korean hornbeam


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hi everyone,
Here is a Korean Hornbeam that I'm working on- height 22 inches, width 15 inches; with a trunk of about
2 1/2 inches. Any suggestions on type of pot? or any suggestions at all would be appreciated!
Please don't be afraid to tell me what you think. I am new at this and want to learn everything I can. If I'm not doing this right or offending anyone please let me know.



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I think you might want to do a ground layer on this one a couple inches up. The base of the tree now looks like it's a group of roots that've grown together. Whether that's the case or not I dunno.

The big branch probably needs to go unless you plan on using it as a sacrifice branch. If this is the final size you want the branches need sorting out. I think having the branches reaching upward a bit rather than horizontal would look better with this tree. The younger appearance can be nice.

Before you take any of this into consideration too seriously bear in mind that I'm no authority on any of this- just my thoughts.
I would disagree on the ground layer only because this trunk is different from what one commonly sees, given time these roots will thicken and merge, creating an interesting flair.
I would disagree on the ground layer only because this trunk is different from what one commonly sees, given time these roots will thicken and merge, creating an interesting flair.

I have to disagree. Hornbeams are not prone to self-graft their roots. If this were ficus, I'd agree absolutely, but the hornbeam will most likely just remain a bunch of roots.
I have to disagree. Hornbeams are not prone to self-graft their roots. If this were ficus, I'd agree absolutely, but the hornbeam will most likely just remain a bunch of roots.

I did not say they would self-graft. I said they would thicken and merge creating an interesting flair, which they will, or at least one that is unique. As your own young Black Pine shows, sometimes exposed roots can be interesting, and other times...not.

If the roots were flaring outwards I think it might be an interesting base to work off of the way it is now but one side looks like they form a hump, becoming narrower closest to the soil line. I don't think that would be a very attractive base unless perhaps the soil line was raised to the widest point of the roots.

I kind of picture this tree as a fairly young one and I have a hard time imagining how the young image presented by the tree would go with the exposed roots which seem like something you would generally find on an older tree in an eroded area.

I wish I could do virts, I have a hard time putting the pieces together in my nugget. :(
2 quick and dirty virts...

both are with the tree lower in the pot. and I removed the branch on the left that is extremely distracting to me.


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quick, dirty and ignorant virtual (mind you I ignored the roots and pot)


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Thanks everyone
I know I have some work to do on this tree but, It is about twenty years old so I don't know about
the young appearance. I kind of wanted to create an older appearance. The root system is really
unique and I think I can clean it up a little when I repot. The branch is distracting so I was thinking of using it as a sacafice branch and hopefully style it a little with wire. Any ideas on type of pot?
square, rectangular or oval? It has a long way to go but I think it has alot of potential.
I will take all your ideas and maybe sketch out some possibilities.
Thanks Will
I agree the root system is really unique and interesting to me also. I love the way the bottom part
of the trunk kind of twist which I think also gives it some age appearance.
Thanks Big Bill
for the virts, I agree the lower branch is distracting maybe I need to create a new front and use the
branch as a sacrafice or shorten it. I think it does have some really good possibilites. The pictures do
not do this tree justice.

Perhaps like this?



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hi dorothy,
Now that I like very much! I will try and work from this virtual.
Thank you. I kinda prefer the lower branch more horizontal like the one on the right. What do you
nice virt dorothy; but we are still left with a tree that has no taper. this is a perfect example of emotional baggage bogging the tree's potential down. twenty years old and this is what we have.
with foliage we get away with it and are lead to believe we have a lovely example of bonsai and im sure it is in leaf. BUT when naked the truth is there for everyone to see. it is inevitable that it needs a trunk chop the question is how much over what time span. it definately needs a layer, those roots are not interesting in the least, nor unique. bill you say you like the twist but the trunk does not continue to twist and hold that momentum. twenty years is a long time to not let a tree move on.
especially when it has a strong possability of being a far greater tree in the next 10 yrs., let alone 20.
if this were my tree i would layer the roots and trunk chop or air layer to the first two branches(maybe last 4). the left no. 1 branch the right lifted, new leader. i realise this is harsh but it is what it needs to be a great bonsai in future. im passionate of this approach because in the short and insignificant 3 years i have practised bonsai i am guilty of bogging my trees down with emotional baggage and am glad im thinking this way now and not in 20 years. we must constantly question where are we at and where do we want to go? where do we want our tree to go? hope i havent offended anyone and sorry to rant.
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Hi Bill,

I kinda like this tree! To me it is in a rough state and needs to have some key decisions made soon....

First the roots...... It will take a lifetime for Will's idea of them bulking up unless you put it in the ground where it would take 5 yrs for anything very noticable to happen. That runs its own risk of death... in the ground Korean Hornbeam are touchy. They like to throw suckers and that will kill the main tree very fast. They also don't like to have roots cut hard from the ground and 40% of trees die during this stage. It is the nature of the beast. If it were my tree I, and knowing you are dealing with 1 tree and not 100's, I would plant it in a shallow but wide grow box and let it go for 5 years or so. Most important part of this will be soil. Try your hardest to find volcanic pumice, nothing grows fine feeder roots and promotes root growth like pumice. A mix of pumice and 30% sifted bark dust will send this tree into a growing frenzie!

Taper..... the taper issue doesn't bother me so much, but since it is decidous and normally best viewed in the winter time it does need to be corrected. Again if it were my tree, I would chop it and plant it in the grow box as mentioned above all at the same time. With a heavy pumice mix you will see very happy, healthy growth in the whole tree and should be able accomplish all the things to make this a very good tree in a short period of time.

That one branch either needs to go, or wire it and bend it giving it some movement to eliminate that straight section.

Pot, ahh...don't worry about a pot now, you have lots of time for that. It seems to be in a terra-cotta container now doesn't it?

There is my 2cents worth, and really you have an excellent start here!

Dorothy's 2nd virt is pretty nice!
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