Of the beeches described here, European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is by far the most widely grown. The species differ very little except in leaf details. Capable of growing 90 ft. tall and 50 ft. wide, but usually much smaller. Typically have a broad cone shape, with wide, sweeping lower branches that can reach the ground unless pruned off. Smooth gray bark contrasts well with the glossy dark green foliage. In fall, leaves first take on a bronze to red-brown color, then turn brown; many hang on the tree well into winter. Lacy branching pattern and pointed leaf buds provide an attractive winter silhouette. New foliage has a silky sheen. Little three-cornered nuts enclosed in spiny husks are edible, but too small to be of value; they often fail to fill, especially on solitary trees.
From eastern North America. Leaves up to 5 in. long are glossy green, turning golden bronze in fall.Fagus sylvatica
Native from central Europe to Caucasus, this grows 90 ft. tall, 60 ft. wide, in a cone shape. Glossy green 4-in. leaves turn russet and bronzy in autumn. Produces 3-cornered edible nuts nuts. Fibrous roots make gardening underneath tricky.
Native to Japan, China. Compact, slow grower to 5 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide. Glossy rich green leaves to 3&...
Native to southern states. Vigorous, woody vine climbs to a possible 60 ft. by tendrils and holdfast d...
Plants grown from inland seed are hardy anywhere in the West; those from coastal seed are less hardy t...