Plants We Love: European beech

Plant name: European beech

Botanical name: Fagus sylvatica

Virtues: Elegant shape and majestic size. Offers interest all year.

Flower: Nondescript.

Foliage: Arrow-shaped leaves appear silvery green in spring, deep green in summer and golden brown in fall. Leaves sometimes remain on the tree over the winter.

Habit: Deciduous tree forming a rounded pyramid to 60 feet tall and 45 feet wide, with lower limbs that sweep the ground.

Season: All seasons. Looks especially interesting in winter, with its remaining leaves turning warm shades and its smooth gray bark.

Origin: Central Europe.

Cultivation: Full sun to partial shade. Moist, well-drained, acid soil. Tolerates drought. Can be pruned as a hedge or have its lower limbs removed to show off trunk. USDA Zones 5–8.

Read about using European beech as a hedge.

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