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Carpinus orientalis/ Oriental Hornbeam is native to areas of the world that are typically drier and hotter than those typical of the more familiar Carpinus betulus/ European Hornbeam, found in cooler areas of Northern Europe. The Oriental Hornbeam however is still very hardy and regularly experiences temperatures below -10C or less in mainland Croatia.
This monster of an Oriental Hornbeam was collected in Croatia by Luka Musich in early 2012 from an area of stony ground or scree. Luka explained to me that the tree was growing on an area of land along with many other Hornbeam that were used for firewood by the locals.
Above Luka can be seen with the Hornbeam as it was originally found growing, and beginning to chop the trunks in preparation for collection.
The Hornbeam chopped and ready for digging.
Some of the local population came to watch Luka and his friend dig the tree!
After the Hornbeam had been trenched (to cut a ring around the tree being collected so that the rootball is dramatically reduced in size for collection), Luka started using a pulley system to help free the tree from the ground
Using the pulley from another angle to release the roots on the opposite side of the rootball
After 5 hours hard work, the tree was freed from the ground and ready to be taken home..........
.........the rootball was wrapped up and the immense tree fitted into the back of Luka's car
Back at Luka's garden, the Hornbeam was soaked in water and bare-rooted..........
..........before being potted up into a massive plastic tub.