Beechy Keen: Beeches in the Landscape

DSC_0060Visions of cool forests and ancient lands come to mind when the beech tree is mentioned. A native forest tree of North America and Europe, this grand deciduous tree also makes a stately shade tree in the landscape. In the garden center, you’ll more often see the European varieties, Fagus sylvatica, as they are easier to grow. There are many varieties to choose from: tricolor, green or purple foliage, upright or weeping, narrow or rounded in habit and even a beautiful fern leaf variety. Tricolor beech and weeping beeches make for especially good specimen trees, if you are looking for a dramatic focal point for your yard.

photo 1 Whichever suits your landscape, these trees need even moisture, good soil, and some space to spread their smooth, silver-gray branches. Somewhat sparse in youth, the tree develops a rounded, regularly-branched stature that is rarely rivaled in the landscape.   Most Beech Trees grow at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions, they can live to 120 years or older.  They are a relatively low maintenance tree and are best pruned in late winter.  Deer do not normally find them tasty which is an added feature.  Consider the beech for a beautiful shade tree in your yard.

Beech3  photo 2

-Provided by Oakland Columbus

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