American Hornbeam

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American Hornbeam

Post  FEZ on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:39 am

A friend just gave me this large hornbeam. Im guessing he collected it 10 years ago and has been sitting on the ground in his back yard since. Im guessing 10 years because I had to cut a tree out of the plastic pot that started to grow wild( as you can see in the pic) and I counted 10 rings. So you can imaging it was very root bound. Getting this tree of the ground was like like digging a wild yamadori. There were so many root growing through the drain holes. He also gave me some tridents that the roots were completely fused together in the base of the pot, to bad it was a rectangle pot. Smile

Anyways any suggestions were I should make the cut on this big guy, I no its probably pretty low I just need some reassurance.



Last edited by FEZ on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:37 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:52 am

I would look at walter palls website. You will find plenty of naturalistic styled trees on his site to inspire you. Just please dont try to style this tree like a pine.

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:04 am

Post more pictures taken from different sides. If you can, put a ruler with it...it still provide better sense of scale.

Nice tree and I am guessing that is a lot older than 10 years. thumbs up

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  FEZ on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:32 am

Ill post some more pic tomorrow.

I look at WP website frequently (okay daily).
When I saw this tree I immediately thought of this tree on his website.

http://walter-pall.de/beecheuropean_beech_nr__7.jpg.dir/index.html




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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:12 am

First of all thats an AWESOME piece of material. American Hornbeams are difficult to collect successfully as they have root issues. You have a bit of taper loss where all those very thick branches meet in one spot, I would pick one leader branch and cut the rest away, maybe you could have two main leaders if you can get away with it. American Hornbeam leaves do not reduce very well so think big! The fall color is excellent, this is a bit of a long term project but I would never pass up a piece like this one!

-Jay

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  Zach Smith on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:18 pm

drgonzo wrote:First of all thats an AWESOME piece of material. American Hornbeams are difficult to collect successfully as they have root issues. You have a bit of taper loss where all those very thick branches meet in one spot, I would pick one leader branch and cut the rest away, maybe you could have two main leaders if you can get away with it. American Hornbeam leaves do not reduce very well so think big! The fall color is excellent, this is a bit of a long term project but I would never pass up a piece like this one!

-Jay
Maybe it depends on where you are, but I've had very good success collecting American hornbeam over the past 20 years, probably 90% survival rate. This is for trees up to 6" in trunk diameter. They typically have nice surface roots and produce a good fibrous root system in a year or two. I've also found the leaves reduce very well, to less than 1/2" with constant pinching (they grow all season long, so this makes development a rapid process).

The tree pictured here might benefit best from a trunk chop, as there seems to be too much swelling where all those leaders emerge and they're a bit high up to begin with.

Zach

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:20 pm

Fez, ultimately the decision is up to you but remember that material dictates the style. you have the start of something amazing there. MOST giant hardwood trees have reverse taper where the trunk starts forming a crown. There is nothing unnatural or unattractive about this phenomenon, just study images on google of giant oaks, maples etc.. you will see what I mean. Single leader trunks are a dime a dozen, if you wish to style a tree like that then I would just get another tree and treat it this way. But this tree you have has so much character and development already, it would be a shame to waste it. In addition hornbeams are very slow at healing over wounds, if you cut off most of those canopy forming limbs you would be left with very large scars for many years.

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:56 pm



Zach Smith wrote: The tree pictured here might benefit best from a trunk chop, as there seems to be too much swelling where all those leaders emerge and they're a bit high up to begin with.



What???? Please don't do that. If that's your plan send it to me and I'll send you back a stump you can screw around with for the next umpteen years.

Looks like you have a beautiful start on a very natural, tall and elegant broom style to me. Nice find!

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  attila on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:08 pm

Russell Coker wrote:

Zach Smith wrote: The tree pictured here might benefit best from a trunk chop, as there seems to be too much swelling where all those leaders emerge and they're a bit high up to begin with.



What???? Please don't do that. If that's your plan send it to me and I'll send you back a stump you can screw around with for the next umpteen years.

