Saturday, December 3, 2011

Progressions: Korean Hornbeam #1

Here is a chunky Korean Hornbeam, purchased at Bonsai West in summer of 2005. The tree had several faults, which can be seen in the first few shots.

There is a large root at the left side which was chopped when the tree was collected. There is also a hole through the cross-over branches on the lower right, which was considered a 'fault'.
Both items contributed to the original low cost of this material.

The tree was left to grow for a year, then discussed at the Colin Lewis HoYoku school in Shady Side Maryland.

A nice European pot had been purchased in the previous September while visiting the Ginko Festival in Ghent Belgium. The Hornbeam seemed like it was ready for a better pot, so it was fitted to its' new home.

Here it is, in July of 2K6, at a private Bonsai Show in Shady Side Maryland. The tree had settled in nicely, and was healthy, but needed ramification, and styling of the foliage pads.

In the Fall of 2K7, the tree was critiqued by Peter Adams while on a visit to Natures Way.
Peter put together some good sketches, showing how the foliage pads could be set up, and what the tree might look like in the future.

He suggested a nice design for a simple blue pot, which would go well with the tree, and make a much better composition.

Hornbeams put on a wonderful show in the Fall, and this tree certainly delivered. Here it is in full Fall color in 2K7.

The pot was commissioned through Bryan Albright, and was received in Winter of 2K8.

The Hornbeam had filled out a bit over the growing season, so it was exhibited at the Philly Flower Show in Spring of 2K9. Work had started on the 'faults', and the large root at the back left had been removed. The area where it was cut was carved so it resembled an old rotted root area.

In April of 2K9, it was fitted to the new Albright pot. Peter Adams was spot on! The composition was quite striking!

Of course, the branch structure still had a long way to go, and major ramification was still needed.

The tree made it to Natures Way Open House in the Spring of 2K9. Here it is in wonderful Spring leaf.

It still has a way to go to fill in the foliage pads and increase ramification, and the styling Peter Adams suggested must continue.

Here is the tree in the Fall of 2K9,

and in the Fall of 2K11. You can easily see the branch growth and increase in ramification.

The tree is maturing into the style set for it, and will continue to mature and ramify. There is probably another 5-8 years of work needed to get it to the point where the tree is as twiggy as it needs to be, but it will certainly be fun traveling that road.

The additional benefit of all that twigginess (for which Korean Hornbeams are noted) is the additional reduction in leaf size.




  2. Wow Flex...this Hornbeam is coming along GREAT! Love the progression pics!


  3. Bob...ThanX...but it has a few years to go. The branch structure is being built now, and I am allowing some of the finer twigs to elongate. In the spring it will get a haircut so that the buds nearest division points are only ones left. This makes for short internodes, and will help to build the twigginess Hornbeams are noted for.
    Altho it takes awhile, the effort is so rewarding, as you watch the structure mature year over year. have to START!