Deep Valley Tree Farm
Fagus sylvatica (European Beech)
The Beech family (Fagaceae) comprises over 600 species, but only about 1/6 of these are native to North America. This family is made up of beeches, oaks, and chestnuts to name a few. The beeches (Fagus) are deciduous trees, with leaves that are elliptical in shape, with a wide spread toothed margin, making them easy to identify. The flowers emerge at the same time as the leaves, and are yellow/green in color, and long stemmed. They produce edible nuts, covered with a husk, and spines, which are particularly enjoyed by wildlife. The bark is grey and smooth.
The Fagus sylvatica is fairly common in North America, and is used both for its wood, and its appearance having a beautiful deep green foliage. The leaves are 2 - 4 inches long, and 1 - 2 inches in width. The leaf margins and veins are hairy.
They grow in climate zones 5 - 7, and are slow growing trees. They grow to 70 -80 feet in height, with a spread of 60 feet, and are pyramidal in shape. They therefore need plenty of space to grow well, as the lowest branches will actually touch the ground. They tend to have shallow roots, so most only live for about 200 years, and strong winds can topple them. Some of the largest specimens are found in England, where two trees have a girth of 22 feet 3 inches, the largest tree in the United Kingdom.
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