Beech trees are prevalent across the UK, but how much do you know about them? Its Latin name is Fagus and it’s a genus of the deciduous trees in the Fagaceae family. Here are some interesting facts about Beech trees:
Beech trees are native to the temperate areas of Europe, North America and Asia., growing on a many different types of soil, as long as they are not waterlogged. Beech grows best in limestone or chalky soil types.
The Beech is an incredibly sturdy and durable tree that can survive for up to 400 years depending on the type of species. You’ll know a Beech tree from its light grey, smooth bark.
Beech trees are unique in that they are hardly, if at all, tooth-edged. The leaves are between 2 and 6 inches long and the newly formed leaves are covered in hair and a vibrant green colour. The older leaves are bald and much darker green in colour.
When Beeches flower, they bear both the female and the male flowers on the same plant. The female flowers appear in pairs and the males form as catkins that are pollinated by the wind. The flowers appear in spring just after new leaves sprout.
Thankfully, the tree is not susceptible to threats from disease or insects, but it is susceptible to high winds, particularly in urban environments. The bark of the Beech tree is also very thin, meaning it can scar easily. This makes it a popular tree for people to carve in, such as their initials or graffiti. The tree is unable to heal itself.
If you’re lucky enough to have beech trees in your garden, keep them healthy and well-maintained with the help of a Tree Surgeon Poole. Contact Tree Surgeon Poole Kieran Boyland for all your tree needs.
The tree produces nuts, known as Beechnuts, which have such a high fat content that they can be pressed and used as edible oil. Beechnuts were also used for cattle feed in the past. The nuts continue to be an important part of the diet of many forest mammals and birds.
The wood from a Beech tree makes ideal firewood as it can be easily split and will burn for a long time with a bright and gentle flame. The wood is also used in the production of many items of furniture, toys, boxes and flooring.
Interestingly, before paper was available, beech wood was used as a tablet for writing on in Germanic cultures. In today’s German language, the word for book is ‘buch’, taken from the word ‘Buche’ meaning Beech tree.
In tough times, when no walnut was available, military forces would use beech to make rifles as a low-cost alternative.