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Biology

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Beech trees begin to produce leaves in March or April, and flower in April or May (5). The oil-rich nuts are produced in September and October, and were once used to feed livestock; pigs and cattle were released into beech woodlands to allow them to feed on the 'mast' (4). Nuts are also eaten by chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs), wood pigeons (Columba palumbus) and other birds (6). The leaves take quite some time to rot fully, and beech woods are carpeted with a deep layer of leaf litter, which prevents other plants from becoming established. Beech woods are consequently somewhat devoid of woodland flowers and other understory plants (3). There is very little folklore or local custom associated with the beech. It is chiefly admired as a landscape tree for its grace and elegance, and has been used for firewood, as a fuel for ironworks and the glass industry, and by the eighteenth century it began to be used for timber (4). Many beeches were pollarded, which produced thin poles of wood out of the reach of browsers such as deer (6).
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Conservation

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As this species is common and widespread, conservation action is not necessary.
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Description

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The beech is a magnificent large tree with a broad crown, and very smooth greyish bark. There are typically many branches, which may arch downwards. The dark green leaves are oval to elliptical in shape, terminating in a point; they have wavy edges, which are fringed with hairs in young leaves. The male flowers occur in drooping clusters; in contrast, female flowers occur in pairs on short stalks (2). The nuts (known as 'mast') also occur in pairs, in a spiny husk consisting of four lobes (3).
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Habitat

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This species is found in a wide range of soil types and habitats, but prefers chalky soils and limestone (5). It avoids low-lying areas, where the soil may become water-logged (6).
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Range

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Although often said to have been introduced to Britain by the Romans, the discovery of beech pollen dating from 6000 BC in Hampshire proves that this tree is indeed a native; it was present in Britain when the country became an island after the Ice Age. It spread naturally northwards to a line drawn between the Wash and the Bristol Channel, and was planted further north (4). This tree is known throughout much of Europe. (7).
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Status

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Widespread and very common (2).
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Threats

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This tree is not threatened.
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Dwarf Beech

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The dwarf beech, Fagus sylvatica Tortuosa Group, is a rare cultivar group of the European beech with less than 1500 older specimens in Europe. It is also known as twisted beech or parasol beech.

It is a wide-spreading tree with distinctive twisted and contorted branches that are quite pendulous at their ends. With its short and twisted trunk the Dwarf Beech grows more in width than height, only seldom reaching a height of more than 15 metres. It sometimes grows from seed and has formed colonies in Sweden (where it is known as "Vresbok"), Denmark ("Vrange bøge"), Germany ("Süntel-Buchen"), France ("Faux de Verzy") and Italy ("Alberi serpente", nel Monte Pollino).

A similar form is the weeping beech (Fagus sylvatica Pendula Group), which has more pendulous branching.

Distribution

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200 year old dwarf beech in Lauenau.

Germany

Until the middle of the 19th century, the largest dwarf beech forest in Europe was in the Süntel. The Süntel is a small massif north of Hamelin in Lower Saxony in Germany. During the course of land reform in 1843 the entire area of a 245 meter high hill between Hülsede and Raden was cleared. At that time the number of dwarf beeches in Germany fell from several thousand to under a hundred. Individual older specimens or small groups of trees can only be found in about 50 locations today. The number of dwarf beeches have been increased by numerous new plantings in recent decades.

The largest dwarf beeches in Germany are in Lauenau and in the Berggarten botanical garden in Hannover. In Bad Nenndorf there is a "Dwarf Beech Avenue" made up of almost 100 trees, two-thirds of which are basal shoots. The "Head Beech" in Bad Gandersheim, which was considered one of the largest dwarf beeches at the beginning of the 21st century (2003), has since largely collapsed despite intensive tree care measures.

Dwarf beeches are also commonly found among the Wiehen Hills. A well known example of this tree species stands today on the Eidinghauser hill and is named "Krause Buche" ("Ruffle Beech") due to its striking growth. A second, smaller beech grows nearby. These trees provide evidence that the dwarf beech was once spread from the Süntel over the Wesergebirge to the Wiehen Hills.[1] Regardless, the German name "Süntelbuche" is not incorrect because formerly the Wiehen Hills, the Wesergebirge, and the Süntel were all officially referred to as "the Süntel".[2]

Outside of Germany

Smaller groups of older dwarf beeches still exist in France (where they are known as Hêtre tortillard), Denmark (Vrange bøge), and Sweden (Vresbok). Younger trees can be found in many parks and botanic gardens throughout Europe and the United States.

