Amongst the deciduous tree species with which to do bonsai European beech, Fagus sylvatica, is one of the best, particularly if you are thinking of native tree species.
It is very hardy and easy to grow the tree responds great to bonsai techniques and develops quickly as bonsai. Several examples are to be found in the nursery’s private bonsai collection. It is found both as a planted tree and growing wild throughout the UK. and is developed from both nursery stock of all ages as well as wild collected material.
This very interesting bonsai has had a long complex history of which we only know a small amount unfortunately. We know about this because a previous owner was aware of a magazine article featuring this beech many years ago when it underwent it’s first styling from collected raw material at a workshop with the late but very well known Peter Adams [ written many books on bonsai ] who was a bit of an expert with deciduous bonsai. Sadly it is not now known which magazine even much less which issue. The choice of publication comes down to only two, Bonsai [ now Bonsai Europe ] and The Art of Bonsai , no longer published. The article will be there somewhere, I have seen it and it has photos of this tree as it started it’s bonsai life. Subsequently the tree suffered in some way and lost branches, it is now very healthy and growing well. It still has plenty of primary branching to form the new canopy, many secondary branches and a fair bit of ramification. A bit of re-shaping and further growing will quickly produce a lovely shape and the trunk well deserves a bit of branch work to completer the bonsai. I like beech and i really like this trunk, it has a lot of character and any number a features as I hope the photos show, it is old and it looks old. It is 68cm. high with a spread of 65cm. The surface roots are 30cm. across at the widest and the trunk diam.9cm. A little ‘ naturalising ‘ of the branch stubs will help but they are weathering in quite well anyway. The rectangular plastic bonsai trainer measures 42x34x10cm. This is a great bonsai in the making.