Fagus grandifolia #3

Cmd5235

Shohin
Messages
351
Reaction score
423
Location
Southeast Pennsylvania
USDA Zone
6b
Just collected this beauty- going into a general pot this summer, hopefully it’ll pull through and I’ll be off to styling in a few years. Field collected from an area right by a major road.
 

Attachments

  • AA4D0D3F-03A2-4A73-8795-D9E2D5E3D09D.jpeg
    AA4D0D3F-03A2-4A73-8795-D9E2D5E3D09D.jpeg
    436.5 KB · Views: 24
  • D469C811-46AA-43DF-85F0-CAC800D245B5.jpeg
    D469C811-46AA-43DF-85F0-CAC800D245B5.jpeg
    455.1 KB · Views: 24
  • A0F7F798-8381-4645-8A06-70278F167CB7.jpeg
    A0F7F798-8381-4645-8A06-70278F167CB7.jpeg
    437 KB · Views: 24
  • DBA4807D-691A-4E04-9203-DE1F74C9B667.jpeg
    DBA4807D-691A-4E04-9203-DE1F74C9B667.jpeg
    453.6 KB · Views: 26
  • B8386EA1-4462-4BEF-B7FC-C87528620536.jpeg
    B8386EA1-4462-4BEF-B7FC-C87528620536.jpeg
    477.3 KB · Views: 24
  • BB051B23-DF8E-49CF-B143-7BD04B317202.jpeg
    BB051B23-DF8E-49CF-B143-7BD04B317202.jpeg
    451.1 KB · Views: 22

Cmd5235

Shohin
Messages
351
Reaction score
423
Location
Southeast Pennsylvania
USDA Zone
6b
Here are a few closer shots. I’m loving the big scar

7DAB0821-2149-4B2A-8636-A0F7361E708B.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • 4EDD5C26-A1DA-48A9-9A23-79BDEB9DB3EE.jpeg
    4EDD5C26-A1DA-48A9-9A23-79BDEB9DB3EE.jpeg
    196.9 KB · Views: 21

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
11,297
Reaction score
15,838
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Here are a few closer shots. I’m loving the big scar

View attachment 424732
You shouldn't really love that scar. While it's picturesque and dramatic now, it also has already compromised the tree's structure and potentially its health. It is already rotting out the interior from the looks of things. That water damage probably extends down into the root mass. Eventually the tree's interior will be hollow and hollowed out deciduous trees don't last very long, unlike hollow trunked conifers.

Rot is one reason deciduous bonsai don't really incorporate deadwood all that much. Long-term, deadwood on deciduous bonsai complicates their health...
 

Cmd5235

Shohin
Messages
351
Reaction score
423
Location
Southeast Pennsylvania
USDA Zone
6b
You shouldn't really love that scar. While it's picturesque and dramatic now, it also has already compromised the tree's structure and potentially its health. It is already rotting out the interior from the looks of things. That water damage probably extends down into the root mass. Eventually the tree's interior will be hollow and hollowed out deciduous trees don't last very long, unlike hollow trunked conifers.

Rot is one reason deciduous bonsai don't really incorporate deadwood all that much. Long-term, deadwood on deciduous bonsai complicates their health...
Yes, but most of the beech in my area are hollow. I’m planning to carve that out- I’m going for the hollow trunk on this one, and probably replace the lower part with a wood filler
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
11,297
Reaction score
15,838
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Yes, but most of the beech in my area are hollow. I’m planning to carve that out- I’m going for the hollow trunk on this one, and probably replace the lower part with a wood filler
Most of the beech in your area aren't bonsai ;-) Hollow trunked deciduous bonsai aren't distance runners. Hollow trunk deciduous bonsai don't last a very long time. Been there--done it with a few trees...dealt with the issues. Dealing with the issue now on a century old collected oak.

FWIW, a Japanese-trained bonsai instructor told me the same a while back. He said there are practically no deciduous trees with hollow trunks in Japan not because they break the rules, but because any deciduous tree with deadwood in its interior is understood to have a death sentence. He freaked out over a friend's hollowed out elm, saying the tree would be a shadow of itself, or dead within 15 years. He said the deadwood opens the interior of the tree up to all kinds of issues, from insect infestation and damage, to drying out and extreme temperatures. Rot is the primary enemy though. It is a slow killer.

No amount of filler, cement, etc. can stop rot. In fact, such treatment can ACCELERATE the issue, by sealing off moisture that gets behind it. Such treatment also gives owners a false sense of security. Many owners don't do the due diligence in drying the wood out and preparing it for sealants, fillers etc. Some treatment includes drying out the interior of the nebari BELOW the soil level. I would be surprised if this tree didn't have rot down below the soil level.

