Beeches: weeping copper beech stopped weeping

Discussion in 'Fagaceae (beeches, oaks, etc.)' started by emery, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    This was planted over 15 years ago, having been labeled illegitimately by the garden center "Fagus sylvatica pendula nigra." It is grafted, so presumably a weeping selection, but I have no idea what cultivar.

    Some years ago the rather small tree was knocked into by one or many rampaging cows, who broke the top off.

    I trained a leader straight up and on the advice of a (very well known) garden designer friend cut off some of the weeping growth, in order to encourage it to put on some size.

    It has done that with a vengeance, growing straight up to 5 or 6 meters, with long lateral branches that show no sign of weeping.

    Needless to say I'd like to get it to weep again. My friend said it would eventually start spontaneously, but it's been a long time. Is there any pruning I can do to encourage the weeping habit? The bottom 1.5 m is still weeping, BTW.

    Or has it reverted to being a banal copper beech?

    Thanks

    -E
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Did the cow break it off above or below the graft line?
     
  3. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Above.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    In that case, the regrowth should develop the characteristics of the cultivar.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    If no longer weeping but still purple it appears it might have reverted partly. Or might it have been grafted onto a copper seedling?

    Note that cutting away top growth DECREASES overall increase in size of a tree's top, by taking away food-making leaf area and energy-storing stem tissue.
     
  6. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    That's the interesting statement I've been looking for. Is it possible then for a weeping cultivar to revert to a non-weeping state? This thing has got 5 years or so of vigorous top growth.

    It may have been grafted to a copper seedling, but I think not because the leaves on the weeping part are absolutely identical to the upright part; and also because it continued to weep for years after being broken (and the break was above the currently weeping part anyway).

    It only went upright after I trained it straight up and removed some of the weeping bottom part.

    Do you think I've caused it to "revert?" Is there a way to bring it back if so?

    -E
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Any photos?
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Suppose a copper understock sucker grew up through the weeping scion and you trained that up, cut away the rest of the scion. Is that possible?
     
  9. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    well, anything's possible. But doesn't seem like it. I'll get some pics, but first I have to find the battery charger, and I've got wood to stack and boxes to move this weekend.

    Stay tuned.

    -E
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  11. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for the great link Ron, I've bookmarked. Finally found the charger.

    Here's the tree, no graft visible at this late date:
     

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  12. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Looks like the weeping cultivar was grafted a few feet up on a copper seedling and the seedling has been allowed to form its own top.
     
  13. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I don't think so. The original break was above the currently non-weeping part. The 2 main stems that rise up were trained that way with bamboo originally, then took a life of their own, as it were.

    -E
     

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