Hornbeam Work

I was asked to work on this Korean Hornbeam and on Wednesday I managed to grab a few hours to get it wired. As is common with hornbeam, many branches had crossed or where curling inward. This was a reset for the tree to get structure back on track.

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Hornbeam Reset

A little hornbeam brought to me this week for a reset. Branch structure cleaned up and wired.

Korean Hornbeam

My Korean Hornbeam showing the change from Autumn into Winter.

Before trimming.


After trimming.


And in Winter image after dewiring.


Korean Hornbeam – Changes

I’ve had this Korean Hornbeam for 5 years now. This was how it looked back in July 2010. It was weak and had suffered for a few years and lost a lot of branches. It took 2 seasons to get it on track and build up some ramification.


This was it in 2013

And here in December 2014.

At this point I decided to make a few changes. Both trunks were parallel to each other in the pot creating a very flat image. The main trunk lacked taper along the last portion of the trunk line and about 2 inches from the top is a swelling that looked ugly and was only going to get worse with age. I opted to layer the top off the main trunk to create a little multi-trunk shohin tree for the future. I also decided that I’d change the front of the tree to offset the two trunk creating more depth.

Below is the tree in December 2015 after the layer was removed. I had give the tree free growth for the year to give me a few more options when thinning out the branches.

This was to be the new angle for the front. I’d lose a little of the width of the base but give the tree a little more character and depth, hard to see that in a photo of course!

I trimmed back unwanted branches and pruned out a few area that had become too heavy.

I then wired out the branch structure creating the basics of two new apexes and got rid of a lot of clutter and crossing branches.

If we are making changes to the front, I might as well repot it. I had a Sylvia Webber pot on the shelf that I love and was itching to use again. I think that’s who the potter is anyway, perhaps someone can confirm from the chop mark below. Is she still making pots? I got this back in 2003.

I transferred the tree over adjusting for the new angle. The pot is perhaps a little shallow looking for such a heavy trunk, but I like it. I was also able to remove an ugly root at the back as a bonus. It’s hard to tell just how much better the image is in a photo, especially as the old front looked good in a photo and this photo isn’t great but trust me, I’m a lot happier with where this tree is going in the years to come. Double the current ramification and I think we have a nice tree in the making. That’s what I love about working on Deciduous trees, there’s no quick image to be had like a conifer, the work has to be done year on year to create a descent bonsai.

Winter Image – Korean Hornbeam

My Korean Hornbeam was very slow to drop leaves this Autumn. This was it on the 15th November!



This was it this weekend just past it’s best colour.


After a clean up for Winter.


Pruning – Korean Hornbeam






Stephen’s Repotting

Stephen, Ben and Michael came to my home on Saturday to do a little repotting. I was doing a few trees of my own and it’s good to have company, advice and extra hands available.

Stephen brought two trees with him, an Alder, and a Korean Hornbeam.

Alder before



and after, what a difference a pot makes


and his Hornbeam before


And after, again, pots make a big difference!



Valerie’s Hornbeam

Another one from Valerie’s collection, this time it’s a Korean Hornbeam that has great ramification but was in need of some structural pruning.


This is it thinned out a bit. Needs a few branches wired to get things into position.



Maintenance – Hornbeam & Hawthorn

Before, again all new growth post show on 21st July







Hawthorn before. The ramification on this one has doubled this year with numerous maintenance done this growing season.


and after


Korean Hornbeam Trim

Stephen’s Hornbeam getting a trim last weekend. This one used to be mine, kinda wish I had held onto it now 🙂 And yes, it’s going into a more appropriate pot in the Spring.