Not saying this tree shouldn't be a bonsai, but don't fall in love with a potentially fatal wound. Know the problems going in and work to mitigate them. Regular Lime sulfur application can help more than filler, as can removing rotted wood thoroughly--which means at next repot, having a look at the trunk from the underneath to see if you've got rot there. Work to get in and actually get an eyeball on the bottom of the trunk--which could mean clearing away significant rooting...Deadwood--like the damage on this tree--wicks water into the interior wood, where it drains downward. It never dries out on the interior. The bottoms of hollowed out trunk pools water that drains down in the remaining heartwood under the soil...
 
Last edited:

19Mateo83

Chumono
Messages
893
Reaction score
1,106
Location
Charlotte, NC 7B
USDA Zone
7b
Most of the beech in your area aren't bonsai ;-) Hollow trunked deciduous bonsai aren't distance runners. Hollow trunk deciduous bonsai don't last a very long time. Been there--done it with a few trees...dealt with the issues. Dealing with the issue now on a century old collected oak.

FWIW, a Japanese-trained bonsai instructor told me the same a while back. He said there are practically no deciduous trees with hollow trunks in Japan not because they break the rules, but because any deciduous tree with deadwood in its interior is understood to have a death sentence. He freaked out over a friend's hollowed out elm, saying the tree would be a shadow of itself, or dead within 15 years. He said the deadwood opens the interior of the tree up to all kinds of issues, from insect infestation and damage, to drying out and extreme temperatures. Rot is the primary enemy though. It is a slow killer.

No amount of filler, cement, etc. can stop rot. In fact, such treatment can ACCELERATE the issue, by sealing off moisture that gets behind it. Such treatment also gives owners a false sense of security. Many owners don't do the due diligence in drying the wood out and preparing it for sealants, fillers etc. Some treatment includes drying out the interior of the nebari BELOW the soil level. I would be surprised if this tree didn't have rot down below the soil level.

Not saying this tree shouldn't be a bonsai, but don't fall in love with a potentially fatal wound. Know the problems going in and work to mitigate them. Regular Lime sulfur application can help more than filler, as can removing rotted wood thoroughly--which means at next repot, having a look at the trunk from the underneath to see if you've got rot there. Work to get in and actually get an eyeball on the bottom of the trunk--which could mean clearing away significant rooting...Deadwood--like the damage on this tree--wicks water into the interior wood, where it drains downward. It never dries out on the interior. The bottoms of hollowed out trunk pools water that drains down in the remaining heartwood under the soil...
I kinda call BS on hollows being killers of trees. There’s a hollow poplar tree in a park in Winston Salem, NC that a farmer used to hide a cow in during the cival war. The tree is still going strong to this day.
https://www.forsyth.cc/parks/CGHill/poplar_tree.aspx
 

Cmd5235

Shohin
Messages
351
Reaction score
423
Location
Southeast Pennsylvania
USDA Zone
6b
I hear both of you and the comments you’ve made. Rockm- there’s no rot beneath the surface. This tree was basically bare rooted when collected a few weeks ago.

I’ve seen what Walter Pall can and has done with field and Japanese maples when it comes to having big, open scars and what seems to be fairly hollowed interiors. Obviously I’m no Walter Pall, nor will I be. And this is obviously not that quality of a tree that it will ever compare to his. However, I’m going to give it a shot and see what happens. Maybe it does alright, maybe it dies in a few years. I’ve got plenty of other material that isn’t hollow, so I feel this can be a fun and creative project even if it ends up dying.

And hey, who knows how it’ll even recover from being collected.
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
11,297
Reaction score
15,838
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
I am passing on direct and indirect experience with this. The tree may be fine for a while. I had a collected tree that had a hollowed out trunk that lived for 15 in a pot, however, it gradually developed issues with borers (they are attracted to exposed wood, which gives off a scent they pick up), interior rot and root issues. The tree gradually declined and kept dying back in large sections. I gave up on it.

Also had a big collected wild rose that had a trunk as big around as my arm--which was mostly hollow. I worked to eliminate the rot and sealed the interior with marine epoxy. That worked for a few years, until one morning, I was trying to carve out some deadwood spots and the entire epoxied surface caved in as I pressed on it to get leverage on one of those spots. The wood behind the epoxy sealant had rotted away, as the epoxy (which I had worked hard to make a tight seal) had held water against the wood. There was a leak somewhere that allowed water in, not alot, but enough to cause problems.

And as for hollow trees in nature, it's a different ball game, SOMETIMES...Some have growing conditions, or are vigorous enough, to outgrow problems. Those are the ones you see...The hollow trees you DON'T see are the ones that can't keep up and are dead on the forest floor. They're the trees felled by winds because their wood is too weak to support them, or simply collapse from constant insect and fungal attacks or whatever.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom