Korean hornbeam is one of my favorite varieties for bonsai. I find them beautiful and rewarding to work with. And vigorous – healthy specimens tend to get shaggy this time of year. My tree was due for a haircut.
Side view, before
As is the case with a number of deciduous varieties, I let the spring shoots elongate to roughly 5 new leaves before cutting them back to two. This will help the tree develop the fine ramification that shows so well in winter.
Shoot trimmed to leave two new leaves
I’m looking forward to seeing how the tree buds back this year. Although we’re off to a cool start, the weather has been nice lately which has kicked a number of trees into gear. The warmer the next few months, the better the tree will look this winter, and the closer the tree will come to its first exhibit.
Side view, after
You may have noticed that I missed a few shoots. There are several large wounds in the trunk – the vigorous shoots are temporary help enlisted to close them. Every couple of years I remove them and let new shoots continue the work. That way the helping branches don’t leave large wounds behind when they are removed.
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