Beech tree are massive trees. The size of these tree found in forest are very big. They often spread more then 50 feets wide and can reach an height of 120 feets. The leaves are a bright green color all summer long. In fall, the leaves turn yellow to bronze. Almost all of the fagus species will produce a smooth pale gray bark very attractive. Some have referred to the bark of older mature beech tree by mentioning elephant skin. The white wood is used for many applications from ancient time to the present days. Only small species are composing the fagus family.
Japanese beech is the most popular beech for bonsai tree. It will produce smaller leaves then all other beech tree species. The growth pattern and size is also preferred for bonsai. The low branches growth is ideal to develop nice bonsai tree specimen. It is also known under various common name such as Japanese blume, Japanese white beech or Siebold's beech.
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Fagus Bonsai care
Fagus bonsai will require full sun to fully thrive and achieve faster growth rate. In mid summer, after all leaves are shed, fagus bonsai tree can be placed in a semi-shaded area.
Fagus bonsai roots requires constant moisture. You should avoid letting the soil dry out in between watering. In hot summer period, if fagus tree lacks water, the tip of the leaves might turn brown. Water misting can prevent leaves tip to dry and turn brown.
Feeding and Fertilizer
Fertilizing is not recommended for the first month after the buds are burst. Then, you should fertilize every other weeks with an half strength home fertilizer. Special low concentrate bonsai fertilizer can be used frequently. Slow release pellets are also a great alternative for fagus bonsai.
Fagus Bonsai Techniques
Lime sulphur can be used to further bleech the fagus bonsai pale gray skin. This will color the bark almost to a perfect white. Leaves can be reduced easily by pruning them every other year in late spring. Leaves pruning of defoliation should not be done the same year that the fagus bonsai as been repotted. Branches should be cut back to 1-2 internodes to create proper ramification. Wiring is possible but will reduce the growth rate. This is why, copper wires must be removed after three months. Smaller beech makes a good forest group planting. Because of the leaves, fagus trees are making great medium to large bonsai tree.
Fagus Bonsai pests and diseases
Many small bugs like to attack beech tree but nothing too serious. A hard water jet will dislodge them quickly. Proper water irrigation and constant fertilizing will keep the tree healthy and this will prevent diseases and pests. Too much water could encourage fungi wich will cause black spot on fagus bonsai leaves.
Fagus Bonsai propagation
Seeds: Fagus can be propagate by seeds. Seeds can be sown outdoor in fall or prechilled seeds can be used in spring. Seeds are big compare to other tree species.
Cuttings: Cuttings are easy to medium to root. Using a rooting hormone can help propagation.
Grafting: It is easy to graft fagus branches on a desired spot on your bonsai.