Beech trees are some of the most popular trees to plant for shade throughout the world, even though they are only endemic to a couple of continents. Despite their popularity, many people don’t know much about these shade-giving trees, and we’re here to help answer the most frequent questions that we get about beech trees.
What is a Beech Tree?
Classified in the Fagus genus and found in the Fagaceae family, beech trees are deciduous plants that are found throughout North America, Asia and Europe. They are simply identified through their smooth grey bark and impressive size. Leaves are normally around 14 cm in diameter, deep green in colour and often have ragged edges.
These are just five of the many different kinds of beech tree and include:
1. The American Beech: This is the only beech that is native to North America, and it is one of the most impressive of the family – growing extremely tall and with very wide leaves.
2. Copper Beech: The copper beech is native to Europe and gets its name from the coppery colour of its leaves.
3. Common Beech: Native to Europe, this is the most likely beech tree you will encounter.
4. Japanese Beech: Found throughout the forests of Japan, it is also used in bonsai art.
5. Tri colour Beech: Native to Europe, this beech is known for its white, red and purple tri-colour leaves.
Why Plant a Beech Tree
Beech trees are large, impressive trees that give off a lot of shade. They are the perfect addition for big properties and look stately when they stand-alone. They also make great additions to places that want to make a statement such as lining long roads, lakes or property boundaries. Keep in mind the size, shade density and root depth when thinking about planting a beech on your property, as they can be a hassle in urban or small properties.
Where to Plant a Beech
When it comes to planting a beech tree, you are going to want to ensure that you have a lot of space. Beech trees can live for 300 years, so it’s going to continue growing long after you’re gone. They thrive in full sunlight and need acidic soil that isn’t compacted; moist, well-drained soil is the perfect spot for your beech.
As mentioned earlier, beech trees are huge and they have extensive root networks that are deep too. This means that they are unsuitable for small yards and urban areas, as they have the tendency to lift paving and roads, and often trip pedestrians. Also keep in mind that your beech is going to be incredibly shady, which means that it will be tough for any other plants to grown beneath it.
How Long Does a Beech Take to Grow?
Well, seeing as beech trees live for hundreds of years, you can imagine that they don’t grow at the rate of something like bamboo. These trees actually grow at a very slow rate and can take years to grow just a couple of feet – so don’t hold your breath on having a huge tree in a matter of years.