Moving Beech Into Refinement

Bonsai Iterate

A better title for this post might be, “I Hope These Steps are Moving my American Beech into Refinement,” but that is a few too many words.

Most available literature on beech bonsai addresses European beech, Fagus sylvatica, but I have been experimenting with its larger-leafed cousin, Fagus grandifolia, to see what bonsai methods are effective for this American native species.

American beech in March, before bud break

I’ve only been at this beech game for a few short years, so none of my American beech trees are highly developed. The most ramified beech I have, above, happened to be found and collected with most of those branches.

After my beech recover from collection I apply a conservative route to pruning. I allow the buds to extend fully and the leaves to harden off before pruning back to two leaves per extension. This method allows the tree…

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