Styling A Carpinus orientalis/ Oriental Hornbeam Bonsai

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Carpinus orientalis/ Oriental Hornbeam is native to areas of the world that are typically drier and hotter than those typical of the more familiar Carpinus betulus/ European Hornbeam, found in cooler areas of Northern Europe. The Oriental Hornbeam however is still very hardy and regularly experiences temperatures below -10C or less in mainland Croatia.

collecting hornbeam yamadori bonsai

This monster of an Oriental Hornbeam was collected in Croatia by Luka Musich in early 2012 from an area of stony ground or scree. Luka explained to me that the tree was growing on an area of land along with many other Hornbeam that were used for firewood by the locals.

Above Luka can be seen with the Hornbeam as it was originally found growing, and beginning to chop the trunks in preparation for collection.

wild hornbeam bonsai

The Hornbeam chopped and ready for digging.

goats croatia bonsai

Some of the local population came to watch Luka and his friend dig the tree!

Hornbeam bonsai dig

After the Hornbeam had been trenched (to cut a ring around the tree being collected so that the rootball is dramatically reduced in size for collection), Luka started using a pulley system to help free the tree from the ground

Hornbeam bonsai dig pulley

Using the pulley from another angle to release the roots on the opposite side of the rootball

Hornbeam bonsai dig

After 5 hours hard work, the tree was freed from the ground and ready to be taken home..........

Hornbeam bonsai dig

.........the rootball was wrapped up and the immense tree fitted into the back of Luka's car

Hornbeam bonsai dig

Back at Luka's garden, the Hornbeam was soaked in water and bare-rooted..........

hornbeam bonsai

..........before being potted up into a massive plastic tub.

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