Created this last year and haven’t touched it until now as it needed a long recovery period. Some of the thinner/sparser trunks at the back are still weak and unfortunately I have lost one trunk in the middle.
Evidence of neglect
After pruning the tallest trunks and shortening their height. Weeds cleared. Dead trunk cut down.
I’m relying on a lot of backbudding on the thinner trunks at the back and in future I need to wire or reposition a lot of the individual trees. The past year has been about letting them establish. It’s no coincidence that the two healthiest trees are the ones I grew in my garden whereas all the others were bought last year as a hedging bundle from the garden centre.
Moved to a new position in full sun on the bench. It’s crowded, I may need to build another one!
I bought this early last year from an auction at the local club. It’s the biggest bonsai I have and it was grown from scratch by someone else over a long period! I can only hope my efforts at field growing turn out as well in 20+ years. Anyway, it spent last year recovering from being lifted from the ground and this year flushed out pretty strongly. I read up a bit on defoliating beech and am informed that they don’t like entire removal of foliage but only partial and a leaf must be left on the end of each branch as a sap drawer. There’s a lot of ramification to develop and I wanted the inner branches to receive more light so I was selective.
I think that the tree would benefit from a tilt at repotting time so that the trunk is more vertical. We’ll see. I’ll branch prune and wire in the autumn.
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.