Fagus sylvatica

About the Beech

If the Oak tree is the King of the Woods, then the Beech is its Mother. According to ancient folklore, the tree offers protection, nourishment and represents deep wisdom.

Not considered to be a native tree, fossils of pollen from the Beech tree have been found in Galway – suggesting the tree could well have flourished here thousands and thousands of years ago.

A tall species, Beech can reach heights of 40 metres and have a smooth, silvery grey bark. Its leaves are short-stalked and oval in shape while its buds look like a closed cigar initially, before opening into a brilliant green leaf that turns a lovely reddy-brown colour once Autumn arrives.

Small male flowers appear as short catkins, while female flowers grow in clusters of twos and threes. Its fruit is a triangular-shaped nut that is initially protected by a spiny husk, which will eventually fall away. The tree grows naturally in woodlands and can survive in a variety of soil types for up to 200 years.


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