Beech (FAGUS) is a majestic deciduous tree from the Beech family, which occupies an important place among hardwood in its features and decorativeness. A beech tree growing separately extends its branches widely, forming a tent, into which the sun's rays cannot penetrate. The forest is a beech trip to the colonnade, in which silence and dusk reign. Beech grows in the Northern Hemisphere, has 9 species. It grows to 45 m in height.
Beech - a beautiful tree
The trunk of the tree is powerful, smooth, covered with light gray bark. The branches are leafy, the crown is dense, cylindrical, rounded at the top.
The leaves are alternate, arranged in 2 rows. Their shape is elliptical, veins are feathery, the edges are solid, slightly wavy. Bottom slightly pubescent. The beautiful dark green color of foliage is replaced by straw yellow or bronze by autumn.
Flowers gather in inflorescences, appear simultaneously with the blooming of leaves. Flowers of different sexes: stamens have 8-12 stamens and gather in capitate inflorescences, pistillate gather 2-4 and are surrounded by a plush, which grows and becomes stiff as the fruits ripen.
The fruits are trihedral, with sharp ribs. The shell is thin, brown, shiny. In each nut 1-2 seeds.
How to care for a beech
Beech has high shade tolerance, and grows in partial shade and in the sun. A tree is thermophilic, especially its decorative forms, therefore, in areas of harsh climate, you should choose protected places for planting. Beech loves moist air, it does not tolerate drought well, therefore it needs watering. But it is undemanding to the soil: it grows on moist and dry lands of any kind of fertility, both slightly acidic and alkaline.
Prefers more loam and the presence of lime, so it is useful, in opinion, to carry out liming. For good growth, the soil is fertilized, more details can be found in the material on mineral fertilizers. Very sensitive to pollution and salinization.
Where is the beech applied?
Beech is a tree that lends itself well to shearing and shaping. Therefore, it is a valuable plant when creating live high hedges, green walls that look very impressive. Under the beech create recreation areas, thanks to its ability to give a dense shadow. Different varieties of beech with beautiful coloring of leaves are used to create compositions with other deciduous and coniferous trees.
Beech wood is used in the manufacture of musical instruments, furniture and other products.
Common types of beech
Eastern beech (F. orientalis Lipsky) grows in Crimea, the Caucasus, east of the Balkan Peninsula, and northern Asia Minor. It grows on rich soils, can form both pure beech and mixed forests with other deciduous species. Very shade-tolerant and very heat-loving. It grows up to 50 m. At an altitude of 2000 m it grows in the form of large bushes. It differs from a forest beech in a more rounded crown, as well as in large elongated leaves and a slightly different structure of perianth.
Beech - a long-lived plant, can live up to half a century.
Usually planted in spring with seeds, the fruits of which are stored in semi-moist sand.
Germination is maintained throughout the year. Also propagated by shoots, green cuttings, but rooting is much lower - 12%. The first three years are growing slowly, then the pace accelerates. It tolerates anti-aging scraps well, gives a good shoot from the stump.
The wood is white with a yellowish tinge. It is resistant to decay. It is used in the furniture industry, for flooring. Tar, methyl alcohol, acetic acid, charcoal are also produced from it. Young leaves have a mild taste, they are added to salads.
Forest beech is also called European (F. sylvatica L). It grows in Western Ukraine, Belarus, Western Europe. It forms as pure beech forests on slopes at an altitude of one and a half thousand meters above sea level, also mixed with broad-leaved trees. Very shade tolerant.
This species is distinguished by a slender trunk up to 30 m high, a powerful egg-shaped crown.
The trunk is covered with light gray bark, the young branches are reddish-brown. Large leaves are elliptical, leathery, shiny, slightly wavy at the edges. Very effectively painted in the fall in bright colors from yellow to copper. Female and male flowers are located on branches separately. Fruits - trihedral nuts - are dressed in plus.
European beech grows slowly, old trees get sick. It does not tolerate frost, a protected, warm place is required. This breed forms beautiful hedges and walls. It can grow in the sun and in partial shade, combined with various deciduous decorative trees. He does not like compacted soils, changes in large water levels, waterlogging. Long-living, age reaches 400 years. It grows fast enough, growth per year can be 50 cm. Usually propagated by seeds, cuttings take root poorly.
Fruits are weakly poisonous, since they contain oxalic acid in large quantities. The seeds are edible, have a pleasant sweet taste, are used in boiled and raw form. Non-coarse leaves can be added to the salad, have a mild flavor. The bark has pharmaceutical properties: antipyretic, antiseptic, expectorant, helps with toothache.
Large-leaved beech (F. grandifolia Ehrh.) Grows in eastern North America on small hills, usually next to other conifers and deciduous species.
It prefers moist, rich, high humus soils. Highly winter-hardy, unlike other species, but young plants need to be sheltered. Likes moist soils.
The leaves of this species are beautiful: elliptical, pointed, silky. In the summer they are bluish-green, dark, of a saturated shade, from below - light green. In the fall they become red-brown. Like other types of shade tolerance, unpretentious. Well suited for creating hedges, walls.