Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tree of the Week: weeping European Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula')

At The Bayberry nursery in Amagansett, NY they have a wonderful collection of trees throughout the 12-acre parcel.  Near the garden shop are a number of massive weeping European Beech trees.  Certainly this is one of my all-time favorite trees.  European Beeches (Fagus sylvatica) are magnificent specimen trees in their own right, but the weeping form (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula') is so stunning, and you never see two that are the same.  As you can see I am standing beneath it as it is just beginning to leaf out for the season.  Eventually it's leaves will create a canopy of deep shade making the interior space near the trunk like a secret wooded room.  At the Bayberry they prune the limbs up so guests can walk underneath them, but left alone in the landscape they create this wonderful organic fountain of lustrous green foliage that goes to the ground.  Beeches have long slender, sharp-pointed buds that make them easy to identify in winter, not to mention their smooth gray bark that can look "elephantine" as they mature.  Hardy in Zones 4-7, they are a slow to medium grower and can eventually get over 40' tall.

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