The European Beech or Common Beech is a deciduous tree. Although often regarded as native in southern England, recent evidence has shown that it did not arrive in England until about 4,000 BC, or 2,000 years after the English Channel formed after the ice ages, it was almost certainly an early introduction by Stone age man, who used the nuts for food.
It is a large tree, capable of reaching heights of up to 48 m tall and 3m trunk diameter, though more typically 25 - 35 m tall and up to 1.5 m trunk diameter. It has a typical lifespan of 150 to 200 years, though sometimes up to 300 years. The appearance varies according to its habitat; in forest conditions it tends to have a long, slender light-gray trunk with a narrow crown and erect branches, in isolation with good side light the trunk is short with a large and widely spreading crown with very long branches.
Little is required of the soil so long as it is well drained. Though not demanding of its soil type, the European Beech has several significant requirements: a humid atmosphere and well drained soil (it can not handle excessive stagnant water). It prefers moderately fertile ground, calcified or lightly acidic, therefore it is found more often on the side of a hill than at the bottom of a clayey basin. It tolerates rigorous winter cold, but is sensitive to spring frost.
Young beeches prefer some shade and may grow poorly in full sunlight. The root system is shallow, even superficial, with large roots spreading out in all directions. The role of the mycorrhizae in the growth of the European Beech is important. Without mycorrhizae, it often does not develop well. The mycorrhizae provide chemical protection of the roots against bacteria and enhanced uptake of mineral nutrients from the soil.
European Beech is a very popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens, not only in Europe, but also in North America and New Zealand.
Ideal for Specimen and Bonsai