Green Beech
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Beech is not grown for its flowers or fruit but for its superb foliage of delicate fluttery leaves with wavy edges, initially a gentle soft golden green, then bright green and finally coppery. Strictly speaking, our native Beech is deciduous, but its crisp winter leaves, which stay on the  plant until pushed off by the new bright green growth in spring, make it a great alternative to an evergreen hedge. It's relatively fast growing, at about 30-60cm p.a. so it does need to be trimmed in late summer/early autumn. The autumn clipping is essential for the leaf coverage to be retained throughout winter. Beech likes sun or partial shade and does well on almost any well-drained soil (acid or alkaline), but is not suitable for wet sites where Hornbeam is a more successful option. Though it is suitable for windy sites and is suitable as a dense windbreak hedge, it may not keep all of its winter leaves in very exposed (particularly coastal) positions. Beech forms a super formal hedge but its also a very good component in a native mixed hedge providing some winter colour and an important wildlife shelter when the remainder of the fully deciduous hedge loses its leaves. Prices shown are the price per plant, other than packs of 250, 500 and 1000. Planting distance is very much a matter of choice. For bare roots, 3 plants per metre is adequate, 5 is good, 7 makes a dense hedge quicker. Smaller plants are generally planted at higher density than tall plants. Pot grown plants have recommended densities shown (which vary by pot size) but you can increase or reduce this density dependent on your level of patience. Cell grown should be planted at 4 per metre in a single row, or ideally 6 per metre in a staggered row. Bare roots are only available November to March but you can pre-order bare root plants during summer/autumn 2010 for delivery in November 2010 - and get the benefit of last year's prices. Pot grown and cell grown plants are available all year round..
(Fagus Sylvatica)
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