I found the sorting hat from Harry Potter

Tbrshou

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So I found a American Hornbeam that reminds me of the sorting hat from Harry Potter. I liked it so I dug it up but now I dont know how I want to try and style this crazy looking thing. Wanna help? Go for it....Please
 

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Shibui

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First you need to wait. We do not know which, if any, of the remaining trunks will produce buds. The tree also needs a chance to grow new roots, recover from the trauma of collection and build up reserves for the future. Probably best to just water and feed it well for the first year, maybe even longer until it is strong again. After that you can consider doing some more work to style it.
Assuming all the trunks sprout well I'd be looking toward removing the thicker, straight side trunk as it competes visually with the main trunk and has little character. At the moment it is your emergency reserve in case the other trunks don't sprout. The smallest trunk may be useful if you fancy a twin but could just as easily be removed to focus on the sorting hat trunk. Eventually the height of the main trunk will need to be reduced but that will come after it is growing well.
As there's currently nothing else to work with there is no point in proposing styling options.
 

Tbrshou

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First you need to wait. We do not know which, if any, of the remaining trunks will produce buds. The tree also needs a chance to grow new roots, recover from the trauma of collection and build up reserves for the future. Probably best to just water and feed it well for the first year, maybe even longer until it is strong again. After that you can consider doing some more work to style it.
Assuming all the trunks sprout well I'd be looking toward removing the thicker, straight side trunk as it competes visually with the main trunk and has little character. At the moment it is your emergency reserve in case the other trunks don't sprout. The smallest trunk may be useful if you fancy a twin but could just as easily be removed to focus on the sorting hat trunk. Eventually the height of the main trunk will need to be reduced but that will come after it is growing well.
As there's currently nothing else to work with there is no point in proposing styling options.
I'm pretty optimistic about the tree recovering I tried to ensure there were a good bit of feeders when I collected it. I'm torn between the single sorting hat or the double trunk but leaning toward the sorting hat. What do u think about chopping the two end branches now?
 

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Shibui

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You have kept plenty of roots so recovery should be good but remember those roots will need to be reduced at some stage in order to fit the tree into a bonsai pot. In my experience roots are much like branches. They sprout new growth as close to the cut ends as possible so the majority of your new feeder roots will be at the ends of the current roots. Whenever I've done this I've then had to make drastic cuts later when the tree has more branches to support and more to lose. you may chose to do final root reduction progressively over several years cutting a few each year. Personally I now reduce roots to stubs at collection and get better results from most deciduous species.

As stated above I agree that the central trunk ( I now see there's actually 2) is the best looking option but would not make those cuts yet. Plenty of time to do that after you see which parts are growing. Next summer will be soon enough but only if the tree produces strong new growth. There is little advantage to removing those trunks now but possibly more to lose so let it be.
 

Tbrshou

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You have kept plenty of roots so recovery should be good but remember those roots will need to be reduced at some stage in order to fit the tree into a bonsai pot. In my experience roots are much like branches. They sprout new growth as close to the cut ends as possible so the majority of your new feeder roots will be at the ends of the current roots. Whenever I've done this I've then had to make drastic cuts later when the tree has more branches to support and more to lose. you may chose to do final root reduction progressively over several years cutting a few each year. Personally I now reduce roots to stubs at collection and get better results from most deciduous species.

As stated above I agree that the central trunk ( I now see there's actually 2) is the best looking option but would not make those cuts yet. Plenty of time to do that after you see which parts are growing. Next summer will be soon enough but only if the tree produces strong new growth. There is little advantage to removing those trunks now but possibly more to lose so let it be.
Gotcha thanks again
 

Mike Hennigan

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Hopefully after you get it healthy it will tell you you’ve been sorted into house hufflepuff. 😎
 

Sekibonsai

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Horn beams like to die back giving you a few less than useful buds at the base. You need to keep the trunks viable. Supposedly a trick is to wrap in sphagnum. While I have a few potensai in my nursery it is not a species I mess with so this all hear-say.
 

Tbrshou

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Horn beams like to die back giving you a few less than useful buds at the base. You need to keep the trunks viable. Supposedly a trick is to wrap in sphagnum. While I have a few potensai in my nursery it is not a species I mess with so this all hear-say.
Thank You and note taken. It's my first year collecting so I'm looking into all precautions.
 

PABonsai

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Thank You and note taken. It's my first year collecting so I'm looking into all precautions.
So when an experienced person tells you not to cut anything you chop half the remaining tree off? Why'd you even ask the forum then? And if it's your first year collecting what makes you so sure it'll make it? Don't take any of this personal, I just see great opportunity for personal regret here. I hope it makes it though. Good luck.
 

Tbrshou

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So when an experienced person tells you not to cut anything you chop half the remaining tree off? Why'd you even ask the forum then? And if it's your first year collecting what makes you so sure it'll make it? Don't take any of this personal, I just see great opportunity for personal regret here. I hope it makes it though. Good luck.
No not taking it personal at all. If u don't mind me asking what harm came from the removal of this unproportionate branch. The end goal for me was to prepare this stump for a possible life as a double trunk tree. Also to allow it to not waste any stored energy producing buds in a area that was destined to be cut off. If you could elaborate on why this was a decision that I would regret I would appreciate it.
 

