Most everything is out now, including oaks. Even Rip van Winkle the Willow oak is finally pushing new growth.
I love American beech but hate trying to make bonsai out of them (beech and oaks are cousins, by the way). They have a single flush of growth each year, the leaves don’t reduce too much and they root slowly. What’s not to like, right?

Anyway, God help me but I brought home a couple last year because … well, I have no idea why. Check out this one. It had a couple of branches when I lifted it, which dutifully leafed out. It also produce some additional buds/shoots, but they didn’t survive winter. I know the roots aren’t that strong on this one, because it gradually laid itself over in the pot during the 2019 growing season. I pushed it upright earlier this spring, so that maybe it could gain some strength. But ugly. Ugly.

With noting to lose but a little time and cut paste, I decided today to chop the tree so I can see if it’ll backbud after the spring flush of growth. If it does, and if it ends up looking like anything in the tree family, I’ll post an update. Otherwise, it’ll just spend another year on the bench. (Isn’t the trunk nice looking, though?)
I’m pretty sure this beech is why I collected the one above (this one came first). it’s a very nice specimen, and it came with some branches to go with a killer trunk. I did a year two chop earlier in the season, and today I wired up the new leader I’m going to encourage. And that, as they say, is about it for this one. See you next year.
Here’s a big Live oak I collected several years ago. It struggled some last year, but this year it’s putting on some strong growth. Hurray! But there’s a problem with this specimen (at least one): it just doesn’t look “Live oakey” enough. Well, that’s nothing some big-gauge wire and muscle can’t fix.
As you probably know, the classic form of the Live oak is one of spreading down-sweeping branches that often touch the ground. the spread is often twice the height. Now, I can’t get any of the branches on this tree to touch the soil, but that’s okay. I can give the impression of the classic Live oak form. Here I’ve gotten the first two branches in a more compliant position (that stiff left one cracked a bit, but oaks heal very well).
And two more branches got the same treatment. I’m leaving the busy crown alone for now, hoping for more growth which will help thicken everything below it and make the trunk chop transition point smoother. I’m sure that in another four or five years it’ll be much closer to believable in appearance. Given that the trunk base on this specimen is 4″ across, I haven’t done too bad so far.

I’d love to hear what you think of today’s work.