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Common Beech Fagus sylvatica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
FAG-us sil-VAT-ee-kuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Common beach is a large deciduous tree in the Fagaceae (beech) family native to eastern Europe.  The genus name Fagus comes from the family name and sylvatica is Latin for growing in the forest.  The flowers are insignificant, it is slow to leaf out in spring and has smooth attractive, gray bark.

Its large shady canopy makes it an excellent choice as a specimen tree in a large yard, planted in a lawn or park setting. It is a little more tolerant of soil types than American beech (Fagus grandifolia)This tree is resistant to browsing by deer.  It does not tolerate high summer temperatures.  

There are many cultivars of this tree that have various shapes and form,  leaf colors, and sizes.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Relatively problem free. Aphids, Japanese beetles, and scale are occasionally a problem.  Trees that are under stress may suffer from borer damage.  Occasional disease problems include canker, beach bark disease, and powdery mildew.

More information on Fagus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Asplenifolia', 'Atropunicea', 'Atropunicea cuprea', 'Dawyck Purple', 'Pendula' (f. pendula), 'Purple Fountain', 'Purpurea', 'Riversii', 'Roseomarginata', 'Tortuosa', 'Tricolor', 'Uniq'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#specimen#large tree#gray bark#interesting leaves#lawn tree#deer resistant#parks#deciduous tree#fall color yellow#fall color bronze#woodland garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Asplenifolia', 'Atropunicea', 'Atropunicea cuprea', 'Dawyck Purple', 'Pendula' (f. pendula), 'Purple Fountain', 'Purpurea', 'Riversii', 'Roseomarginata', 'Tortuosa', 'Tricolor', 'Uniq'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#specimen#large tree#gray bark#interesting leaves#lawn tree#deer resistant#parks#deciduous tree#fall color yellow#fall color bronze#woodland garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Fagus
    Species:
    sylvatica
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Europe
    Edibility:
    EDIBLE PARTS: Nutmeats, in small quantities, edible raw or cooked. Young leaves can be cooked for greens in the spring. SAFE HANDLING
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    a 3-angled nut inside of a weakly spiny husk.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Insignificant
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Monoecious yellowish green flowers bloom in April-May, the male flowers in drooping, long-stemmed, globular clusters and the female flowers in short spikes. Female flowers give way to triangular nuts enclosed by spiny bracts.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-4 in. alternate, dark green simple leaves; russet to golden bronze fall color
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Thin, smooth and light gray.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    English Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Upset Stomach
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponic glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No