Beeches: #1 Choice: Beech - Simply the best

Discussion in 'Fagaceae (beeches, oaks, etc.)' started by M. D. Vaden, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Beaverton, Oregon
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    At least in our area around Portland, I don't know if there is any tree that I would rate as highly as a beech tree for landscaping.

    Even planted 3 purple leaf beech for ourselves last month just after we bought our new home.

    The past weeks, I've been in the nicer part of NE Portland where homes date back to the early 1900s, and some of the beech trees are awesome looking right now.

    Saw a beautiful purple one across the street from some hornbeams I was pruning two days ago. And on NE 28th today, I stopped to look at this very nice green one. It was behind a fence, but I'm guessing 48" DBH. Interesting branches.

    Beech is definitely at the apex of my list.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    One of the more noble of planted trees on local sites. The largest in total volume is one on Guemes Island that was 103' tall with a trunk 19'7" around in 1995. Some - perhaps all of the largest ones - date from the 19th century, such as one in Orting said to have been planted in 1875. The tallest one measured here is in the Seattle arboretum. It was 127' high a few years ago but had a slender trunk, less than 7' around.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Nice tree, especially when the leaves are bright green in mid to late spring.

    Tree in the photo looks like it was pollarded when young.

    Other bonuses:
    Very good reputation for not causing damage to foundations of buildings.

    Downsides:
    Very sensitive to winter road salt, I've seen several killed by it.
    Sensitive to drought.
    Heavy shade (particularly from purple ones, which can be very oppressive).
    Potentially invasive in your area, at a guess.
    Liable to root decay and subsequent sudden collapse when older (150-200 years+).
     
  4. Chooch

    Chooch Active Member 10 Years

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    I have Fagus Grandifolia , our Native Beech tree , growing in the center of the farm woodlot that is over 100' in ht and well over 150 years old . Fortunately it has weathered many storms with minimal damage but , another downside to the beech is the wood is very heavy / brittle therefore it could surprise you with unforseen branch breakages .
     

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