• Andrew Robson

Korean Hornbeam Project



We recently acquired an interesting Korean Hornbeam at RAKUYO from a deciduous friend/colleague in the local bonsai club. This tree was collected in Korea and imported by Bonsai Northwest in Seattle. Centered on the trunk is a hollow, which can either be embraced or hidden. These collected hornbeams tend to show their ruggedness even after decades of meticulous cultivation as a bonsai. The question this bonsai presents is how rugged do we want to final image to be? Hornbeams are commonly single trunk trees, which makes the multi-trunk clump form of this particular bonsai quite unique. We're quite fond of single trunk hornbeam bonsai, Jonas Dupuich has a great one, but we're excited about the unusual form that this bonsai represents and the rugged possibilities it offers.


front option 1 - no visible hollow


Front Option 1 allows us to hide the hollow in the rear, giving us a cleaner look. The attention focuses on the multi-trunk from rather than the base.

front option 2 - visible hollow


Front Option 2 makes the hollow a feature, and celebrates the rugged aspect of this bonsai. The attention is more on the base rather than the multiple trunks.


Which front do you like? We're still undecided, but winter is a great time to contemplate such things while being a slow time of year for tree work. Whenever we acquire a tree, we are slow to make changes. The first step is always to regain health and vigor, and we'll use the time that takes to create a design plan. Only then will we begin to prune thinks back, enhance the structure, and begin the process of growing fine twigging and ramification.


For now, we study and wait...

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© 2017 by Andrew Robson