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European Beech

European Beech 'Rohanii' Leaves of European beech Bark of European beech
European Beech 'Rohanii'
G. Lumis
Leaves of European beech
G. Lumis
Bark of European beech
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Fagus sylvatica

Summary
Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf
Height: 50 to 60 feet 
Spread: 35 to 45 feet 
Shape: Spreading 

Fern-like summer foliage is a glossy, dark green. The bark is light gray and smooth.

Plant Needs
Zone: 4 to 7
Light: Partial shade to full sun 
Moisture: Wet, moist, or dry 
Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay 
pH Range: 3.7 to 6.5 

Functions
Suggested uses for this plant include specimen plant, hedge, and shade.

Planting Notes
Fibrous root system makes transplanting less of a problem than with American Beech.  Select plants that have balled and burlapped roots.  Plant in deep, rich, moist soil.  Place in location where tree has plenty of room to spread.

Care
Beech is slow growing and takes time to establish its root system.  Water thoroughly once a week during dry periods until established. Place hose at base of plant and let water trickle into soil.
Click here to learn how to improve the soil.

Problems
See insects and diseases.

Alternatives 
Consult local sources, including historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Fagus sylvatica 'Atropunicea'

Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula'

Fagus sylvatica 'Atropunicea'
G. Lumis

 

Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula'
G. Lumis

 

Cultivars of FAGUS SYLVATICA
`Asplenifolia' (Cut Leaf European Beech) has finely cut foliage.
`Atropunicea' has purple foliage.
`Fastigiata' (Columnar Beech) is a columnar form. 
`Pendula' has weeping branches.

Comments
Wonderful for use in public areas.  Makes an excellent hedge because of its ability to withstand heavy pruning.  Better adapted to Virginia growing conditions than the native American Beech.   A slow grower - many years to produce good shade. Suitable to use for bonsai. 

This text was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. Mary Miller, Project Director. Diane Relf, Content Specialist, Horticulture. Copyright 1989 by VCE.