Fagus or Beech trees are popular for their attractive dense foliage that comes in colours from bright lime green through to rich dark purple. Beech trees also have a wonderful elegant shape and we offer them in a variety of forms including upright, weeping and rounded.
Fagus, to use its Latin name, is a genus of deciduous trees in the Fagaceae family. The genus contains a number of subgenus, with Fagus sylvatica (European Beech) cultivars being popular as ornamental trees, due to the range of size, form and foliage colours to choose from. For a grand appearance, consider the native Fagus sylvatica, purple-leaved Fagus sylvatica purpurea or even pleached forms of these varieties. For unusual golden lime coloured foliage, look no further than Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck Gold'. Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea Pendula', on the other hand, is a very small Beech tree.
The leaf canopy casts an attractive but dense shade so only plants tolerant of full shade will grow at the base of beech trees. Beech trees are popular for hedging and for avenue planting, especially in urban settings where they create an attractive shaded passage. Beech trees are also favoured for attracting wildlife such as birds, squirrels and butterflies. Beech trees are monoecious, meaning that a single tree produces both male and female reproductive parts. The trees produce edible nuts, called beechmast or beechnuts, however they are very bitter.
Sunny or partially shaded positions will suit Beech trees and they grow in a range of soil types, except for waterlogged soils. Beech hedging is best trimmed in August to maintain its size. Our pot grown Beech trees can be planted at any time of year. For detailed advice, view our planting guide & videos. Beech trees are best pruned between autumn and early spring.
Beech hedging is best trimmed in August to maintain its size. Young Beech hedging does not require much pruning, but if you want to thicken it up you can shorten long shoots by up to one third. Mature Beech hedging can be pruned to reduce its size in February/March. If you need to dramatically reduce the size, stagger it by focusing on reducing the height the first year and the width the following year.
The light-coloured wood of Beech is used for flooring and furniture. The wood also makes good firewood and is used to smoke various meats and cheeses. Model is a textile used in clothing and bedding that is formed with the cellulose from pulped Beech wood.