Common hazel: what would you do?

Fishtank307

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I dug up this common hazel (Corylus avellana) last february. It was in good health, pushed alot of growth (and a lot of suckers at the base with that..). I just pruned some of the long shoots and wired the branches.

Spring. One horrible scar on the right from chopping a thick branch with a blunt saw and using the wrong cut paste..
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Now:
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It had dropped all its leaves, but still managed to pop a new shoot and open a few buds due to unusual warm wheater a couple of weeks ago... Strange times...
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Seems okay..
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Okay, maybe not that okay... Should I just cut the root when I repot, then cover it with sphagnum moss? Or ground layer it next year?
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At least the bark is nice and flakey.
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At first I thought I could air-layer it in a couple of spots and end up with two or three smaller trees. It's 60cm (23 inches) tall at the moment.

BUT the leaves of hazels are huge! So right now I'm thinking of keeping this slingshot as it is, and train it into a large informal broom. But I'm a bit concerned about the proportions... The trunks splits into to main leaders halfway up. Isn't that a bit odd? Unnatural? Wouldn't the tree be too large in the long run? Or at least the broom part of the tree? So many questions!
 

Bonsai Nut

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I think it is an interesting tree. You don't typically see them in bonsai, and it has interesting bark and decent nebari.

Personally, I wouldn't get too hung up on the branches or even the trunk line at this point. Instead I would focus on getting the tree into an Anderson flat or grow box in the spring, and see how strong you can get it with roots flaring out in soil no more than 5" deep. While I was doing this I would let the tree run free... in the expectation that I would be doing something radical down the road (air-layer or trunk chop) - because I think the biggest challenge you have with the tree in its current state is lack of taper.
 
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Man I love Hazels, such an underused species! Yours has a good trunk but for sure needs to be smaller, but as @Bonsai Nut said air layer it later and get a nice size tree and hope you can turn the bottom into a shohin or something :) I need to get myself a decent Hazel
 

Fishtank307

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I think it is an interesting tree. You don't typically see them in bonsai, and it has interesting bark and decent nebari.

Personally, I wouldn't get too hung up on the branches or even the trunk line at this point. Instead I would focus on getting the tree into an Anderson flat or grow box in the spring, and see how strong you can get it with roots flaring out in soil no more than 5" deep. While I was doing this I would let the tree run free... in the expectation that I would be doing something radical down the road (air-layer or trunk chop) - because I think the biggest challenge you have with the tree in its current state is lack of taper.
Alright! Luckily I've already cut the tap rot last spring :)
 

Fishtank307

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Man I love Hazels, such an underused species! Yours has a good trunk but for sure needs to be smaller, but as @Bonsai Nut said air layer it later and get a nice size tree and hope you can turn the bottom into a shohin or something :) I need to get myself a decent Hazel
A shohin hazel might be difficult to accomplish :D We'll see in two years.. But yeah, they're an interesting species! They grow fast and form buds everywhere!
 

sorce

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.. Should I just cut the root when I repot, then cover it with sphagnum moss? Or ground layer it next year?
Why this? Too big?

Don't look that bad....
If you do throw some shpagnum on it....or a clump of dirt free regular moss....it'll Probly throw some roots there to cut back to.

Moss moss bo boss.

That is a nice base......
Straight trunk.....
Traditional broom...
Hazel?
Hasn't been done.

Have at it! That's a good base!

Sorce
 

Fishtank307

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Why this? Too big?
Yeah, too big.. A real eye-poker this one. I'll just repot next spring, into a shallow container, see what happens! There's no rush :)
And yes, an informal broom hazel! Paving the way for future hazel-bonsai-broom-enthousiasts!
 

plant_dr

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I have a hazelnut tree in my garden I've been thinking of doing an air layer on. Havent been able to find much info on them for bonsai though.
 

Fishtank307

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I have a hazelnut tree in my garden I've been thinking of doing an air layer on. Havent been able to find much info on them for bonsai though.
There isn't alot of information about them.. A little bit on bonsai4me, but that's it! Airlayering shouldn't be a problem I think
 

Fishtank307

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Just made a grow box for this one. Measurements: 40x40x5 (15.7x15.7x4 inches) I still have to drill some holes for the wire.

I noticed that some of the buds are starting to open! We've had a really mild winter here in Belgium, so strange.. I'll probably repot next week and shelter it from wind and frost.
I think I'm going to remove the large root and wrap it in spaghnum moss. Hopefully it will push some new roots on the same spot.

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Fishtank307

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I just finished repotting this hazel. It pushed a lot of fine roots last year! I'm really glad it grew so well in just one year. I removed that one big root and trimmed one other large root. Airlayering will probably be necessary in the future. The scar is pretty high in comparison with the other lateral roots. So even if finer roots grow there, they will be out of place...
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You can see the bulge where the biggest root used to be.
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Spur of the moment decision: tourniquet around the last remaining part of the tap root.
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I still need to take some picture of the end result. It already looks a lot better in a shallow box! Soil mix is roughly 50/50 akadama and pumice mixed with zeolite.
 

Fishtank307

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Update
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Last year I fertilized it heavily and pruned it about 3 times and at the same time I removed large leaves. I didn't really have a plan, apart from creating some basic branch structure.
Two days ago I pruned it and I'm quite happy with the result so far. The fact that it is so tall doesn't seem to bother me anymore. I see a nice informal broom in the future.

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Trying to create some taper and build secondary branches. (branch in the middle of the fork will be cut in fall).

I like how it responds to pruning, it's very reliable! It seems to put out new interior growth when you cut the large leaves.

It does have one large scar that doesn't quite heal so well. Part of the trunk in the apex has died off, so next year I'm going to reduce it at the red line.

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