Japanes Beech - Spring canopy Reduction

Bonsai Basho

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Hi all

Just thought I would share this article about canopy reduction and leaf trimming in Japanese Beech. I have had this tree for a couple of years and I'm building up to some more serious work next year. This year I'm working on increasing the number of viable buds by getting some sunlight into the canopy.

Nice beech, Phil...good article as well. It will be interesting to see if the technique causes new buds to develop inside the tree. it looks like you did this work before the leaves hardened off and turned darker green...any particular reason for the timing?
Japanese Beech

Hi Brian

Thanks for the positive feedback, I leaned this techniue from an English nurseryman called Ken Leavers.

In this case the timing is essential. You have to knock the strong shoots back to two leaves before they harden off. Just pinch out with the fingers. Usually I'd do this every few days but because I was worried about frost damage from our recent cold winter I let the second flush fully emerge. I need not have worried the tree was fine. The trick is to cut back the strong growth to 2 leaves and the weak to 4 as early as you can. Leaf reduction can be applied safely afterwards.

In a tree with a dense canopy like this the inner buds need a bit of help to become viable. This was one of the problems with the tree in the past. Mature Japanese Beech often just don't cope with full defoliation and the risk of loosing branches is way too high. This method is very safe and will result in more buds closer in to the trunk.
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