European Hornbeam - tips on styling and pruning

Would like to get some tips and advices on styling this Hornbeam. I’m still at beginner phase, so i would really appreciate some input.
Also, if i understand correctly, i should wait with pruning until new growth hardens off, and i should wait with hard pruning until the late winter?



That’s an interesting tree. They develop fast so you’ll have fun with this one.

I think the main points I’d be looking to work on are:

  • I feel like a slight planting angle change to lean the apex a bit further right could work well
  • Disguise the awkward junction by wiring a branch in front or behind it
  • Branch selection around the middle area / 2nd big change in direction - it’s just a bit busy
  • Wire some angular movement into the branches where necessary, up n out

In terms of when to prune, before buds swell, after first growth has hardened and after leaf fall are the key times in my opinion.

Interestingly, with buds about to burst, I cut back some unwanted growth before repotting one of mine, and noticed that until I pruned the roots, it was bleeding just as much as a japanese maple in spring, sap running down the pruned branch.
Hope that helps give you some ideas, post back what you do, it’s really nice to see trees develop!

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