Tuesday, April 14, 2015

BigFoot - Collected Hornbeam


I was wary about posting this collected stump until I saw some signs of life. I'm glad to be sharing this today!

I took a trip to the woods with some friends recently. While they each took home 10 hornbeam or so a piece, I was only on this trip to find something with some weight! I wanted something the size of Ursula approximately.

My buddy Thomas "Sensei" Sones, pres of our club,  found this one and he's one hell of a guy for letting me take it home.

It took the better part of 20 minutes to get it out of the ground. Might have been less if the reciprocating saw didn't die on me half way through the dig.

This dig was on the 15th of May so it's been just a month since collection. Usually, on acquired hornbeam, I like to bare root and put them into containers with a slightly more water retentive mix than my usual. This time I decided to try something a bit different. Because this is going to need to grow thick branches to match the trunk and I wanted to expedite the process, I went ahead and put this stump right back in the ground albeit in my backyard. It was buried on top of an old tile... Or was it an old piece of scrap wood. Regardless, it's in the dirt on top of something hard. 

There is a swollen base underneath those pine needles, characteristic of carpinus. 

I'm glad to report that yesterday I went out to check on its progress and was happy to see multiple buds popping up in multiple sites along the trunk line. From 2 inches from the top of the unsealed trunk to the bottom and in all different directions. I'm cautiously declaring a successful collection. 

Now once these clusters of buds elect a strongest grower, I'll cull the other surrounding buds to avoid overcrowding. This will be allowed to recover for no less than 2 years in the ground before I disturb the roots again. As this hornbeam has produced before any of the other collections, I'm wondering if returning it into the ground will help speed up it's transition from tree in the woods to bonsai in a pot. 

As always thanks for stopping by. 



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