The beech is a tall, powerful tree with a thick trunk adorned with sprawling, long branches. Under favorable conditions, it can live for several hundred years. Such a tree is a member of the Beech family. The spectacular beech is striking in its power, and its thick, wide crown gives cool shade and can save even from heavy rain. And this plant also yields valuable wood, which is used to make floors, furniture, etc.
With all that said, it is quite possible to grow beech in your own yard, as long as you follow certain rules.
Peculiarities of beech
Beech (Fagus) is a deciduous tree. This mighty plant has been regarded since ancient times as a place where energy and power were concentrated.
What a beech tree looks like
This tree is characterized by an average growth rate. It can grow up to 35-40 m in height and can reach a diameter of up to 200 cm.
Until it reaches the age of one hundred years, it will grow rapidly upwards. But after that it starts to expand extensively in width. The shape of the crown is spherical. The lower branches growing in its depth due to the lack of sunlight will eventually die off, and new ones will grow in their place. The branches are fairly long and thin.
It is not uncommon for this plant to form a root paw, and it is most often seen on adult specimens.
Young beeches are covered with a dark brownish-gray bark. The bark, however, is a lighter gray hue in adult and older plants.
Leaves and buds
The foliage is arranged in two rows. It is greenish in the summer, yellow in the fall, and brown in the deep fall and winter months.
It has an ellipsoidal shape, with a sharpening on top. The leaf plates are quite large, with an average length of 5 to 10 centimeters.
The tree has fruits, which are small nuts covered with a brown colored shell. Inside them are seeds. They mature in the last summer or first fall weeks and then quickly fall off (around October-November).
In a lean year, about 8 kilograms of fruit can be harvested from a single tree. However, it bears fruit abundantly, usually once every 10 years. The first time a beech bears fruit is when it is 40 years old.
This plant has a well-developed root system. It is strongly branched and has several large "anchors" that actively grow and penetrate deep into the soil.
The root system of adult beeches can protrude slightly outward. It is not uncommon for the roots of nearby plants to become intertwined, and eventually become intertwined. Beech differs from other trees in that it does not have a central stem.
Beech species with photos
There are approximately 10 different species of beech under natural conditions. The most common species in cultivation are:
Japanese beech (Fagus japonica)
It is most widely cultivated in the East.
It has a relatively compact crown, with a maximum height of about 20 m. Its branched trunk is decorated with foliage of classical color and form.
The European beech (Fagus sylvatica)
This species is common in the West and in Europe. It has a standard appearance: approx. 40 m high, dark to light green foliage with a serrated edge.
The Oriental Beech (Fagus orientalis)
In nature it can be found on the Black Sea coast and in the Caucasus. This tall (about 40 m) tree is decorated with elongated foliage.
Large-leaf beech (Fagus grandifolia)
His elongated foliage has a more rounded shape. The species is most widespread in North America.
Where does the beech tree grow
Few experts claim that beech appeared on Earth before Christ, with it growing from the Urals through Kamchatka, Greenland, Alaska and Canada.
Later, such a tree began to grow in the southern part of Eurasia and in North America.
The Ice Age caused a significant decline in beech numbers, with its place being taken by more frost-resistant conifers. This is the reason why much of the world today is covered by other tree species than beech.
Nowadays, beech can be found in many different parts of the world, for example: Europe, America, Russia, etc. It grows best on nutritious soil, and is most commonly found at 1,500-2,500 meters above sea level.
Putting beech in the open ground
Even though beech has a spectacular appearance, many novice gardeners do not dare to decorate their plot with it. This is usually because they simply have no idea how to care for it. However, it is not demanding in care and relatively unpretentious.
In planting the beech, the most difficult is to choose the optimal time. Early spring is the best time.
Planting should be finished before the buds open. If you plant the tree later, it will grow more slowly and be more susceptible to disease. However, the best for it is a nutritious soil, in which fertilizer was made.
When choosing a place for planting, it should be taken into account that the long-lived beech grows very tall and has a wide crown. At the same time, the root system of the mature plant is well developed and takes up a lot of space.
In order for the beech to develop and grow normally, it is recommended to put a fence around it. The fact is that on trampled soil its growth is significantly impaired.
The planting hole for planting the seedling should be about 0.8x0.8 meters.
The soil should be well drained. During the preparation of the planting hole, it is recommended to fertilize the soil to help stimulate the development and growth of the root system. When the planting of the seedling is completed, it is abundantly watered, and then the root circle is mulched with a layer of dried grass clippings. The mulch helps to slow the evaporation of moisture from the soil, as beech grows well in high humidity.
For the tree to grow rapidly and develop properly, it needs a climate that is not too hot and plenty of sunlight.
If necessary the crown can be moistened additionally by watering.
Grooming for Beech
After planting in the open ground special attention should be paid to fertilization, watering and pruning.
To ensure healthy growth and proper development of the beech, you should water it properly and in good time. While the tree is young, it should be watered and sprayed once every 7 days. If the climate in the region is hot, then you can water the plant every day.
However, you should not expect that in such a climate, the development of the beech will be within normal limits. If the climate is favorable, then watering adult plants can not be carried out at all.
Most gardeners believe that such a tree should be fed only as long as it is young. This statement is quite true. However, annual fertilizers help to stimulate the growth of the plant and help prevent the infection of various diseases.
Fertilizers are applied to the soil in early spring or in late autumn.
As long as the beech is young, even an inexperienced gardener can manage with its pruning. And you can shape it into whatever shape you want. And since the mature tree is quite tall and has a wide crown, it can be trimmed by not everyone. Formative pruning is recommended in early spring.
At the same time, all old, withered, injured and diseased branches should be cut off.
You can propagate the beech yourself by means of seeds, cuttings, offshoots and grafting. Generative (seed) propagation is the most commonly used method because it is more efficient. Fully mature seed material is used for sowing.
Seeds collected are soaked for some time in a solution of manganese potassium.
Once the weather is warm outside, they can be sown.
Diseases and Pests
Beech is not very resistant to diseases and pests. At the same time, it is most susceptible to fungal diseases. In addition, it often develops trunk cancer.
The biggest threats to beech are pests such as bark beetles, lacewings, caterpillars, swift beetles and others.
In order to prevent diseases and pests, beech should be inspected regularly. Cut out any infested areas in good time and treat as soon as the first signs of fungal disease appear.
Use and importance of beech
The majestic beech tree is a very useful tree. Its wood, however, is of particular value.
Beech wood is widely used in industry because of its excellent texture and density.
Beech fibers are very difficult to distinguish in section, which is why it is often used for seamless structures.
This wood is used for furniture, knife handles and other tools, flooring, plywood, wooden toys, etc.
Which wood is stronger? Beech vs Pine
Application in Landscaping
Beech has quite a few differences in appearance from those trees that are particularly common in culture. Because of this, it is often used to create unusual decorative compositions. This culture can fill any plot with magic and majesty, thanks to its powerful and large roots that protrude.
There are no special difficulties in growing beech on your own plot. The main thing is to choose a good location and to water and feed the plant as often as possible. This mighty and majestic tree can delight with its unusual beauty for many hundreds of years.
European beech // Open ground of the Botanical Garden of SPbSU