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Starting a Beech Forest
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Author:  Brahma [ 15 Sep 2017, 20:48 ]
Post subject:  Starting a Beech Forest

Hi folks,

I want to have a go at creating a Beech forest and thought I'd get some hedging plants to use. I have seen a post on William Valvanis' block (https://valavanisbonsaiblog.com/2014/03 ... est-bonsai) where he has done this with quite a lot of trees and the result looks great. I thought I'd buy a batch and of bare rooted trees in the autumn - what would the general advice be for this? Is it a daft idea? If I buy them and some are too big, can I cut them down? Do beech back bud? Should I assemble them as a forest this's autumn if they're bare roots? Or should I just plunge them into a general compost for the winter and assemble in spring?

Have any of you fellow WeeTree fans got any beech forests that you could share some pictures of?

Thanks all,

Andy

Author:  Nigel Croome [ 15 Sep 2017, 23:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

Hi Brahma this is my Beech forest that I started may be 3 years ago. It has 7 trees of all different sizes with the largest now being just over 3 feet tall with a Nebari of 7-9 inches. I'll take a picture of it tomorrow and put it on here. If you want to build a good group/forest planting you need trees of different trunk sizes and height to give it a good depth and perspective. Hope this is of help.
Cheers Nigel.

Author:  Gary Jones [ 16 Sep 2017, 00:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

My gut reaction would be to buy them in spring! Failing that, root work caused by planting them together will remove valuable resources at this time so you're best to not reduce roots now so perhaps dumped in compost is best and then group them in spring just as the buds swell. A forest composition is best with differing heights and sizes so yes you'll need to chop some of them to get the right image. They're strong growers and bud well.

Here's some pictures of mine over a couple of years. It was hedging material planted together Autumn 2014 (wrong time of year according to my advice) as a club project and given to me as a freebie the next Spring.

Summer 2015

Image

december 2015
Image

summer 2016
Image

winter 2016/17
Image

repotted spring 2017
Image

June 2017
Image

Author:  Brahma [ 16 Sep 2017, 07:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

Thanks gents - appreciate the advice.

Nigel - I really like what you have put together - it's a beast at 3ft tall - I bet that's heavy to shift around? How wide are the trunks they look quite thick?

Gary - that's looking good on the slab. I like the "mound" that you have developed it really adds to the visual impact. Is this the group that you tried different pruning methods in last year? Were you able to draw any conclusions?

Andy

Author:  Nigel Croome [ 16 Sep 2017, 09:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

Hi Brahma You are correct mate it's really heavy to move around (it's a 2 man job). There are some pretty chunky trees in the group with the thickest trunk easily 4" then there are a couple around 3" with the rest going down to about an inch maybe a little bigger.. Cheers Nigel.

Author:  Gary Jones [ 16 Sep 2017, 10:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

Brahma wrote:
Thanks gents - appreciate the advice.

Nigel - I really like what you have put together - it's a beast at 3ft tall - I bet that's heavy to shift around? How wide are the trunks they look quite thick?

Gary - that's looking good on the slab. I like the "mound" that you have developed it really adds to the visual impact. Is this the group that you tried different pruning methods in last year? Were you able to draw any conclusions?

Andy


Yes - it's that same group. So far my conclusion is that the early pruning of the shoots as they extend does seem to work. It helps produce tighter ramification more quickly, leads to smaller leaves and stops the group becoming over dense.

Author:  Nigel Croome [ 16 Sep 2017, 10:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

Hi Brahma no rain at the moment so I took a couple of pictures of the group. As you can see in the first picture the group has come a long way over the last couple of years with a load of foliage and now with a really pleasing canopy. To get the canopy like it is I've used Walter Pall's hedge trimming method and just a little selective branch pruning. Hoping to get a pot for this to go in next Spring but it's going to cost a fair bit as it needs to be 30"x 24" x 5" or there abouts so if there's anyone out there with a pot that sort of size with a colour that goes with a Beech could you please PM here. Hope you like it.
Cheers Nigel.

Author:  Brahma [ 17 Sep 2017, 14:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

Gary Jones wrote:
Brahma wrote:
Thanks gents - appreciate the advice.

Nigel - I really like what you have put together - it's a beast at 3ft tall - I bet that's heavy to shift around? How wide are the trunks they look quite thick?

Gary - that's looking good on the slab. I like the "mound" that you have developed it really adds to the visual impact. Is this the group that you tried different pruning methods in last year? Were you able to draw any conclusions?

Andy


Yes - it's that same group. So far my conclusion is that the early pruning of the shoots as they extend does seem to work. It helps produce tighter ramification more quickly, leads to smaller leaves and stops the group becoming over dense.


Thanks Gary - I'll try next year on mine - I've got a couple of trees that are a bit leggy this might help to bring the growth back to the trunk a bit

Author:  Brahma [ 17 Sep 2017, 14:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

Nigel Croome wrote:
Hi Brahma no rain at the moment so I took a couple of pictures of the group. As you can see in the first picture the group has come a long way over the last couple of years with a load of foliage and now with a really pleasing canopy. To get the canopy like it is I've used Walter Pall's hedge trimming method and just a little selective branch pruning. Hoping to get a pot for this to go in next Spring but it's going to cost a fair bit as it needs to be 30"x 24" x 5" or there abouts so if there's anyone out there with a pot that sort of size with a colour that goes with a Beech could you please PM here. Hope you like it.
Cheers Nigel.


Thanks for taking the time to photograph it, Nigel. The close up shows the nebari really well, some really good roots young on! Nice dense canopy too - do you use the same technique as Gary or just the WP method? I'm going to try this on my new Acer Pal group next year. When didn't you cut it all back?

Author:  Nigel Croome [ 18 Sep 2017, 11:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Starting a Beech Forest

Hi Brahma I've just used Walters Pall's method so far but that will change next year as I'll start the process of selective pruning to remove any thick branches that are not needed and improve the twig structure for a more refined image.
Cheers Nigel.

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