Beeches: Dead or Alive

Discussion in 'Fagaceae (beeches, oaks, etc.)' started by zoom, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. zoom

    zoom New Member

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    Murray, Utah
    I bought a very small tri-color beech tree last summer. I didnt want it to burn up so I potted it so I could move it indoors for winter. It grew about 6" and did really well. so I took it indoors and kept watering it all winter but not excessively. I heard they are late bloomers, how do I know if its alive? I gave a little tug on the trunk to see if it would pop right out. It didn't its still firm in the soil. I want to start moving it outdoors to climatize. But first I want to know if its Dead or Alive. How will I know?
  2. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Welcome to these forums.

    A really easy way to know if trees or shrubs are still alive is to scape off a bit of bark with your fingernail or a small knife. If you see green just under the bark (the cambium layer), the plant is alive. I usually start with outermost branches and am happy if I see green but, if not, move toward the inner branches and, finally, the trunk.

    Beeches are slow to leaf out but you should see healthy-looking, fattening leaf buds by now.

    I am puzzled why you would bring your beech indoors for the winter. This is not something you can do for very long with a tree that eventually could grow to 40 feet tall. Since Murray, Utah is in USDA Hardiness Zones 7a and 7b and tri-colour beeches are hardy down to Zones 4 - 7, why not plant it in the ground outdoors?
  3. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Kootenays, BC, Canada
    Your beech tree is perfectly suited for your plant hardiness zone, so there is no need to protect it from winter temperatures. To the contrary, cold temperatures in winter are needed to ensure its proper development.
    In the summer, like many other plants, it will do best with a lot of sunshine during morning and early afternoon hours but with shade during the heat of the late afternoon. If planted when in leaf it should be shaded artificially and exposed to sunshine only gradually.

    I believe it is dormant now, but, not experiencing the winter cold, very confused. The best thing you can do now is to ensure that it has enough hours of chilling to break dormancy. Move it out now. You will learn how it performs soon enough. Keeping it indoors in winter didn't do it any good, for sure.
    Aha, in case of unusual for this time of year cold temperature insulate the pot, while still living it outside.

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