European Hornbeam 1

Johnnyd

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I picked up this European Hornbeam last year at Nature's way in Pa. View attachment 236901
I let it grow wild for a season.
In February I was fortunate to have Sergio Caun help me with the initial styling during a workshop.
I'm still unsure how to develop the apex. I want to thicken the first branch and develop ramification on the upper branches. I may be getting ahead of myself. Maybe I need to focus on branch taper next.

I like Harry Harrington's defoliation method . He cuts all the leaves off except the terminal leaf. (Mid June) Then cuts that off the terminal leaf when the new buds appear. Does anyone else use this method for hornbeam?20180707_171851.jpg20180825_095445.jpg20190411_161343.jpg
 

Forsoothe!

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barrosinc

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I like Harry Harrington's defoliation method . He cuts all the leaves off except the terminal leaf. (Mid June) Then cuts that off the terminal leaf when the new buds appear. Does anyone else use this method for hornbeam?
does that work for Fagus Sylvatica too?
 

Johnnyd

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I'm trying to induce buds to pop on the bottom left branch. I induced one to pop but it's on the back of the branch. I'm curious how many times I can cut back to 2 leaves in a season. (Any help is appreciated. @MACH5 ? )
I have not touched the lower branch because it needs to thicken a little more.
My reason for chasing it back is to have tapered branches that are shorter to complement a thinner trunk.
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BobbyLane

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those lower branches are already thick enough in proportion to the size of the trunk. i would cut them back to the first shoots

i saw this progression on another forum ages ago, kind of gives you an idea of when its time to cut back


its a waste of time trying to grow them thicker than they already are, time that could be spent developing ramification
 
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Johnnyd

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Defoliation is generally considered a technique used on more advanced trees. You may want to focus on roots and ramification first. Nice piece of material with potential.
Thanks for the reply! I will definitely consider this for next season. I'm trying to be careful not to push it to far. Not sure where my limits are. I did a lot of root reduction this spring. It's planted flat on the bottom of the pot with a thin and radial root system. The depth of the soil is thin also.
 

Johnnyd

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those lower branches are already thick enough in proportion to the size of the trunk. i would cut them back to the first shoots

i saw this progression on another forum ages ago, kind of gives you an idea of when its time to cut back


its a waste of time trying to grow them thicker than they already are, time that could be spent developing ramification
those lower branches are already thick enough in proportion to the size of the trunk. i would cut them back to the first shoots

i saw this progression on another forum ages ago, kind of gives you an idea of when its time to cut back


its a waste of time trying to grow them thicker than they already are, time that could be spent developing ramification
Thank Bobby! That is a lot of ramification in 4 years. You have a lot of great hornbeams.
How many times can you cut back in a season? (Do you defoliate) That lower branch was thinner than the two above it last year. It did not take long for it to catch up to them. Maybe its time. 😎
 

Forsoothe!

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The beauty of the Korean varieties is that flat layering of leaves that droop at the tips. By pointing them up with 1mm wire, you can gain height or depth of cloud more quickly. They respond well to wiring the tiny twigs early in the game. It's a good way to get the effects of ramification via zig-zagging the tiny branches in a typical bonsai fan without removing/pinching the tips. They zig-zag naturally, but by redirecting them into a fan or a crown without pinching, you get just as much back-budding, but with longer extension of the twigs. This is especially helpful to build a higher or thicker crown. Make coils like a spring or tunnel with just one or two loops of 1mm that guide the twigs which are semi-fragile so you can't wire them in a proper bonsai fashion. It doesn't even have to be anchored, just long enough to stick down into a bunch of foliage and stay there. They don't have to be moved much, -just enough to form a fan or occupy open space that you want more growth in. The wire doesn't have to be on very long, only a week or two when the leaves get ~full size or fully colored opaque green, then cut it off.
 

