Today, I’m excited to share with you an informative guide on how to identify the Common Beech.
It’s known as Fagus sylvatica.
This magnificent tree is found throughout Southern and Central England. It’s also planted across Britain and Ireland.
The Common Beech thrives in nutrient-rich soil but tends to avoid damp areas. You can often find it in plantations and parks, contributing to the stunning landscapes of these areas.
The Common Beech stands out with its tall, curving trunk. It forms a large, rounded shape on top of its sturdy, sleek branches.
It’s one of the tallest leafy trees in the UK, reaching heights of up to 40 meters. The tree’s thick leaves create a canopy that blocks sunlight from reaching the ground.
This unique characteristic also protects the tree’s thin lower bark from intense sun. Older trees which are often trimmed at the top.
It’s interesting to note that beech trees don’t live as long as other large trees. They are prone to falling over and rotting.
The branches stay close to the ground. They can grow up to 3 meters high. They keep their dead leaves throughout winter, making them ideal for hedges.
The shoots are thin, grey, and silky and have a distinctive zig-zag shape. The buds have a shape resembling narrow cones. They measure about 2 centimetres in length. They are copper-grey in colour and spread out at a 60-degree angle.
The leaves are up to 10 centimetres long. These leaves have small, spaced-out serrations along their edges.
Hairs fringe the serrations. The leaves feel silky when opening, and you can see 5 to 9 pairs of veins on each leaf.
The fruit of the Common Beech are nuts enclosed in spiky shells. They hang on 2-centimetre-long stems, a unique feature of this tree.