Friday, December 28, 2007

Fagus Beech and the Trained Bonsai

How to train Fagus Beech

Fagus Beech is a beautiful trained bonsai if directed properly. The Beech comes from the family of Fagaceae. The plants are born in native temperate regions. The leaves are of the deciduous group. The tree itself has a lifespan that can last up to 500 years if taking care of properly. The sturdy tree grows smooth, ash barks, which is elongated. The sprouts are pointed and during the spring, the leaves are light green. In the summer, the leaves change to darker tones. During fall, the leaves are shades of russet.

Marscents remain on the tree sometimes during the colder months. The older trees will grow edible nuts, or masts of beech. The nuts are enclosed within the spiny casings. The group of Fagus Beech specimens are ideal for growing and training bonsai. The specimens include Fagus Sylvatica pendula, which is the weeping beech. The branches extend downward. Fagus Sylvatica purpurea is the purple beech specie. The foliage is reddish-russet. The garden specie when grown outdoors will stand erect in drier climates.

Fagus sieboldii is a native plant, or Japanese plant, which the tree trunk is longer than other species. The foliage is small, and the trunk is whiter than other beech specimens.

Fagus Sylvatica is the common specimens in the beech family. The tree has elongated leaves with serrated edges and strikingly noticeable veins.

Tip: Beech wood is used to make furniture.

You can propagate and germinate the plants from seedlings. To start growth you will need fall seeds. Sow the seeds after fall. The seeds will sprout in a short time, and stratify the seeds in dry sand. In spring, sow your seeds. You should sow the seeds in soil (Peat, course sand mixtures avoiding compost is devoid of acid) at around 1-inch deep. You can start propagation in boxes, yet you want avoid firm soils and provide room for air circulation.

Beech trees need direct sunbeams, yet require semi-shaded regions in the summer. If you live around the Mediterranean regions, shade is essential.

How to ventilate:
Young and re-potted species should be protected from strong winds. As the plant matures, natural ventilation is fine. The proper temperature desired by the plants is based on the plant and the region you live.

Few beech species require feeding, water, sprays, pots, wiring, pruning, etc to survive. It depends on the shape you hope to accomplish when growing as bonsai. Most beech species are sculpted rather than wired to shape bonsai. Still, you can use wire if you want a fixed-bonsai.

Before you wire your plant however, use fiber of palm trees to create supple straw-colored ribbons, which you can obtain from leaves of the raffia palm. Wrap the wire with your raffia and then wire your plant cautiously. You want to cut the wires with cutters, yet avoid cutting any region of the tree.

One of the attractive beech trees is the Siebold Beech. The Fagus sieboldii lives a long time and grows up to 2-feet, 2-inches when trained as the bonsai. I needed to mention this species, since after studying its features I see a potential majestic bonsai in the making.

Beech species need to feel safe from disease and pests. The common pests that nest in Beech species is the beech-leaf miner, gall midge, felt beech coccus and/or the scale. Gall midges also group around the Beech species, as well as the bark beetles.

To protect your species keep the plants moist. Spray the trees in spring and the last days of summer.

How to pot:
Beech will not grow effectively in flat pots. Nor will the plant tolerate décor containers. If you have an older beech, species pot in a container about 3-inches deep. If the plant is smaller, pot it in a 1 ½ inch deep container.

How to prune:
Prune the leaves, roots, and branches simultaneously as you re-pot the plants. Pinch back the new shoots during the spring. Prune the branches lightly. You can use spoiled main branches as bonsai saws to start the prune development project.

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