I planted a copper beech hedge and two copper beech trees last year, this year the trees have very small leaves ( they had greenfly which I sprayed) and little or no growth and the hedge is a bit anemic looking with poor growth,I feed them some chicken manure pellets ... no effect ..help!
You say the had greenfly - are they definitely gone?
Beech are prone to beech aphid, whic looks a bit like fluff on the backs of the leaves - if that is present, you need to spray again to get rid of it.
thanks for that, the white fluff is gone and the aphids are dead... the soil is clay, however they were given large plant holes filled with compost, sand and bonemeal.. could it be drainage?
Beech is mainly a tree of uplands eg The Chilterns & will not tolerate poor drainage. They can be slow to establish, with losses if from bare root in late winter. Pots are so much quicker to get away especially if planting larger specimens.