Beeches: Beech Hedge Nutrition

Discussion in 'Fagaceae (beeches, oaks, etc.)' started by Keigo, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. Keigo

    Keigo Member

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    Greetings,

    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?

    Bright regards,
    Keigo
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    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.
     
  3. Keigo

    Keigo Member

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    Thanks for the input. Via Yellow Pages I've located Pacific Soil Analysis, Richmond & Norwest Labs, Surrey. Am I on the right track? Any others I should consider?

    Keigo
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    I have used Norwest Labs before and I have been happy. I havent tried the other resources.
     
  5. Keigo

    Keigo Member

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    OK, thanks Jimmq. I'll get on with it and maybe have something more to say later.
     
  6. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    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?
     
  7. Keigo

    Keigo Member

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    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.
     

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  8. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    Keigo,

    I am curious about the beech hedge.

    Is this a common practice elsewhere? I have never seen it done here but like the idea as a change from evergreen hedges (which are all mashed down by the recent snow)

    WCG
     
  9. Keigo

    Keigo Member

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    WCG

    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!

    Keigo
     
  10. Keigo

    Keigo Member

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    Jimmyq,

    A soil analysis of my lot from Norwest Labs indicates the following (ppm):

    Nitrogen 6 (deficient)
    Phosphorous >60 (slight excess)
    Potassium 72 (deficient>marginal)
    Sulphate 2 (marginal)
    Calcium 1510 (slight excess)
    Magnesium 112 (optimal)
    Iron 51.1 (optimal)
    Copper 0.90 (optimal)
    Zinc 5.38 (optimal)
    Boron 0.40 (deficient>marginal)
    Manganese 1.24 (marginal)

    For 'Garden' they suggest adding the following nutrients (lb/1000sq.ft.):
    Nitrogen 3.3
    Potassium 2.3
    Sulphur 0.4
    Boron 0.02

    For 'Ornamentals' nitrogen is less, potassium is more and sulphur and boron stay the same.

    As I'm concerned about stimulating hedge plant growth and have very few ornamentals at this time, I'm leaning toward the 'Garden' recommendations using chemical rather than organic additives.

    1. Am I right?
    2. Can anyone recommend a supplier(s) who could supply all four nutrients?

    BTW, I do have plenty of compost from leaves & kitchen vegetable waste.

    PS: I've noticed there is a forum on soil, fertilizing etc., but thought I should stay here for the moment.

    Keigo
     

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