Collected Hornbeam

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Collected Hornbeam

Post  hometeamrocker on Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:35 pm

This American Hornbeam is the first tree I have collected. It stands 12 inches tall with the nebari measuring 5 inches across. I put it in a grow box with a mix of potting soil, the monestary bonsai mix, some sand and sphagnum moss. I will leave it undisturbed while it recovers. The fact that I wasn't seeking a tree to collect and just stumbled across it makes it even more special to me. Thoughts and comments welcome.


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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  Ryan on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:03 pm

Be very careful with your watering. That looks like awful peaty soil...

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  JMcCoy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:49 am

Great nebari and twisty trunk! Good find!

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  Seth Ellwood on Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:44 am

Nice find awesome nebari and movement .

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  bucknbonsai on Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:32 pm

how careful do you need to be with overwatering with this species? On my farm they seem to grow in the swamps as well as on high land. I tend to keep them in a more water retaining mix as I know they can tolerate it, have you found otherwise?

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  JimLewis on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:06 pm

They will tolerate wet feet. As you say they grow near (but usually not IN) the banks of streams and the uplands near swampy areas. And life in a pot is different than life in the woods, where roots can range 60-70 feet away from the base of the tree.

That soil does look a bit heavy for pot work, but I would not repot. Keep a chopstick jammed into the soil and do not water until the dirty end is just barely damp when you remove the stick each day.

I think you will end up chopping at least 2/3 of this trunk after you have the roots nicely established. It has little taper, and you won't get any additional taper while it is potted. A chop will allow you to select one of the many sprouts you will get this summer as the new leader.

Good luck and have fun with this one.

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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: Collected Hornbeam

Post  Fore on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:16 pm

JimLewis wrote:They will tolerate wet feet. As you say they grow near (but usually not IN) the banks of streams and the uplands near swampy areas. And life in a pot is different than life in the woods, where roots can range 60-70 feet away from the base of the tree.

That soil does look a bit heavy for pot work, but I would not repot. Keep a chopstick jammed into the soil and do not water until the dirty end is just barely damp when you remove the stick each day.

I think you will end up chopping at least 2/3 of this trunk after you have the roots nicely established. It has little taper, and you won't get any additional taper while it is potted. A chop will allow you to select one of the many sprouts you will get this summer as the new leader.

Good luck and have fun with this one.

Jim, The chop he made will produce 'many sprouts you will get this summer as the new leader' wouldn't already? Picking a new leader and allowed to grow will give you taper in time. Just not sure why you feel you need to chop 2/3s of that very nice flowing trunk?

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  JimLewis on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:43 pm

Because there is virtually NO taper along its entire length. It is a wavy fencepost. The attractive (and it is VERY attractive!) part of that trunk is the base, and the 1/3 of the trunk that leaves the base. After one of the new sprouts is chosen as the leader, all the motion you want can be wired into the new growth (and all growth from subsequent chops).

Either line could be chosen, but personally I'd choose the lower one.


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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: Collected Hornbeam

Post  Fore on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:03 pm

I see. Thanks Jim!

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  marcus watts on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:17 pm

hi.
totally agree with Jim - the trunk is way too long and parallel, and the shoots that form from the top will be too high up. A diagonal cut (i like the lower one as well) will help, then grow the best placed shoot as a leader. It would be much quicker to plant the tree in some prepared ground on a slate or tile so the base continues to flare out. Then i'd grow the leader to about 10ft which will add a reasonable taper to the first chop, followed by chop 2 a bit higher and sloping the other way etc etc. This can make a good trunk in about 6 or 7 years, but I would lift the tree every 2 years, trim the roots and place the new roots radially on the slate to make an even better flare. Back in the box for year 8 and then start on the branches - it will be a really nice tree in the future.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  bucknbonsai on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:33 pm

with a large diagonal cut like that, do you experts out there make the surface convex rather than flat or concave? I vaguely remember guy guidry having a way of carving bald cypress tops so that the tissue rolls over better and does not lead to a reverse taper at the new leader. Also I think he may have the cut slightly spiral as well. Also dont you think a horizontal cut is best initially until you see what buds pop where, then you can make the diagonal cut afterwards, so that your not limiting your options (sometimes the buds dont always pop at that uppermost point.

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  bucknbonsai on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:35 pm

also, in this situation if your cut is real low and you only keep 1 bud on 1 side to become the next trunk section. Could the nebari die off on the side opposite from the bud?

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  Nemphis on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:52 pm

JimLewis wrote:Because there is virtually NO taper along its entire length. It is a wavy fencepost. The attractive (and it is VERY attractive!) part of that trunk is the base, and the 1/3 of the trunk that leaves the base. After one of the new sprouts is chosen as the leader, all the motion you want can be wired into the new growth (and all growth from subsequent chops).

Either line could be chosen, but personally I'd choose the lower one.


I would insted of choping from there down I would suggest an air layering,getting both a new tree and still cutting from this one.

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  bucknbonsai on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:02 pm

there is nothing to gain from propagating the top off this tree. Its only worth air layering things that have character or rarity.

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  Ryan on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:21 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:with a large diagonal cut like that, do you experts out there make the surface convex rather than flat or concave? I vaguely remember guy guidry having a way of carving bald cypress tops so that the tissue rolls over better and does not lead to a reverse taper at the new leader. Also I think he may have the cut slightly spiral as well. Also dont you think a horizontal cut is best initially until you see what buds pop where, then you can make the diagonal cut afterwards, so that your not limiting your options (sometimes the buds dont always pop at that uppermost point.

