Beech (or Fagus) is a classic British tree, in Celtic mythology the beech tree is a symbol of the goddess and is the mother of the woods. The trees have been used in healing rituals since ancient times, while the wood has been used to make furniture, bowls and baskets.
Beech leaves which can either be a bright green or copper have wavy edges with small hairs which disappear as the year goes by and the leaves turn gradually darker as they mature until Autumn when they turn to lovely golden-brown hues, they are a deciduous tree so do loose some leaves during winter however unlike most deciduous trees it does tend to hold onto most of its foliage until the following spring when new growth emerges and the old leaves fall away.
Where to site your Beech
Beech is best at the back of the border (best used as a screen to keep out nosy neighbours) away from other plants so it can grow to its full potential.
How to grow and look after your beech
Beech will grow in most soils as long as they drain easily. They are happiest in sun or light shade however varieties with young yellow foliage are best in partial shade as this reduces sun scorch on the younger leaves until they mature. The Purple varieties need full sun for best colour.
They will not tolerate excessively wet or dry soils and young leaves can be damaged by late spring frosts so need to be in a sheltered position.