Although beech is not native to Ireland it has been cultivated for a very long time. It is native to parts of Europe and is one of the most majestic trees when seen as a mature specimen. Beech trees prefer well drained soils.
Their shiny green foliage turns copper in autumn and is a splendid site. On young trees and when cut as a hedge the autumn foliage does not fall until the following Spring. One of the most common uses of beech by gardeners is to grow it as a clipped hedge.
A variation of common beech is the copper beech F. sylvatica ‘Purpurea’ which has foliage of dark purple in summer. There are also weeping varieties and for smaller gardens there are varieties that grow narrow and upright; F. sylvatica ‘Dawyck’.