Korean Hornbeam (Carpinus coreana)

mapleman77

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I want to get a small Korean hornbeam. I want to see pictures of these plants as finished bonsai or works in progress. Anybody have some that they'd like to share? Some information wouldn't hurt either. ;)

Thanks--
 

Smoke

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This a Hornbeam that I chopped down some years ago. It was documented on BT but is in limbo currently. A before and after. The after is today for this post. The tree is 6.5 inches tall and has a two inch trunk at the base.
 

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Smoke

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This is another one started last year. It was also a chop down but has responded better since I had six more years experience with the species and didn't make all the same mistakes over again. Same dimensions as the last, 6.5 inches tall and 2 inch trunk at the base. Both these trees were from the same grower. Just 7 years apart.

Some tips about the species. Fertilize agressively, pinch continually when desired out line is achieved. Seal all cuts no matter how small, they die back very easily. I could have saved three years on the first one had I not lost branches due to die back. Take care of poor roots first thing. They are notorious about spinning around in a growing container like elms. Both these trees had very bad nebari. Both had have new nebari made by layering.

Best of luck, Al
 

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mapleman77

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Hey Al,

Thanks for all the help. I have heard and read almost exculsively that this particular species of hornbeam took forever to trunk up, so it's really nice to see 2 nice thick trunks.

I will use all of your advice when I get one; it's going to be small but I'll grow it out to get the trunk caliper that I want. Nice pictures, they look like nice trees! Do you have a picture of their fall color? It is notorious for being the best among the hornbeams.
 

amkhalid

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Question for Al: (sorry if this counts as high-jacking the thread, but it is KoHo related and related to Als post)...

I have a very old collected KoHo which is mostly stump not much branches... working on that... anyways, I've had it for 2 years... last year was spent 're-vigorating' it in a larger pot with a crapload of ferts and good soil. It grew lots (3 ft shoots).

This year, I chopped the apex in the early spring when the buds were just about to open. Not a huge chop (the trunk is like 5" at the base, and the apex chop was less than 1" diameter).

About 2 months later now, the tree is growing gangbusters, and backbuds have not come up at the chop yet. I sealed the wound nicely, and the apex hasn't died back (yet) and there might even be a bud or two trying to poke through the sealant (maybe imagining that though).

So, my question is, what did I do wrong?

The apex is old, covered in old bark... do they not bud predictably on old areas? Is spring the wrong time to chop? I cut off the long shoots which were grown for thread grafts/to thicken the primary branch in the fall and that branch has budded in many places.

I see these Croatians collecting their massive old Oriental hornbeams and chopping them back like its nobody's business, seemingly with no problems...

Here's the tree... you can see where it was chopped at the top. Sorry about the busy pic...

Help! I am in zone 6... so please keep that in mind :)

Thanks, I will greatly appreciate your response.

koho spring 09.jpg
 
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Smoke

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Question for Al: (sorry if this counts as high-jacking the thread, but it is KoHo related and related to Als post)...

I have a very old collected KoHo which is mostly stump not much branches... working on that... anyways, I've had it for 2 years... last year was spent 're-vigorating' it in a larger pot with a crapload of ferts and good soil. It grew lots (3 ft shoots).

This year, I chopped the apex in the early spring when the buds were just about to open. Not a huge chop (the trunk is like 5" at the base, and the apex chop was less than 1" diameter).

About 2 months later now, the tree is growing gangbusters, and backbuds have not come up at the chop yet. I sealed the wound nicely, and the apex hasn't died back (yet) and there might even be a bud or two trying to poke through the sealant (maybe imagining that though).

So, my question is, what did I do wrong?

The apex is old, covered in old bark... do they not bud predictably on old areas? Is spring the wrong time to chop? I cut off the long shoots which were grown for thread grafts/to thicken the primary branch in the fall and that branch has budded in many places.

I see these Croatians collecting their massive old Oriental hornbeams and chopping them back like its nobody's business, seemingly with no problems...

Here's the tree... you can see where it was chopped at the top. Sorry about the busy pic...

Help! I am in zone 6... so please keep that in mind :)

Thanks, I will greatly appreciate your response.

View attachment 6975


On large chops on Hornbeams and trident maples for that matter I wrap the top with a plastic foam coffee cup. I fill it with spahgnum moss or just plain ole cotton balls. I keep the top moist and watch for buds. It should only take about three weeks to see the green bumps start to form. That bark at the top needs to start forming a callous (lip of cambium) as fast as possible and at the very edge of the cut. If allowed to dry out, the callous will start under the dried and desicated flap of bark and it will take months for buds to form. They will come, but not untill the good callous reaches sunlight and air.

Hope that helps. Al
 

crhabq

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They don't like wind, any kind of wind. I got one from Brent late last summer. I think a late winter or early sping wind did it in. Buds formed and did nothing but stay the same dry brown. After a few trunk scrapes, looking for a sign of green cambiam, it went to the trash bin a week or two ago. If you have any wind problems then I'd think maybe you'd want to protect the tree from that. A little lathe box or a poly tent open at the top. I'd think that the wind would be particularly hard on any buds that are starting to open. With this species it may only take one episode to do undoable damage. Good look, the pics look like you have you have a lot of potential to have a very nice bonsai. (If you have wind damage maybe the product Cloud Cover, an antitranspirant, would help mitigate the the effect of the dry out the wind can do). bye the bye the product mention came from Al (Smoke) (via the thread "calling all hort nerds" and it does seem to help. Try some humic acid too.
 

rockm

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Wind isn't a problem for me--in fact, without it, the KH I have (and have had for 15 years) get leaf mold.

