Fagus - - Semi-mature and mature Fagus sylvatica

02 9652 0300



Fagus sylvatica - English Beech, European Beech





Europe and South West Asia

Plant Type:

Deciduous tree


15 - 18m x 10 - 12m, can reach 30m in nature.

Habit/ Form:

Usually a straight trunked tree with a broad conical crown


Alternate, broad ovate with prominent veins, 80 - 100mm x 50 - 70mm, often with an uneven leaf base, margin variably sinuate and undulate, bright green aging to dark green, turning copper gold in late autumn and persisting on the tree till spring in all but the coldest climates.


Small, green, apetalous (without petals) separate male staminate and female (pistillate) flowers (monoecious) in small drooping heads in early spring with or just before the new growth.


An ovoid three sided, edible brown nut enclosed in a prickly bract (involucre) ripening in autumn.

Bark / Trunk:

Branchlets zigzag at the nodes, young growth smooth coppery green aging to smooth grey. Distinct pointed winter buds, 25 - 35mm long, shiny brown.

Vigour / Longevity:

Slow growing, long lived.

Environmental Requirements:

Sunny positions with wind protection in cool climates.


Tolerates limey soils well, not drought tolerant or wind tolerant

Soil / Drainage:

Needs deep, fertile, moist, well drained soils. This tree is shallow rooted, be careful when cultivating around it, a difficult tree to grow other plants under.


Train to a single leader, will tolerate heavy pruning. Traditionally used in hedging and pleaching.


Must be kept moist in summer


Apply a complete fertiliser in late winter till established.

Pests / Diseases:

Leaf burn from salty soils and windy or dry situations, root rot in poorly drained soils.


Shade tree, street tree, avenue tree, autumn colour contrast tree, hedge plant, tapestry hedge plant, pleached borders and avenues.



© Text reproduced here with the kind permission of Tony Wilson and Barck Books.



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