I’m looking for a little help and direction for this Hornbeam. Its root is over a rock and it’s a unique shaped tree, but I’m having trouble seeing its future. It started pushing leaves about a month ago since I had it on a heat mat and in my grow tent after its repot. I’ll let it push out all year to see what other options it presents, but looking for all your creative minds to help!
You are not kidding about being a unique shape. I would probably embrace and enhance the asymmetry by removing the branch that is on the opposite side from the long branch. I would then work on bringing the outer portion of the long branch down to form a semicascade (or close to it) with the tips coming up. Then bring the center branch up to build an apex that is on the same side as the long branch. I know hornbeam can be hard to bend so it will take some time.
Another option is to keep all of the branches and bring them down and then up like a very old live oak.
Oooh. I love the oak branch look! I contemplated cascade in the beginning but the type of repotting angle it would have required is beyond my skill at the moment. Would cascade still be possible given its length?
I was thinking of current planting angle (or a little tilt) due to the rock, but with the major branch leading downwards. Really not cascade or even semicascade, but in that area. I would see that as a wind influenced tree where the winds of one or two seasons have caused the branches to grow in one direction, but there is enough less windy time for more upright growth.
I agree with @MartyWeiser. If you tilt the angle slightly the movement through the trunk lends itself to a windswept. Though I think the top could use a little more movement as it’s starting to get straight.
The only watch out I would say I think the tree looks better going to the left due to the first twist in the trunk line. This may look totally different in front of the tree, but to me the pictures don’t look right when going to the right.