In a 1998 census of trees a population of more than 800 dwarf beeches was found in the Verzy forest, 25 km southeast of Reims, in France (where the trees are called Faux de Verzy).[3] Since then the number has been reduced slightly. The most beautiful specimens have been separated and have become tourist attractions along a circular path in a park-like area.

Dwarf Beech Reserve of the Heimatbund Niedersachsen

Around 1990 the local Bad Münder branch of the Heimatbund Niedersachsen Registered Association created an 11,000 m² dwarf beech reserve above the localities of Nettelrede and Luttringhausen.[4] The property, which was initially leased by the Bad Münder local branch, was bought by the Heimatbund Niedersachsen on September 27, 2010. Young dwarf beeches can grow to maturity protected in the reserve. The sustainable nature protection project serves exclusively to preserve and reproduce this rare tree species. Within these dwarf beeches there is a high genetic diversity, which is important for reproduction. In addition, due to its isolated location, the reserve avoids genetic mixing with the European beech.

The reserve was surveyed with a theodolite. It was possible to precisely record the location of every beech and to number the individual trees. The survey plan became the basis for maintenance work and scientific research.[5]

Biology

Age

The age of dwarf beeches is often overestimated due to their gnarled growth. Their average age limit is between 120 and 160 years. The horizontal, static unfavorable growth seems to accelerate the breakup of old rotten trees, so that dwarf beeches never reach 300 years of age. The only old trees with well known ages are the Tilly-Buche in Auetal (255 years)[6] and the dwarf beech in the castle park of Haus Weitmar in Bochum (270 years).

Growth patterns

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Dwarf Beech trunkless "bush form".

The greatest difference to the normal form is in the peculiar growth of the roots, trunk, and branches of the dwarf beech. The trees have been described as twisted, snaked, corkscrewed, kinked, kneed, zig-zagged, or simply stunted growth. The cross-sections of trunks show deep furrows and bulges and are not circular. This can be called a backward tension trunk. They resemble elephant feet and are sometimes hardly higher than 2 meters even in old specimens. Occasionally, there are entirely trunkless "bush forms". Often there are "sinkers", or side branches that extend below the surface of the earth from the main trunk which resurface after a few meters. Older individuals, like the dwarf beech in the mountain garden of the Herrenhausen Gardens, give the impression of being a group of trees.

In addition, dwarf beeches show a slight "mourning form". The branches in the outer crown area droop, but not so strongly as in the weeping beech. The branches in the upper middle part of the crown, on the other hand, are usually erect and give the crown a scruffy appearance.

The tree shape can also be influenced by finishing techniques, for example through "high stem-finishing". The growth of the dwarf beech also depends on location, which affects competition, shade, nutrients, wind, and so on.

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"Dwarf Beech Avenue" in Bad Nenndorf.

Flowers, leaves, fruit, and bark, as well as the strength of the wood, correspond with the species (European beech). However, the leaves and fruit show show a greater variation in size and shape than in the European beech. Other striking characteristics are the arrangement of the buds, the occasional curved buds and double terminal buds at the branch tips, and the strong tendency to develop basal shoots, especially in trees that are transported when young. The typical European beech roots are strongly distorted in the dwarf beech due to its stunted growth. As a result, individual roots come to the surface more often and form basal shoots that grow into new, mostly long, undivided, and snake-growing stems.

Dwarf beech variations

Possibilities for variation in the dwarf beech include the growth patterns and the leaf shape and color. Crosses with other leaf varieties of the European beech are desirable, but have only succeeded in the copper beech. Red-leaved dwarf beeches, called blood-dwarf-beeches (F. sylvatica var. Tortousa Purpurea or "red-dwarf"), have existed since 1967.

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Dwarf beech group in the Hohe Mark Nature Park.

The variety of shapes of the dwarf beech has often led to desire for further subdivision, but this has not yet led to any satisfactory results. For example, dwarf beeches with clear deviations in habit have been given new names, even when the particular shape was not yet reproduced and remained unclear, or whether the shape of the young tree was retained in old age or not.

For some variations there is only a single example. The flat-crowned tree of the Tabuliformis (table beech) type in the Flora Botanical Garden in Cologne described by Gerd Krüssmann in 1939 in the Messages of the German Dendrological Society (Deutsche Dendrologische Gesellschaft) is one such unique example.[7][8] Another divergent form that grows completely flat above ground is the Horizontalis, known as Londal in Denmark. The Remyllyensis form, first described in 1869 and originating in France, could be an intermediate form between the dwarf and weeping beech.

