Beeches: American Beech

Discussion in 'Fagaceae (beeches, oaks, etc.)' started by ToddTheLorax, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. ToddTheLorax

    ToddTheLorax Active Member

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    Texas, United States of America
    I am guessing most people on this forum are familiar with european beech, I was wonderng if anyone is cultivating american beech , fagus grandiflora.

    I just realized there is a population of native trees in east texas and was wondering if it could be cultivated in central texas.

    Obviously it has some heat tolerance, the difference here would be soil reaction (ph) and rainfall. But in a cultivated setting it could of course be watered, and sulfur applied if necessary. People do grow magnolias from east texas here with some success. another companion in its east texas pineywoods habitat, loblolly pine, cannot be cultivated here (central texas) in my opinion. Any thoughts?

    I've noticed the native plant nurseries here in central texas do not grow them. So there could be a reason for that. I also notice that it is not widely cultivated relative to european beech. Is that a better tree? looks really similar.
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Britain zone 8/9
    Bit shocking that your native plant nurseries don't stock it! If enough people ask for it, they will start.

    Yep, very similar to European Beech; the leaves are slightly larger, and more obviously dentate (toothed margin). The most striking difference perhaps is its tendency to produce root sprouts, which can develop into new trees forming clonal colonies (much like aspens); European beech doesn't do this.

    It is much more heat tolerant, in fact heat demanding - it is very difficult to grow in N Europe where the summers aren't hot enough for it. Growth in Britain is very slow as a result.

    Is it a better tree? - giving each their preferred growing conditions, about the same in terms of visual appeal. But American is definitely better in Texas heat; first drought and European would just shrivel up and die there.

    I don't know what its pH tolerance is. European Beech has a wide tolerance, from pure chalk to acidic sands, all it needs is reasonable drainage, and no road or sea salt spray.

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