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Fagus sylvatica (Common beech)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
15m
Max height
12m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Fagus sylvatica

Other names

Common beech, European beech

Genus

Fagus Fagus

Species

F. sylvatica - F. sylvatica is a large and fast-growing deciduous tree with a broad, spreading crown; elliptic, yellow-green leaves in spring, turning rich russet-brown in autumn; and small, green flowers, followed by bristly fruits.


Fagus sylvatica is: Deciduous

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Insignificant or absent, Green in Spring

Foliage

Yellow-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Russet in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Beech bark scale Aphids , Beech bark scale

Beech bark disease , Bracket fungi on standing trees , Coral spot , Foot and root rot , Heart rot Beech bark disease , Bracket fungi on standing trees , Coral spot , Foot and root rot , Heart rot

General care

Pruning

Hedging should be trimmed back in summer. No other attention is required, bar the removal or damaged or diseased shoots. If one wishes the tree to retain its distinctive dried-out leaves throughout winter it should be trimmed in late summer.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Fagus sylvatica (Common beech) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Foliage only, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Topiary

Cultivation

Grows well in any but waterlogged soils in sun or partial shade.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Fagus sylvatica

Other names

Common beech, European beech

Genus

Fagus Fagus

Species

F. sylvatica - F. sylvatica is a large and fast-growing deciduous tree with a broad, spreading crown; elliptic, yellow-green leaves in spring, turning rich russet-brown in autumn; and small, green flowers, followed by bristly fruits.

Foliage

Deciduous

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Insignificant or absent, Green in Spring

Foliage

Yellow-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Russet in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Beech bark scale

Specific diseases

Beech bark disease , Bracket fungi on standing trees , Coral spot , Foot and root rot , Heart rot

General care

Pruning

Hedging should be trimmed back in summer. No other attention is required, bar the removal or damaged or diseased shoots. If one wishes the tree to retain its distinctive dried-out leaves throughout winter it should be trimmed in late summer.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Fagus sylvatica (Common beech) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Foliage only, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Topiary

Cultivation

Grows well in any but waterlogged soils in sun or partial shade.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Fagus sylvatica (Common beech)

Common pest name

Asian longhorn beetle; Starry sky beetle

Scientific pest name

Anoplophora glabripennis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Recognised threat to a wide range of deciduous tress native to the UK. Already regulated it is a priority for continued surveillance and statutory action. The risk of entry is further mitigated by EU legislation requiring the monitoring of wooden packaging material originating from China.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Fagus sylvatica (Common beech)

Common pest name

Elm spanworm; Ennomid; white; Linden moth; snow-white

Scientific pest name

Ennomos subsignaria

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous moth pest which defoliates deciduous trees and; with repeated infestation; can cause tree death. Present in North America and current import requirements do not fully mitigate the risk of introduction. A PRA will help to assess the level of risk more fully.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Fagus sylvatica (Common beech)

Common pest name

Black and white longhorn; Citrus longhorn; Citrus longhorn beetle; Citrus root cerambycid

Scientific pest name

Anoplophora chinensis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Recognised threat to a wide range of deciduous trees native to the UK. Already regulated; it is a priority for continued surveillance and statutory action.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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