Fagus sylvatica

Common Names: European beech, common beech
Category: Trees
Sub-category: Beech

European beech is a very popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens. The wood of the European beech is used in the manufacture of numerous objects and implements. Its fine and short grain makes it an easy wood to work with, easy to soak, dye (except its heartwood), varnish and glue. Steaming makes the wood even easier to machine. It has an excellent finish and is resistant to compression and splitting. Spring leaf budding by the European beech is triggered by a combination of day length and temperature. Bud break each year is from the middle of April to the beginning of May, often with remarkable precision (within a few days).

Edible Notes: The fruit of the beech tree, known as beechnuts, are small, roughly triangular and edible, with a bitter, astringent taste. It is not recommended to eat too many because they contain low concentrations of Trimethylamine, which is slightly toxic. Roasting both improves flavour and reduces the amount of Trimethylamine. Fresh from the tree, beech leaves can be eaten as a salad vegetable, as sweet as a mild cabbage though much softer in texture.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.