Today I went out in hopes of collecting some bald cypress. The water was up, however, so I had to fall back to Plan B. I ended up with some yaupons, huckleberries and even a pine. But the best find of the day was this tree, a truly great American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana.

This one checks all the boxes. The flaring root base and radial roots are terrific, the trunk has very nice muscling and movement, and the taper is great.













I’m thinking this view shows off everything better. What do you think?















And here it is, after I dusted the cut ends of the roots and potted it up. Notice how the roots are buried, to ensure they stay moist. And of course the trunk chop is sealed to prevent it drying out.

The base on this specimen is 4.5″, and it’s 24″ to the chop. I would expect the final height of this tree will be about 32-34″. The plan for this year is to let it grow out to get established in its nursery container. I’ll wire the primary branch structure sometime in late April. And of course there will be a new leader that will be allowed to run in order to produce a tapering transition from where the chop is into the new apex.

I should know in March whether I was successful with this one.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.