ok so we've established the tree has poor nebari. 'drastic' you want to talk about drastic you should see some of my hornbeam threads no nothing is ever too drastic for me. no risk without reward is my motto. just one example https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/carpinus-development.46895/To your point the nebari isnt great at all. A couple bigger shoots which come forward but almost non-existent nebari to the sides/back. This is my first hornbeam so would it be ‘too’ drastic to cut to literally 6-7”, plant deeper for better potential nebari and hope for a new leader? The almost 90 degree 1st branch concerns me. Thanks for your advice!!
cool, you will definitely get buds popping lower on the trunk. keeping that branch can work as a sap drawer and will keep the sap flowing up the trunk.Thank you! Ive chopped and gone with the new leader.