Further dwarf beech forms are ‘Bornyensis’, ‘Pagnyensis’, ‘Retroflexa’, ‘Arcuata’, ‘Conglomerata’, ‘Umbraculifera’, among others. The classification of these forms is unclear and disputed.

Similar beech shapes

A very similar European beech subspecies is the weeping beech. It has many similarities, although it grows more upright and less twisted and its branches have a more pronounced hanging shape. When dwarf and weeping beeches deviate greatly from their usual, even knowledgeable dendrologists have difficulty with proper classification.

Beeches similar in form to dwarf beeches that are not of the same subspecies include browsed "hood beeches", storm-tossed "stunted beeches" on the coast and in the mountains, and often-pruned "head beeches" which owe their dwarf beech-like forms to external influences and do not pass them on.

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Large weeping beech and young dwarf beech.

The growth forms mentioned above are isolated and less pronounced in every normal beech forest.

Reproduction and propagation

Biologically, the dwarf beech barely differs from the normal European beech. Thus both trees can fertilize each other, which makes dwarf beeches unpopular with forest owners who want to grow straight wood-producing trees.

Dwarf beeches are cross-pollinators, which means self-fertilization of these monoicous trees is not possible. They must be fertilized by another tree, either a common European beech or another dwarf beech. Concerning the beechnuts of dwarf beeches, which are always pollinated by common European beeches because their pollen is everywhere in the air, they produce common European beeches, dwarf beeches, and hybrids in different numbers without sharp distinctions between one another. Between 10 and over 70 percent of seedlings are crooked.

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Young dwarf beech (graft).

Only after 5 to 10 years can one see clearly enough whether a young plant is a proper dwarf beech or not. This is why seedlings are very rarely available for purchase. Grafts, on the other hand, are available more and more frequently. Because of this, new plantings of dwarf beeches in the last few decades were made mainly with grafts of other beech trees. The nicest looking trees were reproduced almost exclusively, which could lead to a reduction of the dwarf beech's gene pool in the future.

Additionally, dwarf beeches frequently propagate by means of layering and basal shoots. In this way branches lying on the ground take root, or rather, roots growing near the surface produce new shoots.

When planting young dwarf beeches, one should take into account their very slow growth rates (5 to 10 cm per year) and their large space requirements. The dwarf beech and its low, almost horizontally growing branches that hang down to the ground covers a circle of up to 25 m in diameter with its crown. Roadsides and property boundaries are therefore not suitable locations.

Economic use

The dwarf beech's twisted and curved wood cannot be used commercially. Because of the twisted growth, the wood is very difficult to split along the grain with an axe or saw and, because of its crookedness, it is difficult to stack so that it is unsuitable even as firewood. The value of the dwarf beech lies alone in its importance as an ornamental tree in parks, gardens, and other public places.

Cultural significance

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"Krause Buche" ("Ruffle Beech"), wood engraving from 1890.

Well-known examples in Germany

Some noteworthy dwarf beeches which have reached a great age or have shown a particularly beautiful growth have become well-known and impressive natural monuments, and have also made their way into relevant literature.

These include:

  • "Krause Buche" ("Ruffle Beech") the oldest tree in Bochum in the Haus Weitmar park, in the Wiehen Hills;
  • a second tree also called "Krause Buche" on Eidinghause Mountain, also in the Wiehen hills;
  • "Parapluie-Buchen" ("Umbrella Beech") of Paderborn;
  • "Krausbäumchen" ("Little Ruffle Beech") of Bad Homburg vor der Höhe
  • "Kanzelbuche" ("Pulpit Beech") on the Stromberg;
  • "Süntelbuche" ("Dwarf Beech") in the Berggarten in Hannover; and
  • "Kopfbuche" ("Head Beech") near Bad Gandersheim.

The most well-known dwarf beech was the "Tilly-Buche" (1739–1994) near Raden on the Süntel, which was greatly influential to the local area and today is represented on the coat of arms of Auetal. Its roots served as inspiration for advertisements of Lacalut Toothpaste, and its enormous size inspired artists to make drawings, oil paintings, photographs, fables, and poems. For more than a century, its unclear history led scientists to speculate, sometimes daringly, about the origin of the monstrous beech.

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The coat of arms of the municipality of Auetal, Germany, features a dwarf beech.

Fascination with such examples can only be expected of special specimens or larger groups ("fairy tale forest", "magic forest", etc.). Smaller beech trees are not more noticed than comparable forms of corkscrew hazels, acacias, larches, or willows. For centuries, dwarf beech seedlings were considered useless and weeded out during thinning of European beech stands.