Here's a great article by Andy Rutledge about trunk chopping and all that good stuff:
http://bonsaijournal.com/beginners-trunk-chop-101.php

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  hometeamrocker on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:42 pm

Thank you for all of your spirited comments. I agree it's a little tall and about the taper issues. But, with this being my first collected piece of material, I'm going to be thrilled just to see it bud out, and then I'll go from there. Thanks again, please feel free to continue the comments as I'm learning from each call and response. Cheers- Eli

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:58 pm

I'll pop in here with this quick bit of advise based on my personal experience dealing with C. caroliniana.

When you chop them they REALLY only like to pop new buds from just below the chop, so I would go ahead and reduce this trunk down by at least half (maybe a bit more) flat-top horizontal cut , sealed with Tightbond III (or wound sealant) then just see what happens stick it in full sun, don't water it unless it REALLY needs it. Once you get buds move to semi shade as the leaves expand.

If it pops buds just let them grow I cant stress enough that you MUST allow this species to recover from the dig for a good long growing season, maybe even two seasons... DO NO STYLING AT ALL! TRIM NOTHING. Carpinus are notorious for not surviving transplant from the field, once established in pots however they are much more forgiving. After Care will be the key for this tree.

Good luck, you've chosen a fine example of a tricky species for your first go at collected material.......My kinda guy!
-Jay

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  hometeamrocker on Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:18 pm

Consesnus says chop... So do it now? The tree has been in the box for 8 days, do I worry about disturbing the roots, or go for the gusto?

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  jgeanangel on Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:31 pm

In my experience with this species new buds after collecting can be limited but not necessarily just at the top...I have 3 right now that disprove this notion completely because there was zero budding at the top. I think it was wise to leave the extra trunk given that new buds can be kind of random in where they pop...this will hopefully leave you with a couple of choices for a new leader...Then you can choose one and do a second chop on a diagonal down the trunk. Picking a leader that is a little off center from the front(best view of the roots and trunk) and then giving it some direction with wire when it is very young is a great way to build a little movement back into the trunk after cut down....grow it on much the way Marcus described in his earlier post.

Good Luck!! I wish you buds o'plenty!
John

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  drgonzo on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:45 am

jgeanangel wrote:In my experience with this species new buds after collecting can be limited but not necessarily just at the top...I have 3 right now that disprove this notion completely because there was zero budding at the top.

Must be that sweet southern air as I struggle with these things up north. Sometimes they'll only bud from the callus ringing the trunk chop of all places Mad wonder if its a matter of timing?

John, when do you do the reduction? Before or after bud break?

-Jay

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:01 pm

Consesnus says chop... So do it now?

Absolutely NOT; it's been out too long now. The low chops should have been done sooner, alas. Let it be until you get some sprouts. John has it right. Hornbeam in my experience always have some dieback from the chopsite. They have very thin bark, and it tends to die and peel away from the edge of the cut -- no matter whether you seal or not (that's why you always leave a stump when you trim a branch -- let the stump die, then work it back).

But if you tried to cut that very hard hornbeam wood now, you would disturb things too much. Feed it heavily. Let it sprout. Choose one or two candidates, then cut at one of my earlier marks (if you can) next year. By then, the roots should have stabilized.

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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: Collected Hornbeam

Post  Fore on Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:33 pm

OK, I'm going to show my inexperience by asking again, but what if he wants a taller finished tree. Say if you cut 2-3" above the yellow line, you still have nice trunk movement, and the girth of the trunk could support a larger tree...proportion wise.

I just see how often many here, tell people to chop the trunk much lower than I would. But then again, I'm not a big fan of smaller trees. So maybe my preference is affecting my judgement. I posted a thread here yesterday of a large Trident http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t9590-new-field-grown-trident
I plan to start the new leader right below that lg. straight trunk. I'll have a great trunk movement and the size I want. Maybe I just still have much to learn working with raw material?

Jim and Marcus are very accomplished artists, and I see their argument. I just don't fully understand still fully the reason for chopping the trunk so low. I'm sure I must be wrong and I'm not trying to be argumentative, just confused lol

Chris

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Re: Collected Hornbeam

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:49 pm

But then again, I'm not a big fan of smaller trees.

This won't BE a "smaller" tree. The chop is NOT the finished height of the tree.

After you select the new leader, you let it grow, and grow and grow. I think someone suggested up to 6 feet! As it does that, IT gets a fatter trunk (but still thinner than the original). Side branches that sprout on it, will help it develop at least some taper.

Then, you chop THAT trunk and select a new leader. Let it grow.

Repeat as desired.

You could end up with a 4-foot tree, but one with a quite even taper from the base to the top of the trunk.

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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: Collected Hornbeam

Post  Fore on Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:10 pm

I understand the chop won't be the final height Jim, but I didn't know if you chopped it that low, you could still end up with a 4' tree with great taper! I told you I was showing my inexperience! lol
Thanks for the further explanation Jim, that helped me understand much better the intentions of a huge new leader and the final product.

And Thank You Eli for posting this topic and allowing me to ask questions!
Chris

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Update

Post  hometeamrocker on Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:02 pm

Here's an update on this piece of material that I thought I'd killed because I chopped it after collecting, against the advise of the board folks. I left town for the weekend for work and told myself I was going to maybe remove it from the grow box after I got home, but to my surprise... Buds! Also, I chopped it a little shorter than advised, but I think it's still a great piece of material, but will take years to develope. Questions and constructive criticisms always welcome. Sorry the pic is small, I tried using every option offered to me and this was all I could get it to do...




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