If you are looking for an ornamental tree that will give you lots of shade, the beech tree makes an excellent choice. There are several types of beeches, although the most common is the European Beech and American Beech. The beech is more of a cold-weather tree; it will not do well in hot regions. Beeches tolerate various soils, including alkaline soils, provided the soils are well-drained. They especially thrive in sandy soils. Although it takes a long time to get established, the beech is fairly easy to grow. Following is a guide to help you plant and grow.
Location of Site
Plant seeds or seedlings in a full sun area. The tree needs plenty of sunlight, at least 10 hours during the day. However, you will need to take steps to ensure the young tree is protected from the hot summer sun. This will allow the root system to establish itself well. Be sure that you locate a site where the tree will be able to spread comfortably once it attains the mature stage. The beech is known to grow to great heights, as much as 80 feet. It spreads across to 35 feet and beyond. Beeches can live for hundreds of years.
If you choose to start the tree from seeds, fill a small container with a potting mix and put in the seeds. Give some water and ensure that you water regularly to maintain moist soils. If you choose to propagate from seedlings, fill a large container with peat moss. Dig a small hole in the center with a spade and insert the seedling. Replace the soil around the young stem so that it forms a mound. Give the seedling water twice a week.
It is best to transplant during mild weather, like spring, so that the young tree is not subjected to undue stress. Once the tree stem gets to be 1-inch in diameter, you can transplant to a suitable outdoor location. Till the soil with a trowel so that it gets well aerated. Dig a hole that can adequately accommodate the root ball. Insert the tree and replace soil. Keep up frequent watering after transplanting. Place a 3-inch layer of mulch around the tree but leave some breathing space. Also, give some liquid fertilizer to boost soil nutrient content and encourage healthy root development. Thereafter, apply a slow-release granular fertilizer once a year.
The beech is a slow grower so you need not prune frequently. However, trim occasionally to help it shape well. Trimming will also reduce some of the dense foliage to encourage better circulation of air and sunlight availability. As you trim, remove broken, damaged or diseased branches to allow for newer growth.