Carpinus betulus No.10 - "The Rusnak"
Let me tell you short story of this bonsai tree. The tree is Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). It has good nebari almost symmetrical growing towards to all directions.
It was reduced on spot during summer 2008. I brought it home in spring 2009. I collected it with big root ball and a lot of original soil was left around roots as you can see from the pictures from that time. I was afraid to remove too much of the soil at once. I would not leave so much of the original soil on the roots today for sure, but is certainly helped that hornbeam to adapt to its new home.
Originally tree had four trunks. I tend to believe it was chopped once and developed first split, than after few seasons chopped again and developed four trunks. Person who did that may be needed just sticks to support beans in his garden.
Those places on the tree where second chopping happened are clearly visible on pictures. Tree did not callous over it and wood consequently rotten. Those parts of the trunk will be hollowed further according my plan. Hope it will help the tree look even older.
In May 2010 during Lukas and Pepa Sirotny in my place we did some general reductions which gave the tree current basic shape.
Tree was wired several times. Initially just to give new leaders correct directions. And later in 2013 fullwiring of all branches followed.
Than I repotted the tree into temporary bonsai pot. Still too big to be final pot for it. But much better than original plastic pot. It was potted into mix of zeolite 4-8mm and Terramol with rough peat. Osmocote was also added directly into prepared soil mix.
During last season tree responded with rather week growth. In late spring and during summer it grew very slowly. Just towards end of the growing season it shoot few new shoots. According to my experience trees tend to do that when intense root work is done when repotted. So I was not touching it too much and just let it rest though whole 2014.
Now it was just right time to do a little reduction and correction of the branch structure and little wiring. You can see result on the pictures. Now tree has somehow squarish look, I know. But it will be corrected in following seasons and top part of the crown will grow higher. Structure will also change and branches will get thicker where it is needed which will improve overall image of the tree.
Also on this tree I use moss throughout whole year. It helps keeping wet environment around the roots during hot summers like ones we are having during this period of time. I believe it also helps tree to grow roots in top level of the substrate. Without moss cover, top of the substrate dries to quickly and this does not allow roots to develop where we want them.
According my plan to name some of my trees, I baptize this Hornbeam with name “Rusnak”. It is not named after famous Slovak hockey player Dárius Rusnák. Trees name is after place where it was born and where it was growing on lands where nation of Rusnaks is living.