You may have remembered a couple of blogs back we did an article entitled Spotlight on one of Britain’s most popular trees. In it we gave you the low down the Ash tree, including its defining features and its place in mythology. Now, we’re back to give you another profile on another British native tree; the Common Beech.
Beech trees can live for hundreds of years whilst their coppiced stands can even live for over a 1,000 years. When fully grown they can reach over 40m and they are distinguishable by their large dome like shape and their thing, grey, smooth bark.
As well as being native to Britain, Beech trees can be found across Europe including places like Sweden and Sicily.
Beech is incredibly important to British wildlife as it homes some of the rarer plant life such as coralroot bitter-cress. As well as providing a home for plant life, butterflies use the tree for their habitat and different parts of the tree feed a whole host of animal life including caterpillars, mice, voles, squirrels and birds, and truffle fungi.
We use Beech timber for a variety of purposes, including fuel, furniture, cooking utensils, tool handles and sports equipment; and so there is an incentive to keep the population.
In mythological terms, Beech is associated with femininity and is considered the queen of British trees, where Oak is the king. Celtic mythology names Fagus as the god of Beech trees and highlights the trees as having medicinal properties.
Some threats that Beech trees face include grey squirrels, whose bark stripping ways can damage the tree; root rot including Phytophthora; and Beech bark disease which is caused by a sap sucking insect and fungus.
As your trusted tree surgeon in Manchester, we’ve got all the information on the most common trees found in this country! Look out for some more spotlights on other trees soon.