Learn how to grow a Beech tree and you'll have a hardy, lovely addition to your property. With its smooth, gray bark, lush foliage and stately shape, beeches are truly elegant to behold, yet they are surprisingly easy to grow. Beeches are found all over the world, and will thrive in a variety of climates and conditions. There are many different varieties of beeches, so you're sure to find one suits you and your location.
There are a wide variety of beech trees available. The most common type of beech tree is European Beech, followed by American Beech. Another popular favorite is the tri-color beech, which has lovely variegated foliage. Other types of beech you may encounter are Copper Beech, Weeping Beech, fern-leaf beech, shining beech, dawyck beech and Oriental Beech. Beech trees offer variegated, oval-shaped leaves in shades of light green to silvery green during the growing season that turn to vivid, deep reds in autumn.
Beech trees are surprisingly easy to grow. They thrive in nearly any kind of soil, as long as it is well drained. They tend to do especially well in sandy soil. They prefer full sun, although it's best to protect a young tree from hot summer sun while its root system is getting established.
It is best to plant your tree while the weather is mild. Some varieties of beech may live as long as 350 years and will grow as tall as 70 feet, with a spread of around 40 feet. It is essential to plant your beech in a location that will allow for this growth. Beech trees tend to take a little while to get established, so it is important to keep them thoroughly watered and protected from harsh weather at first, to give the root system a chance to get established. Once established, a beech will tolerate moderate drought.
Beech trees grow fairly slowly, so it isn't necessary to prune too often. You will want to prune occasionally, to keep your tree shaped nicely and to remove dead branches. Since foliage tends to be quite dense on a beech tree, pruning to thin the branches will allow more air circulation and light to reach the inner branches, keeping your tree healthy and happy. Some varieties of beech have a tendency to develop forked trunks right at the base of the tree. Keep an eye out for new growth near the base and prune it to keep this from happening.
With a little care early on, your beech tree will be beautiful and majestic part of your landscape for generations.
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