Hornbeam Care

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Hornbeam Care

Post  mrtnbrstw on Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:41 pm

Hi all
I dug a field grown Hornbeam around this time last year, potted it into a plastic bowl and looked after it in the greenhouse (door open on sunny days).
It's been a bit slow to get going, only trying to open a couple of buds at a time over the Spring and Summer until it showed a little more activity in late September over more buds, but not actually throwing out any leaves.
At this point, keeping it in the greenhouse, I treated the roots to bit of warmth with a seed germination tray (filled with sand) to make sure they'd be strong enough before the temperatures dropped too far.
However, in addition to what bI suspect is some good root development, the tree has also decided that it's Spring (we are having a rather mild Autumn at the moment).
I'm after advice for what best to do with it next!
Options are, as I see it:
1) Keep warming the roots, try to keep the leaves frost free and keep it running over the winter and into next Summer.
2) Cool it quickly to retard the growth, let the frost kill off the leaves and hope it recivers in the Spring (guessing there may be frost in the next few weeks)
3) Cool it gradually and get it in the mood for Winter.
BTW, I'm based in SW England.
Any help/advice would be gratefully received!
Thanks
Martin



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Re: Hornbeam Care

Post  marcus watts on Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:08 pm

hi Martin - one from john T's growing bed by the look of it.

i'd say leave it as is - the greenhouse and warm roots will keep it going for a few weeks yet so you need the new leaves to develop so that next years buds at the base of the leaves get a chance to form. shutting it down now wont gain a lot as the buds are well open now and the tree needs to make new ones for next year. The leaves will be tiny next year as the buds will be partially formed i expect.

did you take it out of the greenhouse in the early spring or has it sat there all summer? this autumn is a pain in the xxxx down here - my kiyohime buds are opening this week as it has gone so mild after those early cold nights but it is outside on the bench thinking it is spring.

good luck - and next spring other latent dormant buds will open too, probably on the trunk and right back on the branches - but if you plan shortening the tree by half do it before bud break so the energy goes into the bits you want to keep.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Hornbeam Care

Post  mrtnbrstw on Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:42 pm

Thank you Marcus!
Yes, you're quite right on the source...
I kept it in the greenhouse over last winter, then acclimatised it gradually onto the bench in Spring, but the buds remained dormant. Advice given was to put it back into the greenhouse for the Summer, keep the door open to keep ultimate temperature down and keep wet to give local humidity.
So, you'd say let it carry on as is for a few weeks, allow it to form the new buds (I'll have to look out for those), then GRADUALLY let it know that it's winter, rather than trying to keep it frost free right through? Just wanted to check I'd interpreted correctly...
Many thanks again...
Martin

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Re: Hornbeam Care

Post  plant_dr on Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:27 am

How did this tree do over last winter? where you able to encourage it to go dormant again before the winter? Did it come back in the spring?

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Re: Hornbeam Care

Post  mrtnbrstw on Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:15 pm

Thanks all...
The tree is now doing very well. I kept it in the greenhouse all winter, with the roots kept warm in a heated tray, filled with sand (as per the picure).
The leaves developed a little further than the picture, then stopped as if in suspended animation. When the weather started to warm in the spring, I started turning off the heat during the day, gradually leaving it off longer and longer.
Thankfully, roughly in time with the other trees the leaves developed fully in the spring and heavy growth continued over the summer. The tree has also followed the other trees in entering dormancy for the winter, so it looks like all is well!

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Re: Hornbeam Care

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