|Beech's common name comes from a Saxon word meaning book. The smooth, light gray bark was once used like paper, and the wood used to make tablets. The trees' lofty, rounded crowns reach 50 to 100 feet tall and wide. Their shade is so dense that other plants cannot grow beneath them. Spring flowers are followed by triangular nuts with edible kernels that birds enjoy. In autumn, leaves turn amber to bronze. Prefers acid soil, and will not tolerate salt. Prune in summer and early fall to shape and to remove dead limbs and basal sprouts. Let trees' own fallen leaves act as mulch, or mulch within dripline to protect shallow roots and maintain cool moist soil. Generally pest-free, they are prone to Beech scale and, in the Northeast, a fungus called Nectria. Aphids cause some dripping honeydew.
One of the most noble specimen trees, the crown often branches to the ground in a wide-spreading canopy of rich, dark green leaves. There are many garden varieties, some grown in containers.
Attributes - Fagus sylvatica
Plant Type: Tree
Height: 50 ft. to 60 ft.
Width: 45 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Sun
Climate: Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Notes: Thrives in Acid Soil, Alkaline Soil. Low Maintenance. Susceptible to Powdery Mildew, Scales.