Defoliating Korean Hornbeam

Dav4

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Should I be aware of any issues involving defoliating a healthy Korean hornbeam? I'm interested in increasing ramification, so this would help that, assuming I don't weaken the tree significantly in the process. Any thoughts?

Dave
 

jk_lewis

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I've had no problems defoliating mine and ramifications has improved significantly. I've been doing it every year (except repotting years) for almost 15 years now.
 

Dav4

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Thanks, Jim. That's good news. We're in approximately the same climatic zone...when do you defoliate, generally. I am thinking that early May might be reasonable.

Dave
 

Mike423

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When defoliating deciduous species it is generally a good idea to do so around June and possibly early July once the leaves have 'hardened off' and lost there soft premature texture.
 

Dav4

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Hey, Mike, thanks for the post. All my deciduous trees started pushing growth almost 2 months ago, and are already hardening off. When I lived in MA, I would defoliate tridents in late June, but they didn't start growing until early April up there. It seems having a longer growing season expands the period for safe defoliation by at least a month, and maybe longer. Since Jim and I live in the same region, that being the SouthEast, I'm just wondering what his timing is.
 

Bill S

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Not kidding Dave, I took everything out at least 2 weeks ago, the larch are just open/to opening now, the diciduous are still in the swelling stage, must be nice to have the "extra" time for the growing season. Enjoy.
 

ghues

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Dave/others,
Don't you start the ramification process off even earlier? With my maples (amur, Jap. etc) I remove the large dominant buds from the ends of each branch selecting and removing one of the pairs of main buds.
Then once the shoots start elongating the stem is pinched back......tedious work for some but enjoyable for others:):).
G
 

jk_lewis

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There's not much oint in telling someone to do soemthing in a specific month when they're 3 or 4 climate zones different than you are. You can defoliate as soon as the leaves harden off (you can ALWAYS pinch off larger than normal size leaves).

In zone 7, you should be able to defoliate twice in the summer if the first one ie early.
 

Mike423

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I guess I wasn't thinking and fell into the mental slump of people in my area asking that question since its a usual question and didn't look at what your location was. I wish I had things kicking off that early, i actually had to move my trees back inside since its been so cold this week. Half of my trees are barely breaking leaf while the others are just starting to get swollen buds.:(
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Dave, FWIW, Peter Warren took a look at my K. coreana and said to defoliate it this summer. I've always read that you shouldn't even pinch them back until they've hardened off, but he said they're tough and defoliation will really increase the density. I may give it a shot next month.
 

Dav4

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Thanks, everyone. If I get a chance, I'll post a pic of the tree later this weekend. I'll probably defoliate in 2 weeks.

Dave
 

Bob O

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Hi Dav4,
Did you defoliate your K. Hornbeam?
I am curious, I have a carolina hornbeam that I want to defoliate this weekend to increase ramification & hopefully reduce leaf size for a show at the N.C. Arboretum this fall.
Thanks for any info,

Bob O
 
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Yes, I did, maybe 5 weeks ago. The tree has completely leafed out again. I may defoliate again later this month.

Dave
I would advise against a second defoliation in the same year might be too much stress for the tree to take usuallyoinly once per year is reccomended.
 

Dav4

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Thanks, Seth. Normally, I'm very cautious with my trees, but this tree seems very vigorous. I will hold off on a second defoliation, though, as I really don't need to do it.
 

LeonardB

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Thanks, Seth. Normally, I'm very cautious with my trees, but this tree seems very vigorous. I will hold off on a second defoliation, though, as I really don't need to do it.
Dave,
I have a follow up question about defoliation. Say you were to defoliate again ( after two successful leafings ), will there be enough time for a third?
Even if the tree was as vigorous as you mentioned, will there be enough time for photosynthesis to start up and send enough resourses back to the root system to prepare for the next spring? And if not, will the growth next spring be weak or worse case threaten the tree?
How do you gage how much defoliation has limited the resources needed for the next springs growth push?
I have a Korean Hornbeam myself and have been wondering about this subject and can't find info to substantiate one way or another. Do you have current photo's?
Thanks for your support.
Leonard
 

Dav4

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Dave,
I have a follow up question about defoliation. Say you were to defoliate again ( after two successful leafings ), will there be enough time for a third?
Even if the tree was as vigorous as you mentioned, will there be enough time for photosynthesis to start up and send enough resourses back to the root system to prepare for the next spring? And if not, will the growth next spring be weak or worse case threaten the tree?
How do you gage how much defoliation has limited the resources needed for the next springs growth push?
I have a Korean Hornbeam myself and have been wondering about this subject and can't find info to substantiate one way or another. Do you have current photo's?
Thanks for your support.
Leonard
I would say the answer depends on the overall health and vigor of the tree coupled with the length of your growing season. I don't think I'd ever defoliate any tree more then twice, and it would have to be extremely strong coming out of dormancy. After working with bald cypress and trident maples, I'd hazard to say they could be defoliated multiple times if growing well, but I'm not sure about a K. hornbeam... mine kicked the bucket a few years ago.
 

coh

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I would say the answer depends on the overall health and vigor of the tree coupled with the length of your growing season. I don't think I'd ever defoliate any tree more then twice, and it would have to be extremely strong coming out of dormancy. After working with bald cypress and trident maples, I'd hazard to say they could be defoliated multiple times if growing well, but I'm not sure about a K. hornbeam... mine kicked the bucket a few years ago.
Do you think the defoliation led to weakening and the ultimate demise of the tree? Or was something else going on. I haven't tried defoliating mine yet.
 

LeonardB

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Mine too...the year I defoliated it was the death knell.
Brian,
Would that be an indication that there was alot more energy lost than first thought? Maybe ramifying branch structure after the leaves fall off naturally is all that can be accomplished?
Regards,
Leonard
 
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