European Beech material

BobbyLane

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ive killed nearly every Beech ive worked on.ive repotted them in spring and left decent roots on and theyve still not survived. i repotted one in jan and its still alive, but been in a grow bed for nearly two years now, that one is a keeper all my others have perished!
anyway i was out at one of my places today and theres a few that have been out in the fields for maybe 2 or 3 years now all were planted from nursery stock to sell as hedging. in a week or so they will go out there with a digger and pull everything up!
i was allowed to go out in the field and dig one up myself for, he only charged me £10 for this piece of material, i thought what the hell, ill try another!
i didnt get as much root as i liked though, they usually get more root with the diggers as they get right under the rootball, next time ill bring my rootslayer and see how that does...

ive planted the entire rootball in with spagnum moss.took ages to nibble away at it with knob cuttersand get it flat enough to go in this pot.theres a few feeder roots here n there but ive killed them before with more feeders roots on.ive potted one before in jan and used a bit of spagnum moss on the roots though so will see if that is the trick...
this will go in a greenhouse now will be watered in with some fish emulsion, that reminds me i must get some more sea weed tonic!20191107_190349.jpg
 

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leatherback

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Nice tree.
Maybe you should take a little more time with beech. No need to get it in a small container directly ..
I have not had any trouble with them, but I do find they have a hard time dealing with full removal of small roots. Trim to side roots seems to work.
 

Woocash

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Yea nice material. I too have been pondering about gradual acclimatisation on sensitive species such as hawthorn and beech. I’m sure there must be a belt and braces technique for these species, even if it takes several years to get it into a small enough pot. Hope this one works for you.
 

BobbyLane

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i guess if i had a garden i would use grow boxes, but for me these terracotta training pots are a fairly decent size as most of the stuff is being downsized from nursery stock usually.
this beech had lots of roots close to the trunk, lots of feeders, i repotted in may just as buds were appearing, we can see from the picture that the oval pot would of taken a fair amount of root mass. this tree was bought from a collecter who had already established it in a crate two years from collection. we can see from the root system that the tree was ready. and the oval pot isnt shallow.
it did fine initially and then the leaves started weeping
20190502_161735 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

the carving the deep hollow into the trunk could of weakened it too though. but, i also didnt take the hollow all the way to the base as i was mindful of cutting off sap flow from the entire root base.
shit happens eh

the cutting of the two largest roots i think might have been the killer actually, but youd have thought there was still enough feeder roots
 
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leatherback

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Don't you think may is very late? i am not sure, but I seem to have remeberd beech are best collected in fall. I had to trim roots on my beech, which I did 2 weeks ago.
 

BobbyLane

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Don't you think may is very late? i am not sure, but I seem to have remeberd beech are best collected in fall. I had to trim roots on my beech, which I did 2 weeks ago.
well i was just going by the buds moving, i thought it would be safe to repot at that time. it was a late mover as beech n oak usually are. but yeh ive repotted them in jan and they have been fine.
guess im just learning that for beech in particular, in my experience spring is not a good time. but most of what ive done with beeches i could get away with on hornbeams, so i sort of went right off beech for a while!
 
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BobbyLane

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Woocash

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Beech are such beautiful trees, so I can see why you love your Hornbeam - especially if they are that much easier. My thoughts as regards to winter collecting were due to the fickle nature of some of our deciduous trees. Oak, Beech and Ash, in particular, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere (maybe on Kaizen) that they have a slightly different cycle to other deciduous in the way they wake up from dormancy. I wish I could remember or had bookmarked because everything seemed to point to winter work, as ours aren’t too ferocious generally and theses trees are particularly sensitive in spring.

Either way, I’m going to pick up a couple of bare root beech in a week or two so i’ll see how they get on.
 

BobbyLane

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Beech are such beautiful trees, so I can see why you love your Hornbeam - especially if they are that much easier. My thoughts as regards to winter collecting were due to the fickle nature of some of our deciduous trees. Oak, Beech and Ash, in particular, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere (maybe on Kaizen) that they have a slightly different cycle to other deciduous in the way they wake up from dormancy. I wish I could remember or had bookmarked because everything seemed to point to winter work, as ours aren’t too ferocious generally and theses trees are particularly sensitive in spring.

Either way, I’m going to pick up a couple of bare root beech in a week or two so i’ll see how they get on.
yes mate you need the experience. whats important is that you get out there and try things then judge for yourself and see what works for you. there will always be varied opinions. native trees are pretty easy to come by and dont always have to cost an arm n leg. go experiment
 

Sn0W

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I don't know how you managed to get your material so cheap! I'm certainly jealous. A beech that size, grown for hedging, would cost £40+ even if I dug it myself from around here.
 

BobbyLane

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in the greenhouse after i made a couple more chops, i think at some point this beech would need to be ground layered.
thats the other thing with beech compared to hornbeam, you rarely get the former with good nebari.
 

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Paulpash

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Beech are difficult - I killed several in the early years so don't feel bad mate. They are basically deciduous Pines in many ways and you have to treat them similarly, both in terms of physical collection and rest periods. I've currently got two in containers that were in the ground, one Japanese and the other Sylvatica (layered) and 2 more (Crenata), growing on.

Doing too much carving as you've probably twigged can result in vascular collapse so I'd be very wary using a makita on one except to accentuate an already dead area or pruned branch. Running shari down live wood is risky.
 
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BobbyLane

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most of mine weakened after root work, ive only really carved two fat stumps

this one was in a crate and leafed out grew well over one summer but didnt make it through winter and didnt wake up the following spring. but i did quite a bit of leaf pruning and defoliation on it which probably weakened it
im looking for another like this, ill be digging up a few next week with a view to keeping one and selling the rest

this one had potential, also from the same place as the first beech on this thread so i can get more anyway


they grow slow so if i keep one now, then it has to already have a lot of branching and a bit of ramification to start with.
 
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Djtommy

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First time I did heavy rootwork on my beach, I lost 2 big branches and the tree barely grow the whole year. Since then I have repotted again but not barerooting, just reducing the roots and the tree was happier then ever.
 

Cattwooduk

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Glad I read this thread! I've got a couple of copper beech I picked up a few months ago still sat in nursery pots - I had planned on doing some initial root work and sticking them in the ground in spring as buds move. As mentioned above I kinda figured beech was basically like hornbeam which I've managed to dig up and decimate roots and not kill any yet so far.

I may do some minor root reduction and put one in the ground next few weeks and then do the other a bit later in winter, see how they fare by comparison. Only bought them because they were super cheap and had a bit of nice movement so plan was to leave them in the ground and work on them there for a few years.
 
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