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Green Beech, Fagus sylvatica, is probably the most popular non-evergreen garden hedge plant. Clipped beech hedges hold onto their autumn leaves through the winter. Beech is suitable for any well drained soil. Green Beech can be grown as a hedge of any height: it will reach 35 metres if it grows freely as a tree. You can see our full range of Beech Hedging & Trees here. The plants on this page are young saplings, ideal for planting as hedging. Beech hedge plants are delivered bareroot during winter (Nov-April) and pot-grown year round. Bareroot Green Beech saplings are cheaper than their pot grown equivalents. All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
Spacing a Green Beech hedge:
Plant Green Beech hedging at 3 plants per metre, 33cms apart.
General description of Green Beech plants:
Beech leaves are lush and bright green in spring, darkening as summer wears on. By clipping a mature beech hedge in midsummer, you will help it to hold onto its autumn leaves during winter, which gives you the seasonal interest of a deciduous hedge with the privacy of an evergreen.
The mostly smooth, sometimes rippled bark is a shade of elephant grey.
Mature beech hedges can become very wide, which looks impressive and improves their ability to slow down the wind and muffle sound from a busy road.
History & uses of Fagus sylvatica
The highest beech hedge (100 feet tall) is in Scotland, at Meikleour. Mature beech trees produce small nuts, called mast, which are a good feed for pigs and deer but not horses. They are edible to humans, but they taste bitter. The oil of mast was used for cooking and lamps. Beech timber is used for indoor furniture and makes very good firewood, which can be used to smoke food. The largest beech tree on record was 46 metres tall.
Beech is a pan-European tree that probably came to British shores about 5,500 years ago. As such it is considered to be native to Britain. It was probably brought here by stone age humans, after the Channel had formed and cut Britain off from the mainland. Native or not, Beech woodland covers about 80,000 hectares of Great Britain.