Hornbeam what would you do?

cbobgo

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wow those are some pretty major scars - did you attack this with a chainsaw?

Unless you are planning to incorporate all those scars as exposed deadwood, you might want to consider planting this in the ground for a few years to help heal over those scars.

- bob
 

agraham

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I don't know anything about hornmeams from a horticultural aspect.But,from a stylistic viewpoint,I'd make those scars front and center.You can have a nice tree that looks similiar to so many others or you can have one with character from the get go.Very nice material!

andy
 

bretts

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This hornbeam had an infestation of wood borer. On a tree in early stages of development I prefer to carve out all the dead wood to get rid of them. It was succesfull so far with no sign of them since. It also had root grubs when I got it otherwise I would not have repotted this late or done the work with little time to plan.
I was expecting 4 years to heal the scars. It is planted back in the same foam container that I purchased it in for now but I am considering planting out next year(probably by the escape method)

I only noticed the scar side(pic 2) as a front when I was soughting the pics for the thread. The first obvious front I had is (pic 3). when I firsty looked at the pics after carving I thought that pic two had a nice flow. Both options have some negative taper trouble the pic 2 less so. I think a classic form can be best found somewere between the two.
I have looked at the tree from the angle of pic 1 and can't seem to find the same effect as in the pic?
I would consider a carved tree but can't see it at the moment.

I have included a pic showing the worst of the trouble I faced when carving this out and a pic in full leaf next to my Japanese hornbeam that also had wood borers when I got it. I will refine the carving late winter before possibly planting out.
 

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Tachigi

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Bretts, Thanks for sharing this with us. Hornbeam probably is one of my favorite of the deciduous trees. The following is my two cents worth.

....from a stylistic viewpoint,I'd make those scars front and center.You can have a nice tree that looks similiar to so many others or you can have one with character from the get go.Very nice material!

andy
I agree with Andy! The massive scaring needs to be incorporated in the design. You can't hide it. If you put it to the back you will fuel the opinion of the naysayers. I think that some creative carving that pulls all the scars together in a series of "peek a boos" connected by a hollow/crevasse in the main shari could be convincing and give unique character to this tree. You may, if your lucky, resolve some of the reverse taper with the carving as well.

I would make one prediction of gloom and doom by saying that the vein (1st pic lower right hand corner) between the two scars will probably not make it and will die off. It has been my experience that hornbeam usually abandon thin ribbons like this and focus their energies to the rest of the tree. So be prepared to have that shari increase.

You might want to consider next time leaving a stub instead of flush cutting. This will give you a few more options. The first would be a hollowed out branch that would lend itself to the rest of the tree and its proposed theme. Flush cuts and carving are very hard to pull off convincingly. The second benefit by leaving that lower branch is that the vein might survive by virtue of the remaining branch collar.

It took me a very long time to stop myself from wanting to flush cut. I eventually learned that by leaving stubs instead of rushing to a final trunk image that I opened another door visually and horticulturally.

I like your tree and wish you the best of luck with it. Please keep us updated in the future.


EDIT: I forgot to add, check out http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/gallery.htm Graham Potter has some excellent examples of deciduous carving on his site. Might give you some ideas. It did for me ;)
 
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bretts

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Thanks for the link I had been there once before but I had never read all his aticles. Some great reading there.
I do like deadwood on deciduous trees but I just don't see it on this one yet. I have turned the tree around so I am looking at the scar side so it may come to me. Any virts or any type of inspiration would be great.
Hornbeam is definatly my favourite even though they are a little challenging in my climate.
The sunburnt country!
 

Tachigi

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I do like deadwood on deciduous trees but I just don't see it on this one yet.
Bretts, Perhaps I'm missing something here!:confused: In the very first picture you posted, is that not one long almost continuous shari? If so, you are past the point of no return. Carving and deadwood has been mandated by your previous actions.

You may get complete healing on the smaller branch scares, even the larger ones with some irritation to the callous edge. However, the large shari will not in this life time nor your children's life time heal over.

If I am not reading your pictures right, then consider this an exercise in babbling:D


EDIT: Bretts, I came back to this thread after pondering on it most of today. It occurred to me that I never asked why you didn't see any need as of yet why you didn't think this was a candidate for deadwood and carving? Should of asked that in the first place.:eek:
 
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bretts

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I have been trying to find some time to post another pic of the tree from this front,been busy.:eek:
I will post them soon.
Kinda like I said I just have not been looking for a carved feature front and even though it may be there I can't see it at the moment, but I may be getting there as I do have the tree turned with scar facing out at the moment.
What I have seen is a classic style with the carving to the back.
I was hoping for the scar to heal, I would have thought 4 years in the ground would do it. Even if this did not heal is there any reason the scar could not go to the back with refining but not be a main feature.
I was also hoping that done in the right way I could also improve the negative taper and flare with 4 years in the ground.
 

cbobgo

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there's no reason you can't put the scar in the back, but it would be a pretty plain-jane tree that way. Have the scar/hollow in the front would give a really cool focal point, that would make your tree stand out from the crowd.

- bob
 
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I don't know what hornbeam you have, but Korean hornbeams tend to withdraw sap from larger cuts, not heal over. The size of the work dictates that this will become a permanent feature, probably even if you put it in the ground.

I would find a way to incorporate it.
 

