Florida. I haven't found any up here.

Fiona, you'll have to come over and see all the mixed plantings at the Arboretum.

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:04 pm

I'm going to have to make some muck and plant some Bluets in that! I have them growing in turface too and in fact I use them as a "barometer" to tell me that the tree needs watering ... when the Bluets start to droop. Did you ever find out what kind of grubs those were? They reminded me of Jap. Beetles.
Todd

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:31 pm

JimLewis wrote: Fiona, you'll have to come over and see all the mixed plantings at the Arboretum.
Would love to as I loved the ones I saw at the National Bonsai Museum in DC. I do suspect, however, with the temperature differences between Sconnie and North Carolina I'd maybe have to remove my sweater. I may even have to take 'em both off. Heck, I'd maybe have to go the whole hog and take of my simmet as well.

Y'all go Google that now.

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:05 pm

have to go the whole hog and take of my simmet as well.


And . . . and, THEN?

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  jgeanangel on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:22 pm

JimLewis wrote:This is one of my favorite bonsai, John. Great show with the repotting. A massive undertaking. It looks better than ever.

I've always liked hophornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, for bonsai, and had some down in Florida. I haven't found any up here.

Fiona, you'll have to come over and see all the mixed plantings at the Arboretum.

Thanks Jim, Arthur says that there are pockets of the species in the area. We find it in a few places down here but it is pretty limited. If you are interested, I probably have a few seedlings that I could bring for you next Oct....just let me know.

John

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:45 pm

fiona wrote: I do suspect, however, with the temperature differences between Sconnie and North Carolina I'd maybe have to remove my sweater. I may even have to take 'em both off. Heck, I'd maybe have to go the whole hog and take of my simmet as well.

Bagpiper jocolor
Fiona thank you soo much...
I needed a good belly laugh...

lol! lol! lol!
A scot without a sweater...
lol! lol! lol!

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  John Quinn on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:34 pm

Finally had time to watch the whole video. Nice presentation, as usual. As in most cases, the planting looks even better in person! I am a little surprised you didn't chase the trees back even more.

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:47 am

If you are interested, I probably have a few seedlings that I could bring for you next Oct....just let me know.

Thanks much for the offer, John, but I find myself with more trees than I can properly take care of these days, so I'll regretfully pass on the offer.

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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: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  kenduncan on Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:52 pm

Great video John. as always.
I think that it was as much fun replanting this with You guys as it was when You and put it together almost 14 years ago.
Actually I can't remember that far back but I know it was fun because it always is.
Three guys working 6 or 7 hours and Virginia with another 3 hours putting on moss. Did we really put this together in 2 hours back then? Okay, maybe 3.
Her is an old scanned picture of planting after it was put together back in 1997.
Ken

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  AJ on Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:06 pm

John - Thanks for posting the video. It was a pleasure to spend time again with you and Ken, and I really appreciate your expert help with the replanting of this large and complex piece. The Hophornbeam landscape is a great favorite with visitors to the NC Arboretum bonsai garden.

Here, for comparison with the photograph of the planting after it was first constructed (posted by Ken, above), is a picture from last week:


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hophornbeam landscape planting

Post  moyogijohn on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:58 pm

This is a very nice landscape..did you grow these trees yourself?? iknow it would take a long time to redo this!!! good work take care john

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  jgeanangel on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:35 pm

Thanks for the update Arthur!! Ken, I didn't remember how small the azaleas were when it was put together.

Arthur...Cindy and I were at the arboretum today...sorry we missed you but the planting looked great...buds coming everywhere:)...I hope your trees didn't get the hail we got just down the street at lunch today???

John

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  AJ on Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:54 pm

John - Sorry I missed seeing you and Cindy, especially Cindy (and I say that only because I saw you recently enough... ) We fortunately didn't get hail here at the Arboretum, but the weather has been fairly harsh lately anyway. Weather over much of the US has been extreme so far this year. We've had strong winds, powerful electrical storms and when the rain comes down it comes down in hard, short bursts. At least we're getting some rain. All in all it makes maintaining the bonsai in healthy, presentable condition even more of a challenge.

