In September 2005 I collected and planted 450 seeds from an old Purple Beech - the only beech I could find in Powell River. There were about 250 germinations and from them about 170 seedlings survived. In fall 2006 I transplanted about 100 into their final positions. Spacing is about 16 inches. They vary in height from about 8in to 12in. There's a variety of colours - about 20% full reversions to green, about 20% full purple and 60% all shades in between. I'm now thinking about feeding them for maximum growth this year. A local organic supplier, Welcome Harvest Farm, suggests using Steamed Bone Meal 3% nitrogen; 15% phosphorus and 24% calcium and recommends using it with other organic fertilizers for best results. 1) What do members think about that? and 2) what other options are there?
you cant medicate without a diagnosis. Have some soil tests done, determine what is and what is not in your soil then you can determine what would be a good thing to apply.
and FWIW Welcome Harvest Farms makes some good stuff, I used to be a wholesale seller of the line a few years back.
Paul Buikema, CLP - Retail, I.S.A. Certified Arborist. Certified Tree Risk Assessor, 2003 BCLNA Young Member of the Year, 2010 BCLNA Member of the Year, BC Arborist Technician Supervision & Sign Off Authority
It seems to me that your trees are incredibly closely planted - what's going to happen when they're 10' tall and mashing into each other? Will you trim them to grow like boxes?
I think the spacing is OK for a hedge. If you're not familiar with beech hedges you have green in the summer and coppery brown all winter long. In springtime the new leaves replace the old ones. I don't think that happens with mature beech trees, just hedges. I plan to top them somewhere between 8 and 10 ft. On my lot I also have three beeches with 16 inch spacing. They were about 4 years old when I planted them in 2003. But it is too expensive to grow a beech hedge from nursery trees - you're looking at $40 - $50 each. I've attached one picture of my trees taken in March 2006 showing 2005 leaves and the same trees again in May where you can see the new leaves emerging.
A word of caution to all: For two years running I had no success whatever in buying commercial seed. The seeds I referred to in my first post I harvested in Sept. 05 and were planted within 2 weeks.
Yes. I lived in Surrey, UK and it was common there. If you do an Internet search on 'Beech Hedge' you will get a lot of pictures and information. There is a nursery in New Zealand which has pics of the same hedge in winter and summer. Then there is the 'Mother' of beech hedges in Meiklour, Scotland. I don't know its exact height but guessing 50 feet.
I agree with you about the change of colour - 2 hedges for the price of one you might say. But also it has a natural look and doesn't need careful grooming. The classic beech hedge is Fagus Sylvatica pure and simple which, of course, is green in summer. Between now and September try and find an old (must be 60-80 years) green beech and be ready with a stout bag. I'm fairly sure there are some in Vancouver if not Maple Ridge. Give the seeds a squeeze to ensure they are not empty. I'd be interested to hear how it goes. Good hunting!