In the Semper forest park, in the north of Lietzow on the island of Rügen, there are ten dwarf beeches that form a dome-like grove. These were planted in 1920 and are a protected natural monument.

In addition, there are the former Forest Plant Garden and today's International Phenological Garden of the Dresden University of Technology near the Hartha spa in the Tharandt Forest and the Forstbotanischer Garten Tharandt, where these supra-regionally known dwarf beeches are dealt with scientifically.[9]

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Canopy of the dwarf beech in the Schlosspark Semper.

Dwarf beeches in France

There is a dwarf beech specimen in a forest north of the village of Sionne (Vosges department).

A collection of up to 800 specimens have been identified in Verzy (Faux de Verzy).

Research history

In the 1844 work Pfeils Kritische Blätter für Forst- und Jagdwissenschaft (edition 19, book 1, page 223), chief forester Tilemann in Eschede reported dwarf beeches for the first time in a section called "Concerning the abnormal growth of the beech in the Hülsede local forest, Lauenau Office in the Kingdom of Hannover":

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Dwarf beech near Lauenau, 1907.

"On this mountain, both on the top as well as on the slopes, there is a 100–150 year old beech stand on an area of about 600 acres in which all the trunks have an extremely strange growth, that it is worth the effort to describe; because there would probably be few foresters, who have had the opportunity to see a similar growth of the beech on such a significant area."

"All of the trunks have grown more or less crooked that out of the entire stock, in my opinion, not one four foot length piece of straight wood could be split, and they have a crown formation which is similar to the weeping ash. It is not possible to give a faithful description of this strange tree growth without drawings."

By the time Tilemann published his 1842 report with four drawings in 1844, the last dwarf beech forest near Hülsede was already cleared.

In the following 160 years, countless essays appeared by botanists and nature lovers full of amazement and perplexity about the odd nature phenomenon.

A 1908 report by A. Oppermann with over 100 photos of the "Renkbuchen" ("Tangle beech"),[10] an illustrated natural history presentation of the last specimens growing in the Süntel by W. Wehrhan from 1902, and a description of the "Tilly-Buche" by Cl. Baroness of Münchhausen from 1911 were frequently cited.

Professor Friedrich Lange studied the morphology of the strange tree from 1966 to 1974 in Bad Münder and at the University of Göttingen. He described the structure and growth of the plant and the stages of development of the unusual growth form, but he could not find the actual reason for it.[11]

Franz Gruber from the University of Göttingen examined the growth and age of the largest dwarf beeches in 2001 and 2002 and made an important contribution to determining the age of these trees, which are mostly overestimated in this regard. (See Literature: Gruber 2002)[6]

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Dwarf Beech: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

The dwarf beech, Fagus sylvatica Tortuosa Group, is a rare cultivar group of the European beech with less than 1500 older specimens in Europe. It is also known as twisted beech or parasol beech.

It is a wide-spreading tree with distinctive twisted and contorted branches that are quite pendulous at their ends. With its short and twisted trunk the Dwarf Beech grows more in width than height, only seldom reaching a height of more than 15 metres. It sometimes grows from seed and has formed colonies in Sweden (where it is known as "Vresbok"), Denmark ("Vrange bøge"), Germany ("Süntel-Buchen"), France ("Faux de Verzy") and Italy ("Alberi serpente", nel Monte Pollino).

A similar form is the weeping beech (Fagus sylvatica Pendula Group), which has more pendulous branching.

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Fagus sylvatica

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European beech or common beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a deciduous tree belonging to the beech family Fagaceae.

Description

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Copper beech in autumn
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European beech shoot with nut cupules

Fagus sylvatica is a large tree, capable of reaching heights of up to 50 m (160 ft) tall[3] and 3 m (9.8 ft) trunk diameter, though more typically 25–35 m (82–115 ft) tall and up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) trunk diameter. A 10-year-old sapling will stand about 4 m (13 ft) tall. It has a typical lifespan of 150–200 years, though sometimes up to 300 years. In cultivated forest stands trees are normally harvested at 80–120 years of age.[4] 30 years are needed to attain full maturity (as compared to 40 for American beech). Like most trees, its form depends on the location: in forest areas, F. sylvatica grows to over 30 m (100 ft), with branches being high up on the trunk. In open locations, it will become much shorter (typically 15–24 m (50–80 ft)) and more massive.