Humidity is probably why you're having a problem with wind. KH have thin leaves that can be damaged by extremes--dry winds can wreck havoc on any thin leaved species.
 

amkhalid

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Thanks Al... so there is hope yet... interesting technique for protecting the wound. Too late for me, but there is definitely callus tissue forming at the wound.

I have no problem with wind either. Also, everybody warned me when I got this tree that hornbeams are susceptible to leaf burn too, so keep out of full sun. Well, the leaves burned when I first got it, but after repotting into good soil and proper fertilization, it loves the full sun.
 

mapleman77

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Question for Al: (sorry if this counts as high-jacking the thread, but it is KoHo related and related to Als post)...

Amkahlid, that's fine. I kind of hoped that something like this would come up because people tend to have great information anyway. :p

As a whole thanks everyone for your insights. I feel much more secure about taking care of a KH now....and I can't wait to get started.
 

mapleman77

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Will,

WOW! Those are some real bonsai. I think that I just found my true loves..... ;) Thanks again! I think that I want any KH that I will someday own to eventually look something like that.
 

grouper52

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From my gallery. This guy is over 50 years old, a field grown tree I got as a green mound on an elephant's foot base from Brussels about 10-12 years ago. While living in the extremely difficult climate of Taos, NM for 3 years, the tree lost about half of its upper trunks/branches. What was left looked pitiful for a few years, until I noticed large sections of the trunk rotting. As I cleaned it all out gradually, what I came to realize is that this was originally several trees growing together, and that 2 or three of these trees, not merely upper trunks or branches, had died, leaving one live tree which has normal bark in some areas and large sections of very smooth "interior" bark that is now exposed and looks like deadwood but is still alive. There are also extensive areas of actual deadwood, now preserved with Miniwax epoxy resin wood preservative.
 

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rockm

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Before you get all fanatic about KH :eek:, you should know they can be a bit finicky and overpriced. I've had them for almost 20 years now. My oldest one is dying a slow death because of root nematodes. It's been a long uphill fight against the critters, but it looks like the tree (which has been in a container for 25 years now and was a very nice tree -- 6 inch nebari tapering to an inch within 18 inches) is a goner.

I've heard some experienced bonsai guys say KH wears itself out over time and can be very weak at the roots. I'm afraid I think the part about the roots may be true. Older trees, especially, can be reluctant to push new roots. I have a 15 year old forest planting of KH that is still going strong, though.

If you're after a big trunked specimen, you're going to pay a pretty hefty price for it. Additionally, big trunks aren't necessarily GOOD trunks. There are alot of massive, mostly ugly, KH trunks around--with big, unrealistic price tags on them. Select yours accordingly...

The most impressive specimens on the AOB pages aren't KH, they're European hornbeam. Take from that what you will...
 

grog

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Mark,

This would obviously be problematic since nematodes are present in the soil but would planting your big old hornbeam out of the pot into the ground be a possible route to pumping your hornbeam back up? I'm sure you already considered this, just curious if it'd be possible.
 

mapleman77

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Hey Grouper and Rockm,
Thanks for the pictures and (possibly) depressing information. I'll be careful with any KH that I get just in case. But I really do hope that it'll be possible for me to keep one alive.

As for the Europaean hornbeams, I'll probably end up getting some of those as well. I just was drawn to the fall color and habit of KH so I thought that I'd start off with that one and go from there.

Thanks again everyone. I love the pictures and hope that mine could someday be as good as those, although that probably won't happen. ;)
 

rockm

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Grog, planting in the ground won't do much good. The species of nematode the tree has lives inside the root tissues, producing root galls. They're protected pretty much from predators.

To get rid of the little beggars, I would have to cut out all the root galls and soak in nematode-specific insecticide. This procedure would likely kill the tree, as the root galls are pretty thick in the root mass. I'd have to remove more than 70 percent of it to make a dent.

It's a shame. I really liked the tree.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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David,
Brussels has some KH (Coreana) in nursery cans that are starting to trunk up a little. I haven't been there in a month or so, but they've been growing for at least 2 years and are probably 3/4" in diameter.

Bonsai West has a great selection, and when I was shopping for my KH, theirs were the best priced for actual yamadori KH. Michael still has a big selection at www.bonsaiwest.com.

Start with a "finished" trunk or have plenty of other projects to keep you busy for the next 10-20 years. They grow hard, but somehow it doesn't seem to translate into branch or trunk thickening.

I've read that you let them grow until they stop in late spring, then prune them back in summertime. It keeps the tree from sending out new shoots (kind of like a beech; the new shoots are "dwarf", and usually useless).

Also...for fall color, nothing comes close. It is really a sight to see one of these things lit up in November.
 

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