Ben’s Beech Group

I plan on looking back at a few of the trees worked on over the weekend, as does Peter on Willowbog Chat. As Peter didn’t get a chance to work on this one, I thought it was safe to share.

This was a beech group that Ben had in a pot for 4 years. They are young trees but even still they can make a nice image. Ben had brought the group to a meeting and I suggested that they would look better on a slate. It just so happened I had one lying under a bench that was big enough, and gave it to Ben. I also suggested that a few thicker trees would greatly improve the image as well.

Ben took me at my word and brought it along on the Sunday along with a few Beech that were recently liberated from a garden.

If it was just a matter of lifting the existing planting out of the pot and popping it onto the slate, it would have been easy. No tie wires even needed as the trees were all meshed together after a few years in a pot already. Our problem was that a few new and bigger ones had to be added. I had 2 choices, split the whole group up and start again or fit the new ones in around the existing trees. I opted for a bit of both. I liked the positioning of the original trees but I split the group in two creating a gap for the new ones. I drilled the slate and wired these in place and also added a few tie lines for the original trees as well. The whole lot where then covered in keto and then moss.

Ben was pleased with the result and I feel the slate works far better than the pot in this sort of forest planting. Now he just has to keep the birds away from the moss 🙂

Here are a few photos of the action. Sorry no starting shot of the original group. I honestly thought I had one somewhere from the meeting Ben, ah well.

Ben me and Ovidiu doing a little manoeuvring.

My secret technique of using the force to position the trees 🙂

Ben checking that the work is up to standard.

Adjusting the heights of a few trees to make a better design.

The finished forest at the end of the day. The new trees are slightly darker bark for now but this will even out with equal exposure to the sun.

Ben emailed these photos taken in 2007 when he put the original group together. I believe it was his first attempt at a forest.

13 comments on “Ben’s Beech Group

  1. it turned out pretty good ! nice to see all the trees , even the new ones in the group, with similar characteristics , mind it was the Willowbog moss that really made it 🙂

    you must teach me that medative approach to bonsai sometime !!


  2. My first and only attempt. I will be doing some more groups in the future though for sure! I’m really chuffed with this group. Smooth move swiping the moss when no one was looking Ian 😛

    And who hasn’t seen star wars? Sheesh 😛


      • Actually no, Hoth is the sixth planet of a remote system of the same name. It is a terrestrial planet blanketed by snow and ice. Many meteorites from a nearby asteroid belt pelt the planet’s surface, making temporary craters in the planet’s ever-moving snow drifts. Hoth has three moons, all uninhabited. Its native creatures include the wampa and the tauntaun.

        Dagobah, in the Sluis sector, is a world of murky swamps, steaming bayous, and petrified gnarltree forests. Sounds good for tropical bonsai only 😀


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