May 2020

Toward the end of May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, I drove out to Willowbrook, IL to The Hidden Gardens. I was in search of a deciduous tree and the nursery did not disappoint.

I picked up this American Hornbeam. It is a great tree. It has a powerful base and a great trunk line. I hope I can do this tree justice. Below are images of the tree when as soon as I got home with it.

June 7th, 2020

On June 7th I decided to cut this American Hornbeam bonsai back and start making some decisions. I also wired the tree. I used Aluminum wire for this.

I have yet to decide on a front for this tree, so below are both the front and the back of the tree.

June 10th & 13th

I was not going to do partial defoliation but on June 10th I did it. I took pictures of the results on the 13th. I really enjoy these scissors for this task. Kaneshin 32 and Kaneshin 35A.

I have not committed to a front yet on this tree. The photo with the trunk going left looks best but I like the look of the trunk from the side with it moving right. I also need to figure out what I want to do whit the long straight section leading to the higher apex. I can see cutting it lower and making the apex on that side shorter.

Below are images of buds that have formed 13 days after reduction and 10 days after partial defoliation.

July 25th

It always amazes me how fast deciduous trees grow. I am already seeing some wire that I have to cut off because of it biting in.

October 2020

This is the bonsai in it’s fall colors. Wire has been removed and its waiting for its winter quarters.

November 2020

This is the first time I have seen this tree in its winter silhouette. The plan would be to be more refined every year.

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