Here is today's victim. We call him Hornbeam 1.
It was collected well but left a bit tall in hindsight. I did get some buds to pop high up but it never made sense to me.
Part of the problem was that it produced branches all over, except on very long stretch of trunk halfway up:
Initially, I was going to carve the bejeezus out of this side of the tree and leave it tall. I'd been growing that leader for 2.5 years after all.
My wife tells me that it needed to be cut in half. I agreed begrudgingly:
Okay, this is better. it makes more sense at this height. But here's where the story gets cloudy. It was like a trance. A trance fueled by power tools and eye protection. Seriously, if you carve without eyepro you're not acting very smart. Take care of your eyes. They are a bitch to replace.
Repotting made sense at this time:
Healthy roots, happy tree. Again, this was in turface/pumice/grit. Being moved into my new akadama/pumice/lava/pine mix.
My 4 year old names this tree 'Slither' as a reference to the serpentine nature of the carving. More carving and repotting adventures to come.