The Korean Hornbeam is a small, graceful tree with overhanging, occasional weeping branches that form a rounded crown. Its leaves are deeply veined, smaller than the common hornbeams, are coloured bronze to light green when young, and have a fiery autumn display. It is Natïve to China, Korean and Japan where its dense and hardwood is used for making agricultural tool and handles.
Styles & Sizes: They make small to large bonsai in a host of upright and cascading styles.
Position: Loves a full sun position, though it can take a partially shaded location too. In summer protect from drying out by placing in a humidity tray.
Watering: Water thoroughly early in the morning especially in the summer as the Hornbeam likes moist soil.
Feeding: Feed with a balanced organic fertiliser. Organic manure, release its nutrients slowly ensuring that leaf sizes and internode distances stay small and controlled. If using a liquid fertiliser feed every two weeks, if feeding with a pelleted version feed when feed dissolves away.
Repotting: While the Grey alder is not too fussed by the soil it grows in, Alders roots grow very quickly and massively so younger bonsai need to be root pruned every year. Use a blend of loam, well-mulched bark, sharp sand, in equal parts. Alternatively, you can use a mix of Akadama, Pumice in equal parts.
Pruning: After the current year’s extension have fully extended prune back to leave 3 active leaf nodes or lateral shoots per stem. Heavy pruning is best carried out in late autumn early winter.
Wiring: The Korean hornbeam’s twiggy braches are best styled with the ‘clip and grow’ method. If wiring is required, wire in autumn and remove carefully in spring.