Tbrshou

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No not taking it personal at all. If u don't mind me asking what harm came from the removal of this unproportionate branch. The end goal for me was to prepare this stump for a possible life as a double trunk tree. Also to allow it to not waste any stored energy producing buds in a area that was destined to be cut off. If you could elaborate on why this was a decision that I would regret I would appreciate it.
So when an experienced person tells you not to cut anything you chop half the remaining tree off? Why'd you even ask the forum then? And if it's your first year collecting what makes you so sure it'll make it? Don't take any of this personal, I just see great opportunity for personal regret here. I hope it makes it though. Good luck.
U know on second thought thank you for your reply. There's no need to go back and forth about a cut the cant be replaced. I'm grateful for the advice. Bonsai is a hobby for me. I work long hours and when I'm free I enjoy this hobby. Reading this forum,interacting with different individuals, out In nature, I enjoy it all!!! Hech I wouldn't have even located these interesting hornbeam if it wasn't for another member advising me on where to find interesting hornbeam. I'm fine if this tree doesn't make it, and grateful and mindful of the advice that was given to me prior to my decision to cut.
 

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Ultimately, when collecting any tree, you want to inflict all the trauma to the roots and canopy at/around collection, then leave it alone for however long it takes to recover- read this as potentially several years. Every time you cut or prune something on the trunk or branches during the first few months (or longer) after collection, you may injure newly grown feeder roots and set the tree back... do it enough and you'll lose the tree. Sealing the chops (vastly reduces die-back) now is the only thing I'd do until this thing is growing... then I'd just feed and water.
 

Tbrshou

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Ultimately, when collecting any tree, you want to inflict all the trauma to the roots and canopy at/around collection, then leave it alone for however long it takes to recover- read this as potentially several years. Every time you cut or prune something on the trunk or branches during the first few months (or longer) after collection, you may injure newly grown feeder roots and set the tree back... do it enough and you'll lose the tree. Sealing the chops (vastly reduces die-back) now is the only thing I'd do until this thing is growing... then I'd just feed and water.
Thanks
 

rockm

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Thank You and note taken. It's my first year collecting so I'm looking into all precautions.
If this is your first year collecting, you will learn rather quickly that styling a tree out of the ground for an hour is kind of silly. Having a first-time collected tree survive is not common. This tree won't be recovered for two years, even if it pushes new growth in the spring.

You will lose most of those trunks you have left, if you don't seal the cuts you've made. Carolina hornbeam is touchy when it comes to leaving cuts unsealed. Additionally, you've left a lot of the nebari (root crown) exposed. That's another thing that hornbeam hate. If left exposed, those surface roots will likely dry out and die off... I'd bury the trunk to the main stem and leave no surface roots exposed to sun and air

Leaving more trunks than you need has more to do with design options than recovery. But cutting the tree to its "finished" height and configuration immediately after its collection is extremely shortsighted and you will likely regret it as chunks or portions of the trunk you have chosen either die back, die off or refuse to push buds. Happens alot. That's why you leave alot of stuff you MAY not want intact until the tree recovers. It boils down to hedging your bets...

good luck.
 

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Nice material! I hope it pulls through. As others have said, they tend to die back. Moreover, they do not close large wounds very well, so that trunk you removed all in one fell swoop is going to be tough to fix--I am ground layering one of mine above an unfortunate chop site made by the collector that died back all the way to the base, and I'm experimenting on another one with wedge-cutting to see if I can get better healing doing large cuts in stages.

Just seal up the chops well and let it grow untouched in spring. Good luck!
 

Tbrshou

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Well entering year 1 spring and its alive. Producing green all around on both trunks, and drying out the soil pretty rapidly for a newly collected tree from what I've read. Still focusing on the health of the tree and just brainstorming on future styling every time I water.
 

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BobbyLane

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still early, but you could begin setting some basic structure with light wiring.
do you know what style you like, you referenced Harry potter, so do you like creepy fairy tale trees, naturalistic trees, do you want to emulate wild trees. maybe you want it to look like a wizard hat? the pine style even. Walter pall has many hornbeams one can draw ideas from, do you ever look at similar trees to yours for ideas?
this is how ideas are born, for me anyway.
styling is a personal thing.
if someone posts and says i think you should do the pine style because thats what he/she likes, will you agree?

i would be looking at Walter's hornbeams for ideas, Maros on here too, Andria zokic on facebook.

i found these with one quick google search
 

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Tbrshou

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I have considered pine style and its not off the table. As far as I've gotten is to remove a bit of the lower growth to show more trunk but even that im probably gonna do in the fall. The fact that I left a second trunk definitely means I need to remove some of the lower growth between the two trunks. Its been a while since I've been on Walter's page thanks for the idea I'm gonna go look for some inspiration.
 
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