Pruning a Beech to Shape

About six weeks ago I performed some drastic pruning of this European Beech material that I’ve been growing over the last six years.  Since ground layering a new root system three years ago, it’s been slow to recover.  Finally off to a vigorous start this year so I knew it was ready for shaping by pruning.


Before work: May 


Spreading newly established nebari


Before: leggy growth and few primary branches


Step 1: Establish a final height of the tree and future apex.


Step 2: Prune back leggy primary branches.


Step 3: Go one further and eliminate undesirable primary branches.


Step 4: Feed heavily and wait for possible backbudding along the trunk.


After: Late June.  New growth on branch tips.


New buds from above


An abundance of adventitious budding.  Happy days!

All being well, I’ll wire growth in the autumn and then put it into a bonsai training pot next year.


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