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American Beech bonsai

Posted by justeen_bonsai z7 VA (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 5, 06 at 16:33

Check this out! I collected this from the woods about a year ago and trunk-chopped it. I de-leafed it and I'm letting it grow out for a while until I start styling it! What do you think of the pot?!
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And the way I'm watering it too! Just completely wet a string, put one end in in a cup of water and the other end where you want the water to be let out, and it will slowly "siphon" the water up! You can see why I have to do that because of how unstable the soil is right now.
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Well, I'll update on it in a few months!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: American Beech bonsai

Interesting planting concept. However, for a tree this early in its development, I would probably recommend planting it in a training pot. It will help speed up the process, especially if you wish to thicken the trunk or the branches. Once the form of the tree has been more established, you can return it to this type of slab planting.

Secondly, I hope that you're not planning on keeping the beech like that for the entirety of its life. It does seem to be in good condition, but the new growth seems to be very soft and the internodes very long. It would probably be best in the long run if you transferred this bonsai back outside.

Finally, it's not extremely important to defoliate a tree so early in its development. It's typically used to promote much finer ramification/branching or to induce a second set of smaller leaves. Both functions are usually reserved to when the tree is coming close to "completion" (if you could call it that) and the main focus is on refining the details of the tree.


RE: American Beech bonsai

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 6, 06 at 17:31

You can certainly grow your plants the way you want, but I don't think you'll be pleased with the results of this setup. An outdoor tree is an outdoor tree period.

If you compare the growth you have on that to a beech out in the landscape, your plant looks weak and spindly because of lack of sun. Part of what makes a beech a happy camper is being exposed to the elements. It's not a houseplant.

You may be able to keep it alive indoors for a while, but it's growth and health overall will not be something even close to what you will get outdoors.


RE: American Beech bonsai

Thanks for the recomendations!

RE: American Beech bonsai

Hi justeen_bonsai ..... I really like your little greenhouse you made for your Beech. Did it survive so far as of March 30, 2007? I would love to see any follow-up pics of your American Beech bonsai.

I myself spent the last 3 years transplating a fat trunked 2 foot tall American Beech with miniature leaves that was growing as a sucker from the roots of big adult 80 year old Beech in my mother's back yard.

My first step was to sever the root system from the mother tree.....

Then the next step the 2nd year was to transplant it into a large pot......

Then my last step - the 3rd year (this year March of 2007) was to transplant it into a bonsai container... So far, so good but it's getting a slow start this spring as the buds haven't fattened up yet after coming out of its winter dormancy (Massachusetts, zone 5b).

I'll try and get some pics posted of my American Beech that I documented the before, during, and the after process of the 3 years of transplanting it. Their root sytem is VERY delicate to any trauma (transplanting).

I hope your Beech made it. It looks beutiful in the pictures you posted back in September of 2006.


RE: American Beech bonsai

Unfortunately, after months of waiting for those first spring leaves, I accepted defeat and layed the tree to rest in the woods. I think the way I planted it and the winter had something to do with it. I am happy with the results it gave me last year, though.
I'm still trying to get my ficus up and running, but it is sluggish, which is odd because I read ficuses are fast growers. I had originally bought it as a starter bonsai but didn't like the way they had just chopped it down to a stump and just let it grow. So, I'm starting over with a cutting. Good luck to you!

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