Looks like you have a beautiful start on a very natural, tall and elegant broom style to me. Nice find!

of course you could always airlayer it just below the the brunches and have 2 nice trees in one go, if you dont the reverse taper will be much bigger in the future.
the brunches are out of proportion for the trunk, you could always have new brunches to start with ofcourse but it will take longer, remember bonsai is not a sprint its a marathon.
regards
Attila

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  jrodriguez on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:31 pm

Russell Coker wrote:

Zach Smith wrote: The tree pictured here might benefit best from a trunk chop, as there seems to be too much swelling where all those leaders emerge and they're a bit high up to begin with.



What???? Please don't do that. If that's your plan send it to me and I'll send you back a stump you can screw around with for the next umpteen years.

Looks like you have a beautiful start on a very natural, tall and elegant broom style to me. Nice find!

I agree. This is not a conifer.

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  FEZ on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:51 pm

Thanks everyone for the input it really helps, this is by far the biggest tree I have.
Ill get some more pics posted tonight.

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:52 pm

Zach
Your longer growing season may be what makes the difference with your success rate for C. Caroliniana. But With your success with regards collecting and leaf reduction in mind maybe I'll give one a shot this spring I have some lovelies near my back pond.
-Jay

Good material is so very hard to find that I really rejoice when I see anyone collect or acquire a nice tree such as this one!

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:26 pm



I wouldn't air layer it either. Why does it have to be short? The beauty of hornbeams are their sinewy, muscular trunks. Never really thought the branches were too big either. But if they are that can be corrected with proper growing techniques, starting with the roots, to thicken the trunk and develop better secondary branches.

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:54 pm

correct russel. this tree already looks identical to the giant willow leaf oaks that grew on the plantation I grew up working on. They had muscular long huge trunks that were very plain for 50 feet then a dozen giant limbs would sprout of the top of that. Sure there was reverse taper, but they were spectacular. Due to hornbeams leaves this tree needs to be a little on the bigger size anyways. Dont air layer it to try to get 2 trees, the bottom portion would be no more valuable than any old regular hornbeam you could dig up. with bonsai always remember QUALITY NOT QUANTITY, dont ever sacrifice your quality of the tree just to get "MORE" trees.

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:58 pm

I'm starting to agree with Russell in that I see a killer broom in this tree!
-Jay

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  Zach Smith on Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:05 pm

Russell Coker wrote:

Zach Smith wrote: The tree pictured here might benefit best from a trunk chop, as there seems to be too much swelling where all those leaders emerge and they're a bit high up to begin with.



What???? Please don't do that. If that's your plan send it to me and I'll send you back a stump you can screw around with for the next umpteen years.

Looks like you have a beautiful start on a very natural, tall and elegant broom style to me. Nice find!

To each his own.

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:32 pm



Sorry, I didn't mean that as a Zach attack. Just hated to see a really good piece of material ruined. Anyone can make a stump...

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:46 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Anyone can make a stump...
Russell,

Is this a Dario attack? Wink I just mastered this you know. LOL Razz

FWIW, I agree with you to save as much of the branches as possible. But some of them may have to go.

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  MrFancyPlants on Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:00 pm

I agree that a broom is the way to go, but won't most of the branches still need to be significantly reduced to create taper? A couple of those long straight "branches" on the left aren't as pretty as the ones on the right, but chopping them off would leave huge scars and un-balance the tree.

I am very curious to see how this progresses. And also curious to see some recommendations on where to cut.

Thanks for posting,
David

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  FEZ on Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:32 am

Here are some pics with a yard stick to give show how big it really is. As I was digging this big guy up I was going back and forth on if I should chop or leave the branches. Im definetly going to leave the branches after this discussion. THanks guys, thats what I needed.


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Here are some pics of another smaller hornbeam I also got from my friend. Much smaller better taper.
[url=https://servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=38&u=15776429]

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  drgonzo on Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:24 am

Those are two beautiful hunks of tree meat.
-Jay

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Re: American Hornbeam

Post  Zach Smith on Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:54 am

Russell Coker wrote:

Sorry, I didn't mean that as a Zach attack. Just hated to see a really good piece of material ruined. Anyone can make a stump...

Smile I've made a few stumps, for sure, some when I didn't mean to. No offense taken. I've never done a broom with a hornbeam, usually passing up the fence posts in favor of nice tapering specimens. You can get rapid enough growth to make a 1" diameter leader in two growing seasons, so I tend to think along those lines. It'll be interesting to see how this tree turns out.

Cheers,

Zach

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Re: American Hornbeam

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