Japanese and European Beech

AndyJ

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Hello folks,

I have posted on a UK bonsai board to ask some questions about Japanese and European Beech and I've got lots of great advice and plan on following this advive forward. My question was about what techniques folks use to develop their Beech trees - things like approach grafts, thread grafts, air and ground layering etc., I'd really like to know what you guys in the US do and if anything is different to what we do in th UK?

I have also been told that there are some great articles in issues 48 and 49 of Bonsai Today that cover Beech Tree development - I've managed to track down a copy of issue 49 which I've bought and am waiting to be delivered, but can't find issue 48 anywhere. Does anyone have a copy they would be happy to sell to me?

Thanks all,

Andy
 

JudyB

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I have both types and have not used any grafting or layering techniques on them. Would be interested to see if anyone here has though.
 

AndyJ

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Hi Juds,

I guess nobody has done any grafting or layering on either European or Japanese Beech - so that's my answer!

Andy
 
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European beech, layering does work, but less consequent as other species. Not a perfect 360° in my case. (50+ seedlings in ground, groundlayering). 3 where ok and are now a few years old. Looong way to go. Japanese beech, i'm looking for.
 

EPM

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I have a japanese beech I'm looking to air layer. It has no branches down low, and is too tall for a forest planting (assuming I could get my hands on some more japanese beech). So air layering is really my only alternative, at least I think.

Bonsai Today 33 also has an article on air layering beech. I'm not willing to part with my copy but here's a synopsis: The tree they work on is fairly large. They cut a groove 3 mm wide, and then embedded a 4 mm copper wire into the groove. Then they painted the cut with hormone power paste and wrapped/supported a split pot around the cut. Some long fibered moss was wrapped around the cut and the pot was filled with a humus based soil. Water, place in the sun and rotate the pot periodically to ensure all sides get sun. They had success with this technique when starting in February in Japan. Starting an air layer on japanese beech in summer they say is problematic because the growth was too vigorous and the callous went over the wire, rather than forming roots.

An interesting side note is that they repotted the tree the year before air layering and the tree actually produced significant budding on old wood. I always thought beech were reluctant to back bud but maybe I was wrong. I may try getting my tree healthier and try to reign in the top of it through pruning to see if I can induce some back budding prior to giving the air layering a shot.

I have no info on grafting for beech. If you come across any other resources on grafting, air layering, ground layering, or just beech development in general, please share with the group on this thread.

Best of luck and I hope this helps.

P.S. I just did a google search and came across this. I think this is what you are looking for(Bonsai Today 48 article on beech). It looks like a rehash of the article i referenced in Bonsai Today 33:

http://bonsaibark.com/2009/07/31/a-simple-air-layering-technique/
http://bonsaibark.com/2009/08/01/a-simple-air-layering-technique-part-2/
http://bonsaibark.com/2009/09/12/a-simple-air-layering-technique-part-3/
 

MACH5

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I will be layering a large Japanese beech next year in the hopes of creating a multi trunk bonsai out of the current material. We shall see but I intend to report back with results. Fingers crossed.
 

AndyJ

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Thanks for your answers folks. In summary, it seems that both EB and JB are quite challenging when it comes to this type of development. Food for thought .... I'm in the same boat EPM; I've bought four 5/6ft JB that have nice shohin sized trunks but a couple of feet of bare trunk - hence my airlayer / graft questions.

I am thinking about a good old chop! I understand Beech don't back bud very well - how do they respond if you give them a trunk chop?

Thanks again everyone

Andy
 

MACH5

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Thanks for your answers folks. In summary, it seems that both EB and JB are quite challenging when it comes to this type of development. Food for thought .... I'm in the same boat EPM; I've bought four 5/6ft JB that have nice shohin sized trunks but a couple of feet of bare trunk - hence my airlayer / graft questions.

I am thinking about a good old chop! I understand Beech don't back bud very well - how do they respond if you give them a trunk chop?

Thanks again everyone

Andy


Andy based on my own experience, Japanese beech can/do bud back but more caution must be taken. I almost treat them a bit like conifers (sort of). On weak branches you must leave at least one or two viable buds otherwise almost certain that the branch will die back. On strong branches this is almost never an issue and will bud back easily with no problem even leaving no visible buds on it. On branches of medium strength, you might often see really tiny buds along its length here and there. When I have seen these, I have cut back hard in early summer. This resulted in those tiny buds elongating all through the growing season getting ready for next year. None actually opened up into leaves but just got bigger to the size of a regular bud.

As far as trunk chopping, I have not done this yet with this species. I would say do it in stages and not all at once like you would do with say a Japanese maple to trident.

When I get a chance I will try and provide photos illustrating what I mentioned above.
 
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I have a japanese beech I'm looking to air layer. It has no branches down low, and is too tall for a forest planting (assuming I could get my hands on some more japanese beech). So air layering is really my only alternative, at least I think.

Bonsai Today 33 also has an article on air layering beech. I'm not willing to part with my copy but here's a synopsis: The tree they work on is fairly large. They cut a groove 3 mm wide, and then embedded a 4 mm copper wire into the groove. Then they painted the cut with hormone power paste and wrapped/supported a split pot around the cut. Some long fibered moss was wrapped around the cut and the pot was filled with a humus based soil. Water, place in the sun and rotate the pot periodically to ensure all sides get sun. They had success with this technique when starting in February in Japan. Starting an air layer on japanese beech in summer they say is problematic because the growth was too vigorous and the callous went over the wire, rather than forming roots.

