beech ???

the3rdon

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So I rescued a Japanese Beech from a friend who had more $$ than he had knowledge of bonsai.. I don't have a pic to post yet, but a couple of questions..
The tree is older and has about a 2 1/2" trunk. It's a real beauty.. Problem is he left it in the house for too long into the winter.. Hence the absence of bonsai 101 knowledge.. Deciduous=outdoors.. The tree leaves were dried up when I got it.. It does have spring buds but they are pushing out brown.. Is there any hope for this tree?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Any chance the dried up leaves were from last year? They persist all winter.

New growth starts with the cigar-shaped buds stretching out and staying brown until they are a good 1/2" -3/4" long, and they leaf out late; mine hasn't leafed out yet in B'ham.

If the dried up leaves are from this year, and the current growth is bad, it's probably in trouble, since they really only push growth once in the spring.

Can you post some photos?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Here are what my J. Beech buds look like as of 5 minutes ago (multi-tasking today...:p)
Do yours look anything like these?
 

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the3rdon

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I can post pics sometime this weekend.. The leaves are from last year.. The new buds that are starting to open are putting out 1/4" to 1/2" leaves that are still brown.. I have never had a beech in the spring season, so I am not familiar with the new foliage..
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Sounds about normal. New buds have brown "hulls" that hold on to the elongating stem at the axils, as the bud stretches out with leaves opening along the way.

Definitely post some photos this weekend. You don't see too many J. Beech out there.

I've had the toughest time training mine. I love the tree, but for some reason, I can't get in sync with it's growth habit. As a result, the buds just keep getting farther and farther away from the trunk and heading it back makes it look rough. One day maybe it'll look good...
 

the3rdon

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I will try to get some posted tomorrow.. When you see it you will be as mad as I am if its damaged.. It is phenominal.. I guess there is hope in the fact that it is leafing out? A dead tree probably wouldn't leaf out? I have never killed a bonsai believe it or not, so I am not familiar with what they'll do near death.. Lol!
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Cool, looking forward to the pix.

If you haven't killed any trees yet, you're not trying hard enough :p
BUT, remember serissas and ficus trees are for sacrificing to the bonsai gods...keep the beech alive;)
Keeping my fingers crossed...
 

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I will try to get some posted tomorrow.. When you see it you will be as mad as I am if its damaged.. It is phenominal.. I guess there is hope in the fact that it is leafing out? A dead tree probably wouldn't leaf out? I have never killed a bonsai believe it or not, so I am not familiar with what they'll do near death.. Lol!
Just don't prune on it after it leafs. Beech do not bud back in the current year. Once it leafs thats all she wrote. Prune in fall and winter.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Just don't prune on it after it leafs. Beech do not bud back in the current year. Once it leafs thats all she wrote. Prune in fall and winter.
I did this last year and had better results. I tried to time it a little so that the buds could form at the cuts, but not sprout. I'm hoping this is the way to keep it from getting too leggy.

I'm also thinking that pinching the leaves as the buds open like J. Maple is something to do after it has developed decent branching and density...?
 

tom tynan

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The buds on this beech appear normal - a beech is usually the last tree to leaf out here in NY. I have a huge landscape tree that reacts the same way as my beech bonsai. My only caution to you is to watch the wire on the tree very carefully- the tree will put on growth surprisingly quickly and you will have terrible wire scars to deal with. The scarring on a beech tree will take a lifetime to heal - it is not the same as other decidous trees. So watch very carefull and be ready to remove the wire quickly. Also - do not wire too tightly. Good luck...Tom....
 

the3rdon

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Sorry guys, but due to my horrible wi-fi connection I can't upload pics. As soon as I take my laptop to my sisters I will get them up
 

mcpesq817

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I did this last year and had better results. I tried to time it a little so that the buds could form at the cuts, but not sprout. I'm hoping this is the way to keep it from getting too leggy.

I'm also thinking that pinching the leaves as the buds open like J. Maple is something to do after it has developed decent branching and density...?
Hi Brian,

Not sure if you've seen this or not, but Harry Harrington has a great article on his website on developing branching on beech:

http://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Beechadvancedpruning.htm

I have a couple of small beech (or is it beeches?) that I'm growing out right now, so I haven't tried his techniques yet.
 

garywood

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Bitches, I mean Beech are a different animal and it's crucial to understand what it is you are trying accomplish. They are slow in developing so any technique that's used must be the correct one for the stage of development because you usually just get the one shot each year. On young and vigorous trees there may be second growth but it's not always dependable. To offer advise without seeing what stage it's in or see how strong it grows would be speculation on my part and as I said, wrong technique and you've lost a year of construtive value.
Wood
 

reddog

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Bitches, I mean Beech are a different animal and it's crucial to understand what it is you are trying accomplish. They are slow in developing so any technique that's used must be the correct one for the stage of development because you usually just get the one shot each year. On young and vigorous trees there may be second growth but it's not always dependable. To offer advise without seeing what stage it's in or see how strong it grows would be speculation on my part and as I said, wrong technique and you've lost a year of construtive value.
Wood
gary: if a person wanted to trunk layer a japanese beech what is the best method and at what stage? chances of success?
 

the3rdon

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Is it weird that it's pushing brown leaves?? Is that normal for this time of year?
 

garywood

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John, the only method I have used is the one from Bonsai Today, an older issue. Cut a small groove and wire tourniquet in the groove. Right before bud movement and they are usually slow to root. having a vigorous tree speeds up the process. I like to use sphagnum moss next to the trunk and bury with soil. Hope this is clear :)
Wood
 
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