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Fagus sylvatica
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Fagus sylvatica


Description: Also known as Common or European Beech. A deciduous tree that can reach up to 30-40metres high with a smooth grey trunk and a tall, round-headed, and wide-spreading habit. The toothed leaves are shiny green and are born alternately along the stem. Yellow-green male flowers hang from their stems. The female flowers, usually in pairs on short hairy stems on the same tree, develop into prickly burs enclosing sweet-flavoured nuts. Dark green leaves turn rich golden-copper in autumn.

History: Although often regarded as native in southern England, recent evidence suggests that F. sylvatica did not arrive in England until about 4000 BC, or 2,000 years after the English Channel formed after the ice ages; it could have been an early introduction by Stone Age humans, who used the nuts for food. Received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Fagus Growing Tips: They will grow in most soils provided they are not waterlogged, and will tolerate most sites except coastal. They prefer full sun or partial shade.

Height and Spread (after 20 years): 10m x 6m 

General attributes

Award-winning Award-winning
Text Green Foliage
Text Traditional

Ornamental attributes

Large tree size after 10 years Large tree size after 10 years
Attractive bark Attractive bark
Autumn colour Autumn colour
Open space planting Open space planting
Chalk tolerant Chalk tolerant
Tolerates exposed site Tolerates exposed site
Shade tolerant Shade tolerant
Suitable for hedging Suitable for hedging
Hard prune Hard prune