European beech

Fagus sylvatica or European beech. This member of the Fagaceae lives up to 200 years, growing up to 160 ft. tall with a 10 ft. diameter trunk, and taking up to 30 years to attain maturity.

In order to maintain the architectural structure of the shoulder hedge, we keep the garden’s F. sylvatica pruned to 15-20 ft. tall and tightly sheered into shape. European beech is one of  the deciduous tree components of Lurie Garden’s shoulder hedge.

European beech is native to mainland Europe from southern Sweden to northern Sicily, west through France, and east to northwest Turkey. The species is highly valued as an ornamental specimen in North America for its smooth, crisp spring and summer leaf texture, yellow and copper fall colors, and its characteristic marcescence habit during winter. Marcescence is a habit of certain trees to hold leaves during the winter, only dropping them in the spring. Leaves of F. sylvatica are alternate, simple with entire margins.

Botanical Name Fagus sylvatica
Common Name European beech
Family Fagaceae
USDA Zone 4 thru 7
Light Requirement Full Sun to Part Shade
Season(s) of interest all seasons
Height and Spread 50-60ft x 35-50ft (15-18m x 10-15m)
Flower Color Yellow-Green
Attracts Wildlife Provides Food for Birds, Hosts Caterpillars of Butterflies/Moths,
Additional Information Not Native to the US Midwest. Native to Europe.
Location in Lurie Garden Shoulder Hedge