Fagus sylvatica (European Beech) Seeds
Zone: 4 to 7.
Native to most of Europe, including Britain.
The European Beech is a large shade tree with a dense, upright-oval to rounded-spreading form. This species has a smooth silvery grey bark and a low branching pattern. Foliage consists of ovate to elliptic, lustrous dark green leaves (to 4” long) that turn golden bronze in fall. Female flowers produce beechnuts which are small triangular nuts that ripen in fall and are popular with wildlife. It prefers deep, rich, moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. The growth rate is slow to medium. The European Beech also makes a good bonsai specimen.
Size: Height 50 to 60 ft; Width 35 to 50 ft.
Beech seeds can be sown directly in the soil for germination the following spring or stratified in the refrigerator as described below.
Stratification: Provide 90 to 150 days cold moist stratification at 3° C (37° F) to 5° C (41° F).
1. Place seeds in sandwich bag(s) with damp sand or vermiculite to keep moist.
2. Place the bag(s) with seeds in refrigerator for about 90 to 150 days.
3. After the required time take the seeds out of the refrigerator and sow the seeds in pots 3/8 inch deep and cover. Keep soil moist but not wet.
Protect seeds from squirrels or other animals.