The leaves are alternate, simple, and entire or with a slightly crenate margin, 5–10 cm long and 3–7 cm broad, with 6–7 veins on each side of the leaf (7–10 veins in Fagus orientalis). When crenate, there is one point at each vein tip, never any points between the veins. The buds are long and slender, 15–30 mm (0.59–1.18 in) long and 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in) thick, but thicker (to 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in)) where the buds include flower buds.

The leaves of beech are often not abscissed (dropped) in the autumn and instead remain on the tree until the spring. This process is called marcescence. This particularly occurs when trees are saplings or when plants are clipped as a hedge (making beech hedges attractive screens, even in winter), but it also often continues to occur on the lower branches when the tree is mature.

Small quantities of seeds may be produced around 10 years of age, but not a heavy crop until the tree is at least 30 years old. F. sylvatica male flowers are borne in the small catkins which are a hallmark of the Fagales order (beeches, chestnuts, oaks, walnuts, hickories, birches, and hornbeams). The female flowers produce beechnuts, small triangular nuts 15–20 millimetres (0.59–0.79 in) long and 7–10 mm (0.28–0.39 in) wide at the base; there are two nuts in each cupule, maturing in the autumn 5–6 months after pollination. Flower and seed production is particularly abundant in years following a hot, sunny and dry summer, though rarely for two years in a row.

Distribution and habitat

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Fagus sylvatica pliocenicaMuseum of Toulouse

The natural range extends from southern Sweden to northern Sicily,[5] west to France, southern England, northern Portugal, central Spain, and east to northwest Turkey, where it intergrades with the oriental beech (Fagus orientalis), which replaces it further east. In the Balkans, it shows some hybridisation with oriental beech; these hybrid trees are named Fagus × taurica Popl. [Fagus moesiaca (Domin, Maly) Czecz.]. In the southern part of its range around the Mediterranean, it grows only in mountain forests, at 600–1,800 m (1,969–5,906 ft) altitude.

Although often regarded as native in southern England, recent evidence suggests that F. sylvatica did not arrive in England until about 4000 BC, or 2,000 years after the English Channel formed after the ice ages; it could have been an early introduction by Stone age humans, who used the nuts for food.[6] The beech is classified as a native in the south of England and as a non-native in the north where it is often removed from 'native' woods.[7] Localised pollen records have been recorded in the North of England from the Iron Age by Sir Harry Godwin. Changing climatic conditions may put beech populations in southern England under increased stress and while it may not be possible to maintain the current levels of beech in some sites it is thought that conditions for beech in north-west England will remain favourable or even improve. It is often planted in Britain. Similarly, the nature of Norwegian beech populations is subject to debate. If native, they would represent the northern range of the species. However, molecular genetic analyses support the hypothesis that these populations represent intentional introduction from Denmark before and during the Viking Age.[8] However, the beech in Vestfold and at Seim north of Bergen in Norway is now spreading naturally and regarded as native.[9]

Though not demanding of its soil type, the European beech has several significant requirements: a humid atmosphere (precipitation well distributed throughout the year and frequent fogs) and well-drained soil (it cannot handle excessive stagnant water). It prefers moderately fertile ground, calcified or lightly acidic, therefore it is found more often on the side of a hill than at the bottom of clayey basin. It tolerates rigorous winter cold, but is sensitive to spring frost. In Norway's oceanic climate planted trees grow well north to Bodø, and produce seedlings and can spread naturally in Trondheim.[10] In Sweden, beech trees do not grow as far north as in Norway.[11]

A beech forest is very dark and few species of plant are able to survive there, where the sun barely reaches the ground. Young beeches prefer some shade and may grow poorly in full sunlight. In a clear-cut forest a European beech will germinate and then die of excessive dryness. Under oaks with sparse leaf cover it will quickly surpass them in height and, due to the beech's dense foliage, the oaks will die from lack of sunlight.