Tachigi

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I was hoping for the scar to heal, I would have thought 4 years in the ground would do it. Even if this did not heal is there any reason the scar could not go to the back with refining but not be a main feature.
I was also hoping that done in the right way I could also improve the negative taper and flare with 4 years in the ground.
Many years ago I tried having large shari heal by doing what you suggest, putting those trees in the ground. I still have one in the ground, has been about 7 years. Still hasn't closed, even with callous irritation (cutting the inside edge of the callous to promote callous growth). So it comes out this year and goes under the knife. Life is short, I don't want to be worm food while I wait for the tree to heal.

There is no reason why, if you think it is absolutely necessary, that the scar couldn't go to the back. However, as Bob suggested, it would make the tree pretty plain jane and unremarkable. It would also take a cool feature and turn it into a negative by giving the viewer the impression that you were trying to hide a flaw. A tough thing to do with such a large scar. In my opinion, the shari if turned into a hollow it would add to the movement of the tree. It turns and twists as it rises, with a hollow and maybe a few peek-a-boos incorporated with the large shari. The light play in the hollow and crevasse will enhance that movement as well as draw the viewer in wanting to explore your image.

Putting it in the ground and hoping for increased girth to the base of the trunk would be pretty futile. There aren't enough lower branches to lend themselves in that exercise. Possibly would have worked before the pruning. I believe you could rectify the reverse taper if you incorporate the carving in that area.

My belief is that your tree is a few hours of work away from being an impressive image, make the most of your opportunity
 

bretts

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Thanks for all the imput, Thanks Tom for all the thought;) . I am still considering what has been said. I still have all winter to decide.
There has been some good healing in the first season even though it sufferd bad leaf burn for half the season.
I would like to stick it in the ground in spring to see until I decide what to do. But then It will be a bit hard to take it to a workshop wich is what I should probably do.
Can't wait till the yard is done so I can get back to thinking about bonsai.
Thanks Again:)
 

bretts

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I recently went a bit further with the hornbeam( I call it Bugs because of all the bugs that came out of it)

I have decided to go down two different tracks at the same time. For now. One front with little dead wood and one with the dead wood as a feature. I am again excited about where this tree is going and look forward to finishing the carving. I am down a compressor that runs my die grinder so I must wait a while.
 

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bretts

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I have finished the carving for this year. I am sure I will take it further in future years. I would not be happy with a tree that had a side that was not acceptable. This tree gave me a challenge but I am starting to be happy with the tree from all angles.
When I first posted this tree I put the front that I thought was obvious not as the first pic seen by members. I thought I might get some different options that way.
I was concerned then when all members insisted that what I thought was the back with carving was the best way to go just happend to be pic #1.
I now see what better eyes than mine were seeing;) I will be intrested to see wich side developes the best over the years.
Thanks for all the advice any more is welcome.
 

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Tachigi

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Bretts now your cooking with gas! Great improvement, I found myself leaning closer to the screen to get a look at the peek-a-boos. Which is exactly what those types of details are meant to do. When carving remember that deciduous trees usually are carved with a smooth surface as found in nature vs. gnarly and ragged with conifers. Obviously there are exceptions to the rules just something to keep in the back of your head. Since you are taking your carving in steps (which is a good thing) I would suggest preserving the wood. I'm not sure what type of heat, humidity or insects you have there, so protecting the wood is always a good thing. On deciduous trees I use a light coating of teak oil. This will protect for the most part all the above with out the whiteness of lime sulphur. Pleas make sure that you post again when this tree is in leaf. Well done!

Edit: I forgot to mention pic one and three would be my chosen fronts. I believe you can use pic one now since the peek a boo is suggesting that there is carving on the back side. Pic three would definitely make for a great front due to the character you are imparting into the trunk.
 
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bretts

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Here is an update on the Hornbeam leafed out. Sorry I have been busy and missed a pic when the trunk was more visible. All is going well I have left the sucker growth down low to help some healing for now to increase the natural look of the edges of the carving. That thin bridge of bark that some had concern about dying back is showing good growth also.
I am wondering were to go from here . Should I be agressive with trimming to increase ramification or should I be very selective and work more at increasing the girth of the lower branches (please see pevious pics for branch size)



Edit the pics in my last post disapeard so I have reloaded them but I think Toms statemant to pics 1 and three in his last post being his chosen fronts now refer to pics 4 and 6
 

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Tachigi

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Hi Bretts, Is this Korean Hornbeam...the leaves look huge. As to branch size? Yes, let the lower ones run unchecked. Bring the upper ones back for the sake of keeping them in proportion.
 

bretts

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Thanks anttal the advice has been great.

Thanks Tom I think I new the answer as I was asking the question:cool:
I just had some concern about weak branches from the leaf burn last year and this made me hesitant.
I will be carefull not to prune weak branches but I think all are fine.
:D
I was told it was European Hornbeam
 
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bretts

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Been a while since I updated this tree here :p Maybe could be further along but hey I am still learning ;)
Here it is coming into leaf this spring. I have the tree leaning more to the right than I plan at the moment hoping to create better roots on that side.

I plan on working the branches for ramification this year with previous years mainly left for wild growth.
I still like the less scared side as the front but always style with the deadwood side in mind. It is now in full leaf and will soon cut back hard to two leaves on each twig and maybe reduce some branches as well?

It is raining today but I will update more soon.
 

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