Trunk chopped hornbeam design

I want to ask if anyone has any ideas for this hornbeam. It was trunk chopped a couple of years ago. I will give it another season before chopping again to graduate the taper a little less aggressively and let one of the lower branches take over the trunk line. My question is about the branch that is growing near ground level. Do I keep it as part of the design, only short term for improving vigour or lose it now so that the tree can put its energy into this years trunk thickening.


Seeing the time needed to put in in the future. I would try to graft a few branches where you need them along the trunk.
If you want to keep the lower branch (possible, depending on the nebari I think) you’d need to thinken it alot:)

You could create a second trunk with it (depending on your final decision for a front). By keeping it for a while it will increase the energy of the tree. I agree with waiting another year before doing another trunk chop. It will transition quite nicely then.

Great food for thought, thanks both. I hadn’t planned any branches below the point of the chop but I realise that the tree as a result may need to be taller than I might have planned. I have heard about ‘nicking’ the bark to encourage growth, which I guess comes from the resulting callous. The idea of a second trunk is interesting. The branches from it could be used to fill the negative space below the chop if it feels necessary at the time. I’ll let it grow this season and take a view in autumn.