I feel a bit guilty about not showing more of the deciduous trees I’m working on, as they form about 45% of my collection. It is a sad default to be primarily blogging about the junipers and other conifers, but the reason is that conifers can sometimes be designed in a day, whereas the deciduous I have are either very young, or poorly balanced and very old—both of which need 10 or 15 years of work. This Winter Hazel is one of the poorly balanced older trees.
The Winter Hazel came into my yard last year, and is the oldest I’ve seen over here. In fact I’ve never seen an older one in Japan. Neither had Matt Reel when he visited my yard a few weeks ago. The problems of the tree were obvious. The larger trunks were to the outside of the base, and there was no center trunk. The center trunk had died, but, curiously, a shoot had developed right in the center of the old rotted hole. That shoot is now about 8 years old, but will take another 15 before it is the dominant trunk. A lot of foliage balancing by cutting leaves in half every year, and restraining some shoot areas and letting other areas run wild, is ahead in the reworking of this one. This photo is just after flowering, and the young leaves and shoots are just beginning to grow.