Peter's Bonsai Blog 


























This is the story of a European Hornbeam collected from a friends garden in 2005.  When I first came across it, this tree was about 9' tall.  .


The owner helped me dig it up and the tree was simply placed in a wooden box to recover. A large part of the appeal of this tree was the girth of the trunk and the fantastic root flare (Nabari)


By 2008 the tree was developing well, although  the main trunk was a but uninteresting.  There was a slight hollow at high level, where a forward pointing branch has been removed, and so I decided to carve out a part of the trunk to create some additional interest  when viewed from the front.



By 2009 the basic structure was developing well, although I had concerns about the surface root on the left and the one pointing to the front.  Both were located above the soil line and did not have many fine feeder roots attached.  

The root to the front evenually died and so it was removed.  I now believe that because I had carved the trunck on both sides of where this root connected with the trunck, there was no connection with the foliage and so the roots were not being fed by the leaves and this is why it died.  Another lesson learnt !

I tried to bend down the root to the left side by cutting a series of saw cuts in the underside.  This was also a mistake.  The root soon died. and was removed.


The tree was exhibited for the first time at Ayr Flower Show in August 2010.   Notice that the root  pointing out of the front has now been removed.

However, I'm not sure about the viewing angle, as this view, looking straight into the hollow trunk, may not be the most interesting.


By the Autum of 2011, I had removed one of the roots from the left hand side.  It was too high above the soil surface and had very few roots coming from it anyway.  However, shortly after removing the root, I noticed that the area of the wound had become infected with Coral red spot, (where shown wit the arrow). This is a common fungal infection on dead wood.  The treatment turned out to be very simple - an application of lime sulfur. That cleared it up and there have been no further problems.



By the winter of 2011-12 the ramification in the tree was continuing to develop, and the tree was looking good even without any leaves.

However, I'm still trying to decide upon the best "Front" for the tree as I want to avoid looking straight into the hollow trunk.  I believe that viewing it at a slight angle is more interesting.


By May of 2013 the tree has filled out further and  now needs a better quality pot.

You will notice that I have turned the front around a little as I think this is the best view.


By June 2014 the tree has a new pot (although I'm not convinced it's the right one) and is

looking good !


June 2016, some 11 years from digging the tree out of a friends Garden and I'm very

happy with the image................


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