Beech (Fagus)

Fagus sylvatica

Beech forms a beautiful, native, formal hedge with dark green leaves that turn bronze/gold in autumn. Although it is deciduous (loses it leaves in winter), many leaves of Beech actually stay on the plants during the winter.

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Beech forms a beautiful, native, formal hedge with dark green leaves that turn bronze/gold in autumn. Although it is deciduous (loses it leaves in winter), many leaves of Beech actually stay on the plants during the winter.

Planting Advice

Beech (Fagus)

When can I plant?

You can plant our container-grown Beech plants at any time of year.  Bare-root plants can only be planted between November and March (over the winter).

What type of soil and growing conditions does a Beech hedge need?

Beech will grow in any well-drained soil including chalky soils but it will not tolerate heavy or wet soils especially over the winter. If you have a heavy clay or wet soil then Hornbeam would be a better option. If you are not sure whether your soil is well-drained, dig a hole and fill it with water – if it still has water in it the next day, then we would recommend growing Hornbeam instead of Beech.

Why plant a Beech hedge?

  • Attractive, formal-looking hedge
  • Hardy
  • Good for nesting birds
  • Native to the UK

How tall will Beech grow?

It can be trimmed to any height but if left unchecked, it will grow into a large majestic tree more than 15 metres (45ft) tall.

How often would I need to trim a Beech hedge?

Trim back to the height and width you want once a year.

How far apart should I plant Beech?

We recommend planting our 10 litre pot-grown Beech 50cm apart (2 per metre)

How fast will it grow?

Beech will grow approximately 30-60cm (1-2ft) per year if it is given good conditions for growth.

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Additional Information

Beech (Fagus)

Beech is native to the UK and most of the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.

Other names include European Beech.  Its botanical name is Fagus sylvatica.

Alternatives to Beech

Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is very similar to Beech and most people find them difficult to tell apart. Hornbeam will tolerate wetter soils and it is also deciduous (not evergreen).

Portugal Laurel (Prunus lusitanica) is a good alternative if you want an evergreen hedge with small, dark green leaves.  It grows quicker than Beech and has bright red stems.

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