Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Steven on November 30, 2009, 09:56 PM

Title: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on November 30, 2009, 09:56 PM
Started stylin this tree at our study group this past saturday. I removed the leaves so that I could apply the wire better. Worked on it some more sunday since it was a good day down here. Once I got so far up the tree I came to the top 3rd. This place on the tree was causin me some problems of where to go. I thought I could continue the trunkline once I removed that fat short stub branche goin to the left. But there is still the void from the top two-thirds to that point. Then there was what was goin on on the right. Lots of mass branchin but really no direction. Well after sleepin on it I took it to work today and worked on it some more. The last pic(s) shows what I've come up with if or once I remove the top 3rd that is "ugly". I got it started but I can still change it back or continue on at this point. It will take awhile to get that branch up far enough to be the new apex. any ideas or thoughts? Thanks!
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on November 30, 2009, 09:59 PM
Here I blocked out the current apex to better show the branch that can become the new apex. I would not be losin much height on the tree if i can get this branch pulled up to the right position. This branch would give better taper.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: bwaynef on December 01, 2009, 08:57 AM
Before we go much further, I've attached an image below.  Does it make sense?  Did I summarize what you were saying correctly?
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: noissee on December 01, 2009, 09:32 AM
I think the pic where you have blocked out the top with the bag is perfect – you should definitely cut that off. This tree would look much better with a wider crown...shorter too.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on December 01, 2009, 10:15 PM
Wayne, ya got it for the most part. The top two-thirds is a bit lower from the bottom of your redline. Ya can't see the branch below that in the pic. The void would start there and go upto the first bend to right above the fat stub branch. I know there are some twig branches along that but when I say "void" I'm talkin about a void without good size branches. What's ya opinion on the last 2 pics? Goin that direction?

Noissee, Thanks. But I do not want a shorter tree with this one. I have smaller ones already if I want a smaller tree of this species. This one I actually want to be taller, thicker. I agree on roundin out the crown but I don't want a ball on a stick look. These features are a long way off. Right now I'm tryin to get this tree goin in the right direction. I know I need to look forward but also need to take one step at a time.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: BONSAI_OUTLAW on December 02, 2009, 02:11 AM
Wow Steve...I really like this tree. 
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on December 02, 2009, 06:55 AM
Thanks Jason :) Where ya been? Don't see or hear much from ya.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: bonsaikc on December 02, 2009, 09:46 AM
Steven,
I think I like where you are going with this. Did you take any other shots with the top covered? I'd like to see it from the side. It does look pretty bare on the back side. However, a thread graft or two could compensate for that, I would think.

Nice material, and great job so far!!!

Chris
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: bwaynef on December 02, 2009, 09:56 AM
Wayne, ya got it for the most part. The top two-thirds is a bit lower from the bottom of your redline. Ya can't see the branch below that in the pic. The void would start there and go upto the first bend to right above the fat stub branch. I know there are some twig branches along that but when I say "void" I'm talkin about a void without good size branches. What's ya opinion on the last 2 pics? Goin that direction?

Ok, I just wanted to make sure I understood what you were talking about. 

I have very little experience with Beech (hence my chopping below any buds/leaves on the one I collected).  Others more versed in Beech care could confirm whether hard pruning of the "lots of mass branchin..." would stimulate buds nascent or developed to grow and fill the "void from the top two-thirds".

I also like bonsaikc's suggestion of threadgrafting a branch (or more) to fill the void.  (Particularly since you've said you have smaller beech handy ...if existing branching won't reach where you need it)

I don't think, if it was mine, I'd chop the top off and pull up a new apex.  You lose some of the density of the branches in the lower part by bringing a branch into the apex.  I'd concentrate on filling the void (with any of the suggestions made here) rather than to chop the top out of it.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on December 02, 2009, 08:48 PM
I'm not too sure ya can thread graft a beech. How would ya thread the buds through the hole without damagin them. Considerin a small branch, say 5mm or less wide, would have buds on it thicker than the branch(good healthy strong buds). Ya would have to drill a hole to compensate for that but possibly makin the hole too big for the branch to come into contact with the trunk. It is an interestin thought. Any ideas of how to go about this?
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: bonsaikc on December 03, 2009, 09:47 AM
I'm not too sure ya can thread graft a beech. How would ya thread the buds through the hole without damagin them. Considerin a small branch, say 5mm or less wide, would have buds on it thicker than the branch(good healthy strong buds). Ya would have to drill a hole to compensate for that but possibly makin the hole too big for the branch to come into contact with the trunk. It is an interestin thought. Any ideas of how to go about this?

I'd have to agree, Steven. Different grafting methods for different species because of just such concerns. Unless the whip was extremely long with the terminal bud only, you would find it hard if not impossible to match up the whip with the hole. Approach grafting would be much more likely to take without damaging the tree, IMO.

Chris
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: bwaynef on December 03, 2009, 09:48 AM
As I mentioned earlier, I'll have to defer to your knowledge of and experience with the species.  If threadgrafting isn't possible, would it be possible to approach graft (the next easiest grafting technique from what I understand)?  Before I gave up on the top part altogether, I'd attempt to induce budding in that location.  Hard pruning of other areas (particularly the section with lots of branching above and to the right of it) and as much sunlight as won't damage the tree and lots of fertilizer would be the things I'd try.  (I'll pm you with one other suggestion.)

