Frans Fontaine Hornbeams Early June Check-in - 2019

A few weeks back, I posted about how I fertilized the set of Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam trees and posted a photo of a few of them that are right outside of our screened porch. 

In a post from a few weeks back about our flowering Cherry, someone asked in the comments how these were doing.  Figured it warranted an update.

Today, here's a few photos showing these trees in their late Spring/early summer foliage.    You can see that they've all leaf'd out in a major way and they look great for year two.  I wasn't worried too much about these coming back, but I do have to admit that I am relieved that they did.  However....some of these do, indeed, look better - or more full - than others.

First, the top photo that shows four of the trees to the left from our patio.  These are all about the same in terms of thickness, lushness, etc.  They're all close to the same height and you can see that a couple of them have a really nice, thick set of leaves near the tops.  I think that's a great sign. 

One data point in the garden diary here.  Last Winter, I posted a photo showing that one of the trees - the fourth from the left, and the one furthest right in the photo above suddenly dropped all of its leaves before the others.  Today?  That tree appears to be just fine.   

Below, is a photo showing the last three - as we head to the north.  In particular, check out the tree on the far left of the photo compared to the other two.  The first tree is much more full.  The last two are significantly thinner, but they're still leafing out.  Now, there are a variety of reasons for these two to lack behind, but I'm thinking it is a combination of watering and light.

First light.  These trees are on the northside of our property and the final three or four are actually to the north of our house.  That means that they're likely getting quite a bit less light - and are in more shade - than the other ones. 

Water next.  I used a soaker hose for these trees and started it at the far right.  You can see it in the ground of this photo.  I ended up wrapping the soaker hose from right to left, then doubled it back to where it started.  That means that many of the trees further down to the left had *double* the water because by the time the soaker hose got to the end of the doubled-back section, it wasn't pouring out water so much.  Also, these two are a bit higher ground than the rest, so the water may run off a bit. 

I'm thinking of extending the bed to the east of #1 above to try to give it a bit more water retention this Summer and I'll try to baby these two.  Perhaps...a little milorganite scattered under the mulch will help?

For comparison's sake, here's what these trees looked like in August of last year after taking a full Summer of heat

These trees will be inventoried this year, but since this is the second year we've had them, I think I should try to age them appropriately.  Could they be ten years old? 

Also, I should try to document the gaps in between these trees this Summer as part of the inventory, right?  If these go thru the normal sleep/creep/leap cycle, this year, we should see some creeping up (and hopefully OUT) before seeing a big jump in the Summer of 2020. 


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