Spring Leaf-Out Frans Fontaine Columnar Hornbeam Trees - May 2021
The last time I posted a photo of our stand of eight Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam trees that we have arranged in a hedge was last Fall when they all dropped their leaves. We've had a VERY dry Spring around here in Zone 5b - almost no rain. And, I can't help but think that's slowed down some things like the leaf'ing out of our deciduous conifers (Dawn Redwood and Bald Cypress are VERY SLOW to wake up this Spring) and I assumed that was the case with these Frans Fontaine Hornbeams.
You can see what they look like in the photo above - nice and leafy green.
And, I figured they *were* behind. But, when you look back at this post from exactly a year ago (May 1, 2020), you can see that the trees are actually AHEAD of last year. One other thing to note in the [garden diary] is that I extended the bed below these trees out by about a foot.
In terms of how dense they are (currently), here's a look at one of the interiors - about head height - as it leaf's out. There's the main trunk and a few small branches. And quite a few super-thin sub-branches. And, while you can see through it, you can start to see how it will be screening in a week or two.
I also wanted to document the gaps between the trees. I get a few emails per year from people who are thinking of buying these type of columnar trees to use as a hedge that ask: "How far apart are your Frans Fontaine Hornbeam trees planted?" The answer: I put them at six feet. And I think that was the right decision. The gaps that were there back when we planted in 2018 are shrinking down in 2021. Here, below, is one of them that I thought was an easy photo to reproduce later this Summer. Our neighbor's porch with fireplace chimney lines up in between these two - and you can see the current gap.
There are two gaps (this being one of them) that are larger than the others. I'm going to ensure I feed these three trees that are the cause of the gaps and, we'll see if these couple of trees catch up to the others this growing season.