Weeping Beech

Caring for a Weeping Beech

Of the “weeping” trees, landscapers and experts consider the weeping beech the most evocative of a sublime mix of melancholy and joy.  The beech’s pendant limbs dangle to ground curtaining the beech’s trunk, but forming as the Linden does in many Oxford-shire gardens, a recreational interior, often complete with benches for sitting.

 

 

In a well-maintained garden, only the Linden Tree rivals the weeping beach in terms of effect.  (Of course, the Linden has had the help of poets like Coleridge and Arnold to sing its praises for a century.)  The trained gardeners of Europe know just how to trim the beech’s mane to allow the sun’s dappled rays to nudge through just to fill the beech’s hollow interior with its warm glow.

A poorly trimmed beech however, is like a mutilated poodle, a pathetically sad sight.  Therefore, before you get to work on your weeping beech, you will want to learn how properly to trim this beautiful tree so that its full effects may shine through.

Hollowing out the Interior of the Weeping Beech

The first step to trimming your weeping beech is to dig out the interior enclosure of the tree in order to create the chamber within.  When trimming a beech to create this kind of Linden Tree effect, you always want to start at the interior of the tree and to work your way outward.  In addition, work top to bottom, which will make it both more effective in terms of time (less unnecessary cutting at the bottom) and in terms of final effect.

Begin by removing the branches that tangle this space and that make it difficult to walk and stand normally.  You always want to make sure that your weeping beech has reached a height that will allow this sort of trimming.  An immature beech will not give you enough space to work with and attempting to trim it is likely to cause injury.  The beech, experienced gardeners will tell you, is generally a fragile tree.

Having trimmed out the interior, you should now be able to gain a sense of the beech’s architecture.  Look for transecting branches that cut across the tree, being especially watchful for those limbs that touch other branches.  These branches create a health threat for other branches and the whole tree because as they grow they may begin rub against the other branches rubbing away the bark and exposing the whole tree to diseases and damage.  Cut off these branches.

Trimming from the Exterior

Once you are done with the interior, you should go outside of the tree to take a good look at it from a bit of a distance.  If the tree appears overly full to you, you might consider cutting off some branches from the top.  Look for sickly and dead looking branches first when performing this procedure.  These weaker branches tend to sap the beech’s energy away from the healthy branches.  By cutting them, you help to concentrate the beech’s energies.  Try to cut evenly from both sides and to keep the tree as balanced as possible.  (Don’t cut all branches from one side, or you may find you have irrevocably ruined the symmetry of your beech.)

 

Having done these steps you can now get a good sense of where you still need to cut at the bottom.  The idea when cutting from the bottom is to keep the drooping branches from sweeping up dirt and disease where the branches touch the ground.

To avoid root rot further, another tip is to wood-chip mulch the area at the edge of the branches where run-off from rain showers will pool.  Doing so will limit the amount of root rot that your tree may be exposed to and thus extend the life of your beech.