An interesting side note is that they repotted the tree the year before air layering and the tree actually produced significant budding on old wood. I always thought beech were reluctant to back bud but maybe I was wrong. I may try getting my tree healthier and try to reign in the top of it through pruning to see if I can induce some back budding prior to giving the air layering a shot.

I have no info on grafting for beech. If you come across any other resources on grafting, air layering, ground layering, or just beech development in general, please share with the group on this thread.

Best of luck and I hope this helps.

P.S. I just did a google search and came across this. I think this is what you are looking for(Bonsai Today 48 article on beech). It looks like a rehash of the article i referenced in Bonsai Today 33:

http://bonsaibark.com/2009/07/31/a-simple-air-layering-technique/
http://bonsaibark.com/2009/08/01/a-simple-air-layering-technique-part-2/
http://bonsaibark.com/2009/09/12/a-simple-air-layering-technique-part-3/
I've seen local beech sprout from a drastic trunk pruning in the wild. I've had no luck collecting them. I made the mistakes of putting them back in the ground in full sun. I'm ready to try again.
 

Aiki_Joker

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Can't understand no easy back budding/grafting. EU beech is a spp. historically used in coppicing. A weak coppice spp. But a coppice spp. nonetheless.
 

Stan Kengai

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I will be layering a large Japanese beech next year in the hopes of creating a multi trunk bonsai out of the current material. We shall see but I intend to report back with results. Fingers crossed.

@MACH5 did this ever come to fruition?
 

MACH5

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@MACH5 did this ever come to fruition?


Stan, the beech has produced roots. Now the question remains if it has roots all around or just one sided? In the spring I will take a look and see where I am at. It is encouraging to see roots for sure! In addition I have another beech of similar size that also produced roots although it took a lot longer to do so. We shall see.
 

Aiki_Joker

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Andy based on my own experience, Japanese beech can/do bud back but more caution must be taken. I almost treat them a bit like conifers (sort of). On weak branches you must leave at least one or two viable buds otherwise almost certain that the branch will die back. On strong branches this is almost never an issue and will bud back easily with no problem even leaving no visible buds on it. On branches of medium strength, you might often see really tiny buds along its length here and there. When I have seen these, I have cut back hard in early summer. This resulted in those tiny buds elongating all through the growing season getting ready for next year. None actually opened up into leaves but just got bigger to the size of a regular bud.

As far as trunk chopping, I have not done this yet with this species. I would say do it in stages and not all at once like you would do with say a Japanese maple to trident.

When I get a chance I will try and provide photos illustrating what I mentioned above.
It seems EU beech might be similar. Not easily back budded under stresses. The ones in the wild will back bud but they are known as a weak (but viable) species to coppice here in the UK.

I collected and cut one last year (probably will use this for a landscape tree) with no visible developed buds or branches on the trunk. It pushed just two epicormic buds and only developed one. The other one looks ok and has moved around a bit. Hoping this will develop next season. It produced just one branch with approx 30 leaves and about 5 divisions. This tree was weakened by collection of course. Hopefully more buds will appear next year.
 

Stan Kengai

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Stan, the beech has produced roots. Now the question remains if it has roots all around or just one sided? In the spring I will take a look and see where I am at. It is encouraging to see roots for sure! In addition I have another beech of similar size that also produced roots although it took a lot longer to do so. We shall see.
Thank you for the update. That is excellent to hear you got roots.
 

AlainK

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I used a technique I read in a bonsai magazine, from an article published in Japan for Japanese beech, on a European beech, and it worked. To be done in mid-February in zone 8 (at leat one month before budbreak):

20130224014546-24d743e4.jpg
20130224014548-51ffcf10.jpg
20130224014550-3afb6052.jpg
 

GGB

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Whoa, it's only 1 example of the tourniquet method but I'd put my money on it versus anyother method. assuming those roots are coming out the same way on the other side of the tree
 

MACH5

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I used a technique I read in a bonsai magazine, from an article published in Japan for Japanese beech, on a European beech, and it worked. To be done in mid-February in zone 8 (at leat one month before budbreak):

20130224014546-24d743e4.jpg
20130224014548-51ffcf10.jpg
20130224014550-3afb6052.jpg


That's fantastic Alain! So good to see. I did not use this method because the contour of my tree proved too difficult to effectively wrap the wire tightly all round. I opted to go for the ring method which also worked but not sure if I will have roots all around.
 

0soyoung

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So, why would a tourniquet versus a girdle make any difference?

It seems to me that adventitious rooting is driven by the auxin flow from above and that it matters not whether done with a tourniquet or by girdling the stem. If I layer a horizontal branch, I get most, if not all, adventitious roots on the underside. A vertical stem/trunk is the most likely to produce adventitious roots uniformly around the bole regardless of whether I do this by girdling the stem or applying a tourniquet. Rooting tends to take longer to produce roots, but will cause a bit more basal flaring of the layer. It takes longer because the stem must first grow enough to disrupt the cambium underneath it. With girdling we remove the cambium in the --> the cambium is disrupted immediately.
 

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