The Hophornbeam tray landscape is progressing well. The Bluets are in flower now, although nothing like the eye-popping display they usually provide:



They'll be back.


Meanwhile, there's another ongoing development I'm keeping an eye on, and that's the new growth on the trees that were more aggressively pruned. Over the fourteen years I've maintained this planting, I've always preferred to be conservative in the pruning of the Hophornbeams, cutting back only to existing buds. Hophornbeams, like Hornbeams, are well capable of breaking new growth off of old wood, so there shouldn't be any problem with hard pruning them. Still, for whatever reason, I've been reluctant to treat these particular trees that way. The natural result is that some of them had become somewhat spindly in their growth over the years. Ken, John and I discussed this when we did the re-potting, and Ken particularly felt confident in strongly pruning the trees, which, truthfully, they did need. So we did it. Or, to be more precise, (ahem) Ken did it. There is new growth coming out on all the Hophornbeams, but the branches that were pruned hard, without regard to the existence of any visible buds, are for the most part not yet doing much. They are still viable, not withering, but they are not yet pushing new growth. Here's a look at the top of the main tree, for example:



I think buds will eventually appear on the branches that are currently devoid of leaves, but we'll find out.


@moyogijohn - You asked about the origin of the trees used in this planting; they were collected as very young plants in SC by Ken and John.


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1 month later...

Post  AJ on Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:08 am

It's been nearly one month since the re-potting of this Hophornbeam tray landscape on a large stone. All the plants are alive and doing well. The 'Chinzan' azaleas are in full bloom.





Meanwhile, I am still monitoring the growth of the hophornbeams that were hard-pruned. The results are still mixed, with some of the branches breaking new buds (A) and some remaining bare (B).



I have scraped the bark on some of the bare branches and they still show green beneath, so hope remains that they will eventually push new growth. However, the longer it goes without happening, I think the less likely it is to happen. I have tipped back the new growth on most of the actively growing branches and have fertilized the entire planting, in an attempt to encourage back-budding on the branches where nothing is happening. If it comes to pass that the branches currently without new growth waste away, it will be little more than a short-term bother. All of the trees are healthy and it will just take some time to fill in the spaces where gaps have opened up.

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  jgeanangel on Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:43 am

Thanks for the update Arthur!!
John

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:30 am

Love the azaleas. Is it normal for them to flower at this point in the year in NC or is that just because of a combination of the planting having been in a cooler and a further set back in time owing to the subsequent work done?

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  jgeanangel on Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:51 pm

fiona wrote:Love the azaleas. Is it normal for them to flower at this point in the year in NC or is that just because of a combination of the planting having been in a cooler and a further set back in time owing to the subsequent work done?

It's not normal and absolutely because of the cooler and work. Smile
J

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

Post  AJ on Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:17 pm

John, Fionna -

In my view, the transplanting work done on this landscape did not delay bloom time in any appreciable way. The delay is due to the fact that the planting was kept dormant in a refrigerator until the second week in June.

Here's a photo progression from 2009:

The first shows the planting as it looked when set out on the display bench, freshly emerged from the refrigerator, on May 16. Note that the buds on the hophornbeams are at approximately the same stage as when we did the transplanting this year.




The next image shows the bluets in full flower on June 8.




The final image shows the azaleas in full flower on June 16.



The span of time covered in the above progression is one month, which corresponds almost exactly with how the plant came out this year. Of course, the bloom time in 2009 was behind as well, due to the same reason as this year. This planting is one that is over-wintered in the refrigerator every year. I think if it wasn't, and was allowed to come out of dormancy in the normal way as the seasons changed, the azaleas would bloom sometime around mid-May.

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Re: HopHornbeam Landscape Planting

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