Ecology

The root system is shallow, even superficial, with large roots spreading out in all directions. European beech forms ectomycorrhizas with a range of fungi including many Russula species, as well as Laccaria amethystina,[12] and with the species Ramaria flavosaponaria.[13] Tomentella Pat. species and Cenococcum geophilum have been found in Danish and Spanish beech forests. These fungi are important in enhancing uptake of water and nutrients from the soil.[12]

In the woodlands of southern Britain, beech is dominant over oak and elm south of a line from about north Suffolk across to Cardigan. Oak are the dominant forest trees north of this line. One of the most beautiful European beech forests called Sonian Forest (Forêt de Soignes/Zoniënwoud) is found in the southeast of Brussels, Belgium. Beech is a dominant tree species in France and constitutes about 10% of French forests. The largest virgin forests made of beech trees are Uholka-Shyrokyi Luh (8,800 ha (22,000 acres)) in Ukraine[14] and Izvoarele Nerei (5,012 ha (12,380 acres) in one forest body) in Semenic-Cheile Carașului National Park, Romania. These habitats are the home of Europe's largest predators, (the brown bear, the grey wolf and the lynx).[15][16][17] Many trees are older than 350 years in Izvoarele Nerei[18] and even 500 years in Uholka-Shyrokyi Luh.[14]

Spring leaf budding by the European beech is triggered by a combination of day length and temperature. Bud break each year is from the middle of April to the beginning of May, often with remarkable precision (within a few days). It is more precise in the north of its range than the south, and at 600 m (2,000 ft) than at sea level.[19]

The European beech invests significantly in summer and autumn for the following spring. Conditions in summer, particularly good rainfall, determine the number of leaves included in the buds. In autumn, the tree builds the reserves that will sustain it into spring. Given good conditions, a bud can produce a shoot with ten or more leaves. The terminal bud emits a hormonal substance in the spring that halts the development of additional buds. This tendency, though very strong at the beginning of their existence, becomes weaker in older trees.

It is only after the budding that root growth of the year begins. The first roots to appear are very thin (with a diameter of less than 0.5 mm). Later, after a wave of above ground growth, thicker roots grow in a steady fashion.

Cultivation

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A look down a steep gorge with European beech leading down to the ocean at Møns Klint, Denmark

European beech is a very popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens in temperate regions of the world. In North America, they are preferred for this purpose over the native F. grandifolia, which despite its tolerance of warmer climates, is slower growing, taking an average of 10 years longer to attain maturity. The town of Brookline, Massachusetts has one of the largest, if not the largest, grove of European beech trees in the United States. The 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) public park, called 'The Longwood Mall', was planted sometime before 1850 qualifying it as the oldest stand of European beeches in the United States.[20]

It is frequently kept clipped to make attractive hedges.

Since the early 19th century there have been numerous cultivars of European beech made by horticultural selection, often repeatedly; they include:

  • copper beech or purple beech (Fagus sylvatica purpurea)[21] – a mutation of the European beech which was first noted in 1690 in the "Possenwald" forest near the town of Sondershausen in Thuringia, Germany. It is assumed that about 99% of all copper beeches in the world are descendants of this copper beech. It leaves are purple, in many selections turning deep spinach green by mid-summer. In the United States Charles Sprague Sargent noted the earliest appearance in a nurseryman's catalogue in 1820, but in 1859 "the finest copper beech in America... more than fifty feet high" was noted in the grounds of Thomas Ash, Esq., Throggs Neck, New York;[22] it must have been more than forty years old at the time.
  • fern-leaf beech (Fagus sylvatica Heterophylla Group) – leaves deeply serrated to thread-like
  • dwarf beech (Fagus sylvatica Tortuosa Group) – distinctive twisted trunk and branches
  • weeping beech (Fagus sylvatica Pendula Group) – branches pendulous
  • Dawyck beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck') – fastigiate (columnar) growth – occurs in green, gold and purple forms; named after Dawyck Botanic Garden in the Scottish Borders
  • golden beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Zlatia') – leaves golden in spring

Cultivars

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-[23]

  • F. sylvatica[24]
  • 'Dawyck'[25]
  • 'Dawyck Gold'[26]
  • 'Dawyck Purple'[27]
  • 'Pendula' (weeping beech)[28]
  • 'Riversii'[29]
  • F. sylvatica var. heterophylla 'Aspleniifolia'[30]

Image gallery

Timber

The wood of the European beech is used in the manufacture of numerous objects and implements. Its fine and short grain makes it an easy wood to work with, easy to soak, dye, varnish and glue. Steaming makes the wood even easier to machine. It has an excellent finish and is resistant to compression and splitting and it is stiff when flexed. Milling is sometimes difficult due to cracking. The density of the wood is 720 kg per cubic meter.[31] It is particularly well suited for minor carpentry, particularly furniture. From chairs to parquetry (flooring) and staircases, the European beech can do almost anything other than heavy structural support, so long as it is not left outdoors. Its hardness make it ideal for making wooden mallets and workbench tops. The wood rots easily if it is not protected by a tar based on a distillate of its own bark (as used in railway sleepers).[32][33] It is better for paper pulp than many other broadleaved trees though is only sometimes used for this, the high cellulose content can also be spun into modal, which is used as a textile akin to cotton. The code for its use in Europe is fasy (from FAgus SYlvatica). Common beech is also considered one of the best firewoods for fireplaces.[34]

