Care Of Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus) Boxhead Trees
We recommend the use of Empathy Rootgrow in preparation for planting trees and shrubs. It is a mycorrhizal fungi powder which is sprinkled into the planting hole to encourage strong growth and resistance to drought.
Watering: During the first season of planting, water and feed the trees regularly. We would suggest watering at least three times a week during the height of the summer Be generous with the water.
Clipping: should be done at least twice a year with sharp shears, at the beginning of the season when the trees are obviously starting to shoot out. It is difficult to put an exact time on this as the climate varies and there are differences in season. As a rough guide around mid May to mid June. This cut can be quite hard, keeping the straight sides of the box. If the cutter finds it easier they can construct a template from bamboo poles tied together to form the square. We would suggest shears to trim the trees as this gives more control, but secateurs may be needed for thicker branches.
The second cut should happen in late August before the tree has set in its buds for the first flush of growth in the following year. These buds will give the first leaves so if you have left it too late and you can clearly see the buds either trim very lightly avoiding the removal of as many buds as possible or leave the trimming until next year.
Remember the object is to fill in the square, therefore the trimming is very important as it will keep the tree in check and will stimulate growth inside the square.