The Common Green Beech tree, Fagus sylvatica, is a large, semi-native plant that makes an excellent park or woodland specimen. If it is grown out in the open, it will develop a broad, rounded canopy and the tree's trunk will usually divide into thick, smooth branches quite low down. In a forest, it will maintain a single straight trunk and the canopy will be much narrower. It is suitable for any soil type as long as the drainage is good and it tolerates some shade.
Green Beech trees should reach a height of about 35 metres.
Standard trees are the largest size that we deliver; you can also buy younger Green Beech saplings here.
How Standard Trees are Measured:
All the plants in the ornamental trees section are graded as standards, which means that they are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level (basically, their trunk's waist measurement). They aren't measured by their height, which will vary. So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
Standard trees are 2 - 3.5 metres tall (on average) when they arrive. We cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.
General description of Common Beech trees:
Common beech is often called majestic and it well deserves the title. It is a big, spreading, muscular tree with well-formed branches and smooth grey bark that is rippled in places. Mature trees will cast quite dense shade underneath them during summer. The flowers are not really visible and they are pollinated by the wind. The nuts that ripen in autumn are eaten by many small animals, although horse owners should not allow their horses to eat them. Beech looks beautiful in autumn, as the grey bark serves to highlight the russet brown leaves.
History & uses of Fagus sylvatica
In the past, beech trees were prized by pig farmers, who would fatten their herds up for winter on the fallen beech nuts (called mast). Humans can also eat the nuts, although they are pretty bitter. The oil of mast can be used for frying and for lamp oil. Beech wood is great for burning and while the timber isn't tough enough for outdoor or structural uses, it makes good quality indoor furniture.
Beech is a European tree that is probably not a true native in Britain; modern evidence suggests that it was not growing here before the formation of the Channel. Stone age humans might have introduced it from the mainland. Despite this, it is widely naturalised in Southern Britain and over 80,000 hectares of woodland are classified as being predominantly made up of beech.
The Whomping Willow in the Harry Potter films was, with added computer graphics, based on a 400-year-old beech tree known as the Queen Beech in the woods of Frithsden Beeches, Hertfordshire. This striking old tree was coppiced for firewood centuries ago and for the last 200 years it has been left alone, so it has a massively thick trunk and an imperious head of branches, several of which are as big as a mature tree.