Other uses

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Detail of the tarcrust's structure

The nuts are eaten by humans and animals.[35] Slightly toxic to humans if eaten in large quantities due to the tannins and alkaloids they contain, the nuts were nonetheless pressed to obtain an oil in 19th-century England that was used for cooking and in lamps. They were also ground to make flour, which could be eaten after the tannins were leached out by soaking.[36][37][38]

Primary Product AM 01, a smoke flavouring, is produced from Fagus sylvatica L.[39]

Pathogens

Biscogniauxia nummularia (beech tarcrust) is an ascomycete primary pathogen of beech trees, causing strip-canker and wood rot. It can be found at all times of year and is not edible.[40]

Notes

  1. ^ Barstow, M. & Beech, E. 2018. Fagus sylvatica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T62004722A62004725. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T62004722A62004725.en. Downloaded on 13 April 2021.
  2. ^ "The Plant List".
  3. ^ "Tall Trees".
  4. ^ Wühlisch, G. (2008). "European beech – Fagus sylvatica" (PDF). EUFORGEN Technical Guidelines for Genetic Conservation and Use.
  5. ^ Brullo, S.; Guarino, R.; Minissale, P.; Siracusa, G.; Spampinato, G. (1999). "Syntaxonomical analysis of the beech forests from Sicily". Annali di Botanica. 57: 121–132. ISSN 2239-3129. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  6. ^ Harris, E. (2002) Goodbye to Beech? Farewell to Fagus? Quarterly Journal of Forestry 96 (2):97.
  7. ^ International foresters study Lake District's 'greener, friendlier forests' forestry.gov.uk
  8. ^ Myking, T.; Yakovlev, I.; Ersland, G. A. (2011). "Nuclear genetic markers indicate Danish origin of the Norwegian beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) populations established in 500–1,000 AD". Tree Genetics & Genomes. 7 (3): 587–596. doi:10.1007/s11295-010-0358-y. S2CID 27550587.
  9. ^ Bøk – en kulturvekst? (in Norwegian)
  10. ^ https://www.ntnu.no/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=3f0f72a1-d68e-4b96-938e-b6b290fa5324&groupId=10476
  11. ^ Laurie, James; Balbi, Adriano (1842-01-01). System of Universal Geography: Founded on the Works of Malte-Brun and Balbi: Embracing a Historical Sketch of the Progress of Geographical Discovery …. A. and C. Black.
  12. ^ a b Packham, John R.; Thomas, Peter A.; Atkinson, Mark D.; Degen, Thomas (19 October 2012). "Biological Flora of the British Isles: Fagus sylvatica". Journal of Ecology. 100 (6): 1557–1608. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2745.2012.02017.x.
  13. ^ Agerer, Reinhard, ed. (1987–2012). "Tables of identified ectomycorrhizae". Colour Atlas of Ectomycorrhizae. Schwäbisch Gmünd: Einhorn-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-921703-77-9. OCLC 263940450. Retrieved 19 July 2018. Ramaria flavo-saponaria + Fagus selvatica (Raidl, Scattolin)
  14. ^ a b Commarmot, Brigitte; Brändli, Urs-Beat; Hamor, Fedir; Lavnyy, Vasyl (2013). Inventory of the Largest Primeval Beech Forest in Europe (PDF). Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL.
  15. ^ Romania & Moldova. Lonely Planet. 1998-01-01. ISBN 978-0-86442-329-0.
  16. ^ Romanescu, Gheorghe; Stoleriu, Cristian Constantin; Enea, Andrei (2013-05-23). Limnology of the Red Lake, Romania: An Interdisciplinary Study. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789400767577.
  17. ^ Apollonio, Marco; Andersen, Reidar; Putman, Rory (2010-02-04). European Ungulates and Their Management in the 21st Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-76061-4.
  18. ^ "Parcul Naţional Semenic – Cheile Caraşului (in Romanian)".
  19. ^ Efe, Recep (2014-03-17). Environment and Ecology in the Mediterranean Region II. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-5773-4.
  20. ^ "Longwood Mall". Brookline, MA.
  21. ^ "Copper Beech". Tree-Guide.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  22. ^ Andrew Jackson Downing and Henry Winthrop Sargent, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America 1859:150.
  23. ^ "AGM Plants – Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 38. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Fagus sylvatica AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck' AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck Gold' AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  27. ^ "Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck Purple' AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  28. ^ "Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula' AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  29. ^ "Fagus sylvatica (Atropurpurea Group) 'Riversii' AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Fagus sylvatica var heterophylla 'Aslpeniifolia' AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  31. ^ Steamed Beech. Niche Timbers. Accessed 20-08-2009.
  32. ^ Association, American Wood-Preservers' (1939-01-01). Railroad Tie Decay: Comprising The Decay of Ties in Storage, by C. J. Humphrey ... Defects in Cross Ties, Caused by Fungi, by C. Audrey Richards. American wood-preservers' association.
  33. ^ Goltra, William Francis (1912-01-01). Some Facts about Treating Railroad Ties. Press of The J.B. Savage Company.
  34. ^ "The burning properties of wood" (PDF). Scoutbase (Scout Information Centre). Scout Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  35. ^ Little, Elbert L. (1994) [1980]. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Western Region (Chanticleer Press ed.). Knopf. p. 390. ISBN 0394507614.
  36. ^ Fergus, Charles; Hansen, Amelia (2005-01-01). Trees of New England: A Natural History. Globe Pequot. ISBN 978-0-7627-3795-6.
  37. ^ Fergus, Charles (2002-01-01). Trees of Pennsylvania and the Northeast. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-2092-2.
  38. ^ Lyle, Susanna (2006-03-20). Fruit & nuts: a comprehensive guide to the cultivation, uses and health benefits of over 300 food-producing plants. Timber Press. ISBN 9780881927597.
  39. ^ European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Scientific Opinion on Safety of smoke flavour – Primary Product – AM 01 8 January 2010
  40. ^ Blanchette, Robert; Biggs, Alan (2013-11-11). Defense Mechanisms of Woody Plants Against Fungi. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-3-662-01642-8.

