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The Common Beech Tree (Fagus Sylvatica)

Monumental, majestic, adorning many avenues and gated parks and home to rare wildlife. Beech is an enchanting species and is known as the queen of British trees. To wander beneath the leafy canopy anytime of the year is an awe-inspiring experience. But in “Maeinschein” – the green-gold sunlight that falls through the young leaves of trees & woods in spring/May, it is particulalry spectacular as the leaves are young and the light glows.

Mature Common Beech Trees

Mature beech trees can grow to a height of more than 40m and develop a huge domed crown and the trunk 4.5m in girth if growing in a woodland. The . The bark is smooth, thin and grey, often with slight horizontal etchings. The reddish brown, torpedo-shaped leaf buds form on short stalks and have a distinctive criss-cross pattern.

Look out for: the edges of the leaves on the common beech tree are hairy. Triangular beech nuts form in prickly four-lobed seed cases.

The Common Beech Tree can be identified in winter by looking at the following characteristics: leaf buds which are distinctively sharply pointed and not pressed against the twigs. They often hold on to their leaves throughout winter, a trait known as marcescence.

Top Tip: Not to be confused with the Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). Beech leaves have wavy edges with small hairs as opposed to the serrated margins of hornbeam.