BobbyLane

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Thank Bobby! That is a lot of ramification in 4 years. You have a lot of great hornbeams.
How many times can you cut back in a season? (Do you defoliate) That lower branch was thinner than the two above it last year. It did not take long for it to catch up to them. Maybe its time. 😎
first ask yourself, why are you cutting back? why are you defoliating? i cut back once or twice in a season. you can cut back more than that if you like, but what for? branches in the the apex can be cut back once, twice, three times if im trying to develop lower branches. ive defoliated hornbeams in the past yes. i partially defoliated one recently because it seems to have fungal issues so stripped all the affected leaves and used fungicide on it. i cut large leaves in half now rather than defoliation, maybe do partial defoliation in heavy areas to let light in and keep inner twigs stimulated.

they dont need to be defoliated. if you've been following Walter pall's recent hornbeam threads you would see the results from keeping it simple and just letting them grow out and cutting back.

hope that helps
 

MACH5

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I'm trying to induce buds to pop on the bottom left branch. I induced one to pop but it's on the back of the branch. I'm curious how many times I can cut back to 2 leaves in a season. (Any help is appreciated. @MACH5 ? )
I have not touched the lower branch because it needs to thicken a little more.
My reason for chasing it back is to have tapered branches that are shorter to complement a thinner trunk.
View attachment 250600View attachment 250603View attachment 250605

Johnny, my suggestion for that lower left branch that you are asking about is to let that shoot grow. Don't worry that's on the back side. If nothing else pops, that branch can be trained to swing back to the front. You should bend it to be more aligned with the branch its coming from so that it doesn't point towards the back as much as it does now.
 

Johnnyd

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Johnny, my suggestion for that lower left branch that you are asking about is to let that shoot grow. Don't worry that's on the back side. If nothing else pops, that branch can be trained to swing back to the front. You should bend it to be more aligned with the branch its coming from so that it doesn't point towards the back as much as it does now.
Thanks for the advice Sergio! I'm happy with the progress this tree made. Going to leave it be for a while. Maybe reduce the branch on the right next month. Definitely going to wire the shoot forward.
Looking forward to the next workshop. Should be fun. I have some interesting trees to bring.
 

Johnnyd

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I was wondering if I can do a blind chop on this branch in spring. (Green Arrow)
I pruned the extended branch on the right in mid July. The only new growth was on the end of the branch. Just pruned back again yesterday to two leaves hoping to encourage next year's buds to set up closer to the trunk.
It looks like there are latent buds on the interior.
I was looking to eventually cut back to 1 to 2 inches for a shorter tapering low branch. Similar to the left branch.
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0soyoung

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I pruned the extended branch on the right in mid July. The only new growth was on the end of the branch. Just pruned back again yesterday to two leaves hoping to encourage next year's buds to set up closer to the trunk.
That's the way things work, generally speaking. The most distal bud produces auxin that tends to suppress the release of all buds closer to the roots.

One risks making a dead branch if one cuts back to the point of leaving no visible buds - not guaranteed to happen, but it may. I think it safer to cut back only to a visible bud, instead. One can do this multiple times in spring (previously invisible buds will emerge subsequent to the cutback) so, one can quickly make a lot of progress without risk of loosing the branch.
 

Johnnyd

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One can do this multiple times in spring (previously invisible buds will emerge subsequent to the cutback) so, one can quickly make a lot of progress without risk of loosing the branch.

Great advice! Thanks for the help Osoyoung.
 

Johnnyd

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I like your avatar! Spongebob is the best.
Gave it a light prune yesterday. Starting to like it from the other side. I moved most of my trees to pond baskets because I'm moving. Kind of difficult to see the base now. Been feeding it liquid fertilizer every week plus organic pellets to get some more buds to pop. 20200518_143115.jpg


May use this as the 1st branch and remove the bottom two branches. Its about 1/3 the height of the tree. Still need a back branch in that case.
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HorseloverFat

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I like your avatar! Spongebob is the best.
Gave it a light prune yesterday. Starting to like it from the other side. I moved most of my trees to pond baskets because I'm moving. Kind of difficult to see the base now. Been feeding it liquid fertilizer every week plus organic pellets to get some more buds to pop. View attachment 303654


May use this as the 1st branch and remove the bottom two branches. Its about 1/3 the height of the tree. Still need a back branch in that case.
View attachment 303655
SpongeBob IS the best.. when I was managing kitchens, doing the “chef thang”...I would sign notes to my employees and prep/order lists; “SpongeBob SquarePants”.

I like the idea of the new 1st branch. Said procedure would change the dynamic entirely, and is, visually, entertaining to explore those possibilities with “hypothetical eyes”.

He/she is looking good!
 
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