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Hornbeam tree in pot

Hi all. We had to uproot a recently planted Hornbeam (1 year in the ground) due to a change of garden layout. We potted it short term, plenty of compost and lots of watering and it seem really happy. Am I able to actually keep it in the pot long-term?
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,549
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • It’s 60cm in diameter 
  • Ah I saw the Wink! Of course, itll
    no Grow to those sizes but I wondered if it would be happy for a few years
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 3,929
    Pot already rather small for your tree.
    Long term tree will be far happier in the ground.
    They can get rather large and if it is Carpinus betulus fastigiata they start very slim then get  very fat.....upside down pyramidal in shape.
    You may find it blocks your light from your home.
    Think carefully.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=carpinus+betulus+fastigiata&client=firefox-b-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiiquyvg7XwAhXNQkEAHQLyBDIQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1280&bih=579#imgrc=W66W6lZwzaZXkM
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 3,929
    see above.

    We thought we were always careful when planting.
    But we weren't.
    This is what happens to trees in pots ..they get root bound...then if not planted correctly they strangle the trunk. Fall over/die.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,653
    It depends what you mean by long term. You can't keep it in a pot indefinitely without it going into a premature decline, but you can certainly keep it in a large pot for a number of years - up until it starts to get too big, or shows terminal signs of stress due to the confinement.

    For such a potentially large tree it might actually be a sensible idea, although it might seem a bit cruel to grow it knowing that you are going to cut its life short at some point.
  • Thanks @Loxley - what size pot would you suggest?? If I can keep it happy for even another year or two, whilst we replan the rest of the garden it would be great, I can then get it into the ground or even sell on to a new home. Alternatively if it’ll be happier I can pop it into the ground but it may end up moving again in a coupon of years. Perhap this is maybe the better option. Pic of garden below, if you have a suggestion where it would be happy let me know! Back right seems ideal but we get sun through there later in the day so had planned on a silver birch which is less dense, but perhaps they’ll work together? Other option is in the bed to it’s left but I fear it’s too big to be that close to the house?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,083
    Hornbeams are often grown as normal hedges or pleached hedges (on bare stems) so I expect you could prune yours and grow it as a formal column or buy it a few friends and plant them as a pleached hedge.

    Either way, best in the ground.

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=155
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/garden-inspiration/design/how-to-create-a-cool-and-calm-sanctuary for ideas and how to.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,653
    what size pot would you suggest?? If I can keep it happy for even another year or two, whilst we replan the rest of the garden it would be great, I can then get it into the ground or even sell on to a new home. Alternatively if it’ll be happier I can pop it into the ground but it may end up moving again in a coupon of years. Perhap this is maybe the better option. Pic of garden below, if you have a suggestion where it would be happy let me know! Back right seems ideal but we get sun through there later in the day so had planned on a silver birch which is less dense, but perhaps they’ll work together? Other option is in the bed to it’s left but I fear it’s too big to be that close to the house?
    One option would be to pot into a slightly bigger pot now and every subsequent year or two. 

    If you put it in the ground and know you want to move it in a year or two, root pruning in advance of the move might help you transplant it successfully. But you can only transplant while it's dormant: if you move in summertime, you're stuffed unless the new owners let you come back later for the tree!
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,113
    If you put it in the actual soil of your plot, have you considered cutting the tree down (not joking)?  If you do, around November time, it'll produce multiple stems the following year as do all such tree varieties under what the boffins refer to as 'coppicing'.  If/when it gets too big, you cut it down again, but ALWAYS when the leaf is off and the sap has drained down into the root stock.  Good firewood!
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