New beech (Fagus sylvatica) - advice?

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New beech (Fagus sylvatica) - advice?

Post  matt addie on Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:00 pm

Just thought I'd put up some pics of a new acquisition and to ask for some advice.

This beech tree was field grown for 12-15 years, was lifted and planted in it's current "tub" 2 years ago and has been allowed to grow unrestrained ever since.

The foliage is dense, with quite a lot of leaf growth in the canopy, close to the trunk. It's difficult to get across to you in photos the "inner workings" of the tree, but there are plenty of branches to choose from for future designs (in my opinion, anyway!).

As already stated, the tree has had unrestrained growth for 2 years and has apparently done very well - as a result it is quite overgrown and needs pruning to bring some definition.

My questions: would it be ok to prune during autumn and provide winter protection (unheated, detached garage)?

I'd like to repot next spring to bring out the best in the tree. It appears vigorous and full of health and has been in it's current tub for 2 and a bit years. Do you think next spring would be ok or should I be more patient? The soil is still draining very well so I'm not too concerned about waiting, it would just be nice to see it in it's future home. However, I don't want to risk disturbing the tree unnecessarily. Also, any ideas on pots? I know it's really difficult when you don't see the tree in real life but I was considering something like a cream oval?

As a learner, any advice relevant to keeping beech as bonsai would be greatly appreciated.

Dimensions: Height 24" (60 cm), root flare 4.5" (12 cm), main trunk 2" (5cm).



Inner structure from possible front:



Inner structure from possible back



Many thanks in advance for any advice

Matt

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Re: New beech (Fagus sylvatica) - advice?

Post  Tony on Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:57 pm

looks interesting... could be a son of a beech Suspect

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Re: New beech (Fagus sylvatica) - advice?

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:46 pm

A nice start, methinks, Matt. I can't offer any advice on keeping Beech, unfortunately. However, I'll be interested to read any that you recieve as I've got 3 'collections' of a similar/slightly larger girth (but taller) waiting patiently round the back of the house for me to do something with them.

@ Tony. Nah. The 10 inch thick, 6ft tall Beech I've got to collect from my neighbours garden before spring is gonna be the son of a Beech. And I'm still looking for offers of assistance in the lifting........ Very Happy

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Re: New beech (Fagus sylvatica) - advice?

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:37 pm

Yes, prune now after careful consideration. All shoots can be shortened to the first leaf and pointy bud (carefully). This should thin it out enough to see what else needs to go. No need for any winter protection where you are.

As it has been growing well for a couple of years, I'd say next spring will be fine for a thorough bare root inspection and a decision then as to whether roots can be reduced enough to go into your intended pot or perhaps an intermediate pot/box.

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Re: New beech (Fagus sylvatica) - advice?

Post  Jaco Kriek on Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:34 am

Hi Matt

I assume that the tree was planted in the tub for recovery and fast development after it was dug from the ground. From what I see the tree was planted very low in the tub. Was that on purpose? If it was planted higher in the tub there would have been lots more soil and space for root development for even faster and stronger growth. Just wondering what the reason was for planting it so low?

Jaco

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Beech thoughts

Post  juno on Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:05 pm

Hi Matt
from the pix it seems as though the branches all come out at the same level on the trunk - is that the case? If so I would be concerned that the trunk will really thicken here and could be a problem later, i'm assuming you aren't planning a broom? Also one of the branches looks as though it's planning to compete with the apex, given the chance, might be worth tackling that. Adventitious buds on beech won't always pop as readily as other deciduous trees, so be careful not to rely too heavily on them until they are established. Also beech is very apically dominant so balance the growth by keeping that in check at the apex and at the ends of branches. A few thoughts, for what they are worth,
Regards
Juno

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Re: New beech (Fagus sylvatica) - advice?

Post  matt addie on Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:01 pm

Thanks for all the comments. For those going (apologies - I know this only applies to a handful of IBCers) I'm going to take this along to Burrs where you can have a good poke around.

Tony - I hope it won't be so much of a Beech that I have to throw myself of Beech-y Head in despair! No

HR - Thanks for the comments and good luck with the six footer!!

Kev - as always, thanks for the advice and reassurance on pruning/repotting. I'm constantly studying this tree and looking at what seem to be quite a few options for future shaping.

Jaco - I agree your comments about the depth of potting are valid but the tree was lifted from the field and planted in the tub by it's previous owner two years ago, so I'm afraid I can't really comment on the intent - sorry. I am kinda hoping, though, that the tree has developed a shallow root system that will need little work before going into a more suitable pot.

Juno - your thoughts are worth a lot! It is true that 4 branches emanate from the area of what was the original "chop" in the field and I take your point on trunk thickening - a challenge that may need to be tackled before too long. Due to the amount of (unrestrained) growth and dense canopy, I've really struggled to give the whole impression of the tree in a photo but I believe there are plenty of options for future development (broom wasn't on my mind, informal upright was my aim) and one or more of those branches may go in the future. Similarly, well spotted with the apex! Again, there are 2 or 3 options here only 1 of each needs to be carried forward. As Kev advises, it needs careful thinning out and then studied again to see where to go next. I hope to be able to keep you posted on the forum at a later date. In the meantime, thankyou for your most useful sugestions, including those on growth patterns of beech! Very Happy

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Re: New beech (Fagus sylvatica) - advice?

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