Beech Tree

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          Beech2.jpg (28256 bytes)    Beech1.jpg (90838 bytes)                  beech.jpg (20332 bytes)

           Stop 3     &     Stop 10   on Trail 1        Winter silhouette of Beech 

              Leaves.jpg (16336 bytes)                                BeechFruit.jpg (16497 bytes)

                Leaves                                                      Fruit

The Beech

Fagus sylvatica 

The Beech is one of our largest and most beautiful forest trees, growing to a height of one hundred feet in as many years and continuing to grow in girth for many years afterwards. The tall massive erect trunk and enormous branches have a smooth blue - grey bark. The leaves appear in April and are then emerald green edged with fine white downy hairs. The dark green colour persists until October when it turns to vivid russet brown before falling .

Sometimes the shrivelled leaves will remain on the tree throughout the winter until they are pushed off by the newly developing leaves in the Spring.  These majestic trees often retain their leaves long after they have turned from green to brown, and beech hedges are therefore also quite popular. Beech trees can reach a spread of 30 metres and are usually rather taller than their spread A beech is at least forty years old before it bears flowers. They are brownish purple in colour with long ,golden tipped stamens. The fruit is a three sided brown nut, known as mast".

In some European countries the oil from beechnuts is used as a substitute for butter. In former times pigs were herded into beech woods to feed on the nuts. The timber is pale brown in colour, hard and strong and used in the framework of motor cars and vans, parquet flooring and in furniture making.



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