beech

This stately deciduous tree is native to Europe. Hardy to USDA Zones 4-7, it will reach 50-60′ in height and 35-45′ in general landscape cultivation, however can reach 100′. Rather slow growing and dense pyramidal to oval habit produces a eventual specimen with quite a stately presence.

In spring the leaves emerge as a bright, shiny green and 2-4″ long and 1.5-2.5″ wide. Alternately arranged and simple margins. As the season progresses they turn to a deep green before developing a great bronze fall color. The bark on this specimen is smooth, gray and has often been compared to the hide of an elephant adding year round appeal.

Plant this tree in moist well drained acidic soils. With a rather shallow root system this tree cannot withstand compacted soil and it is difficult to cultivate a lawn under the canopy of this tree. Best if planted in the sun but it will withstand light shade.

Due to its overall potential size this tree is best suited for use in large open area such as parks, campuses, and plazas. It is tolerant of heavy pruning and has been used as a screen due to its dense nature. There are numerous cultivars of this species, many of them are in current production in the nurseries.

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