Re: threadgrafting technique: ...if the buds are as pronounced as you suggest, and there aren't any hidden/latent/nascent buds to speak of with this species, I would probably abandon the idea of drilling a too-big hole and having the growth overtake the hole.  I'd hope that someone with more (native?) beech experience would step in and offer a little advice.  Anyone?
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on December 03, 2009, 06:02 PM
Chris, here are the side pics. Sorry that I did not recover what I had covered in earlier pics. The first 2 pics are from the rightside of the tree and the last 2 pics are from the leftside of the tree. I took this tree up to John's today to get his opinion on it. We also discussed options and ideas.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on December 03, 2009, 07:29 PM
Wayne, was that pm suggestion directed towards me? if so haven't received it :)
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on December 08, 2009, 08:08 PM
Hope I didn't scare ya away Chris with the other views of the tree ya wanted to see  :D Dependin on which direction I want to go the new apex needs to come up more. Scenario #1 is to notch it just behind where it meets up with the main trunk just in front of the "seam" so to speak. The "seam" is that wrinkly ring where the branch meets with the trunk. Scenario #2 is to change the plantin angle of the tree. Now I already like how the trunk undulates foward towards the viewer early. To me that is one of this trees features that give it character. Y'alls thoughts on any of this.  :)
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on February 24, 2010, 09:26 AM
Repotted the tree yesterday(nothing like spending my b-day getting dirty).
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: bonsaikc on February 24, 2010, 09:42 AM
Sorry, Steven. I've just been hitting the high spots for a bit and lost track of this one. I think you are on the right track with your earlier pics of removing the largest piece of that fork at the top of the tree. This tree should be ever more delicate as you get to the top or the outer edges of the branch. One of my biggest mistakes over the years has been trying to use too-big branches that can never be shaped properly. So don't be afraid to cut back and work from new material. It's a nice tree. Good luck!
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on February 24, 2010, 08:36 PM
Thanks Chris. If I'm remembering correctly, but could be wrong, on Beech cutting back on a branch and leaving no live buds on that branch the branch will die off completely. I plan on keeping the branches in check. I'll keep it posted.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: John Kirby on February 25, 2010, 10:37 AM
Graft.

I realize that you aren't posting these for educational purposes, but next time you may want to work the lower part of the rootball more, not nearly as hard as you work maples, but enough to allow you to remove all of the bad soil over a repotting or two. The things that really improve the roots on deciduous trees are removing all of the down growing roots and removing all of the really straight, non-tapering roots. Surface roots are like branches and trunks, they need to taper and have movement- and not cross. I know that repotting trees can be an emotional challenge as to how much to remove, but not getting the root structure corrected will lead to a long term problem. It is much easier to correct the roots before you get the branch structure worked out, if you shed a branch now, what does it matter? Later on it can be problematic. John
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: bwaynef on February 25, 2010, 10:51 AM
Thanks Chris. If I'm remembering correctly, but could be wrong, on Beech cutting back on a branch and leaving no live buds on that branch the branch will die off completely. I plan on keeping the branches in check. I'll keep it posted.

Quote from: http://evergreengardenworks.com/cotoneas.htm
Beech will back bud, but with difficulty. Plants that are to be cut back should be young and vigorously growing. Try not to remove all of the preformed buds or you may lose the tree. Buds tend to form at branch collars, so overly thick branches can be removed and new, thinner ones started in the same location if you leave a small stub. This method can also be used to grow new branches where older branches have all their foliage at the tips.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on April 28, 2010, 05:14 PM
OK. During this trees awakening as the buds extended I pinched them back. Strong buds I left 2 leaves, weak buds I left 3-4 leaves. I have been going by an article written by Harry Harrington at http://bonsai4me.com/ (http://bonsai4me.com/) on Fagus species. He demonstrates with F. sylvatica but I have contacted him and the same techniques can also be used for F. crenata. Using this pinching technique is supposed to force the tree to replace this lost growth/foliage. Thus, I'm presuming, wake up latent buds on the branches and trunk. I am at a loss on this. It has been just over a month since I completed this pinching back and I have not seen any new growth or latent buds pop except at 2 places(see pics). And these 2 places is where I DO NOT want growth(I know I can't choose where it pops). I am feeding it well. I have fert cakes from NorthStar Bonsai, the 6-6-6 ones all around and hitting it with fish emulsion and seaweed extract once a week. Is there something I am not understanding? Something I'm not doing correctly? Doing incorrectly? I have been reading that article over and over since fall of last yr. So much so that I printed it out so I could read it when not here on the 'net. Any help or suggestions will be helpful. Now here are latest pics. Thanks!
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on April 28, 2010, 05:15 PM
Last pics.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on April 10, 2011, 10:57 PM
Well, haven't done much with this one over the past yr except for feeding and watering. But here are pics taken tonight(4/10/2011). The past 3-4 days I've been pinching it back as its buds extend out. After leaves have hardened off I plan to feed well for a month and then prune back branches. Grafting would be nice but until I can get good results from any and all seeds I've tried to germinate or find a seedling source I'll be doing it the pruning way to get the branches/branching I want.
Title: Re: First stylin of my largest Japanese Beech
Post by: Steven on April 10, 2011, 10:58 PM
last ones