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Fagus sylvatica: Brief Summary

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European beech or common beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a deciduous tree belonging to the beech family Fagaceae.

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Weeping beech

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The weeping beech, Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula', is a cultivar of the deciduous European beech.[1] The original tree was found in the grounds of an English park, and it has been propagated by grafting, then many distributed widely.[2]

Physical description

The weeping beech is characterized by its shape with sweeping, pendulous branches. The trunk of the tree may not be visible from a distance due to the presence of the covering "weeping" branches. Branches may reach the ground and start new roots again. Smaller than the common beech, the tree can reach a height of up to 25 metres (82 ft) and tends to be wider than high.[3]

Leaves of the weeping beech are broad, flat, simple and not lobed. They have smooth margins and alternate. They typically measure 5–10 centimetres (2.0–3.9 in) in length. Flowers appear in the spring and are inconspicuous.[4]

The beechnuts sit in a thin spiny husk and are less than 5 cm in diameter.[5] The triangular beech nuts are popular in autumn with birds, mice and squirrels.

The green leaves become copper-toned in the fall. In winter the skeleton of the silvery stem with its branches remains attractive. The purple pigment in the leaves acts like a sunscreen to protect its new leaves, which is particularly important for plants that grow at high altitudes where the sun is fierce.

Habitat and maintenance

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Under the umbrella of a weeping beech
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Weeping beech in Newport, Rhode Island (August 2015)

The tree is not native to North America but grows in USDA hardiness zones 4–7.[4] It needs moisture and well drained soil and prefers sunny to semi-shaded zones. The tree does not tolerate industrial pollution or street salt.

Young trees need to be staked to make them grow upward; growth tends to be slow. Weeping beeches may live for 150 to 200 years.

Pests that can attack the tree includes aphids, borers (flat-headed apple tree borer, two-lined chestnut borer), certain caterpillars, and fungal disease.[4]

References

  1. ^ Missouri Botanical Garden. Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula'. Retrieved 27 October 2020
  2. ^ Orange Judd (Editor) American Agriculturist, Volume 22 (1863), p. 272, at Google Books
  3. ^ "Stihl Encyclopedia of Trees: Weeping Beech". Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Gilman EF, Watson DG (1993). "Fagus sylvatica pendula, European Weeping Beech" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 8, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  5. ^ Ohio Public Library Information Network. "Weeping Beech". Retrieved December 1, 2009.
 title=
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wikipedia EN

Weeping beech: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

The weeping beech, Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula', is a cultivar of the deciduous European beech. The original tree was found in the grounds of an English park, and it has been propagated by grafting, then many distributed widely.

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cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
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wikipedia EN