Recent classification systems of the genus recognize 10 to 13 species in two distinct subgenera, Engleriana and Fagus. The Engleriana subgenus is found only in East Asia, and is notably distinct from the Fagus subgenus in that these beeches are low-branching trees, often made up of several major trunks with yellowish bark. Further differentiating characteristics include the whitish bloom on the underside of the leaves, the visible tertiary leaf veins, and a long, smooth cupule-peduncle. Fagus japonica, Fagus engleriana, and the species F. okamotoi, proposed by the botanist Chung-Fu Shen in 1992, comprise this subgenus. The better known Fagus subgenus beeches are high-branching with tall, stout trunks and smooth silver-grey bark. This group includes Fagus sylvatica, Fagus grandifolia, Fagus crenata, Fagus lucida, Fagus longipetiolata, and Fagus hayatae. The classification of the European beech, Fagus sylvatica is complex, with a variety of different names proposed for different species and subspecies within this region (for example Fagus taurica, Fagus orientalis, and Fagus moesica). Research suggests that beeches in Eurasia differentiated fairly late in evolutionary history, during the Miocene. The populations in this area represent a range of often overlapping morphotypes, though genetic analysis does not clearly support separate species.
Within its family, the Fagaceae, recent research has suggested that Fagus is the evolutionarily most basal group. The southern beeches (genus Nothofagus) previously thought closely related to beeches, are now treated as members of a separate family, the Nothofagaceae (which remains a member of the order Fagales). They are found in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Argentina, and Chile (principally Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego).
The European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is the most commonly cultivated, although few important differences are seen between species aside from detail elements such as leaf shape. The leaves of beech trees are entire or sparsely toothed, from 5–15 cm long and 4–10 cm broad. Beeches are monoecious, bearing both male and female flowers on the same plant. The small flowers are unisexual, the female flowers borne in pairs, the male flowers wind-pollinating catkins. They are produced in spring shortly after the new leaves appear. The bark is smooth and light grey. The fruit is a small, sharply three–angled nut 10–15 mm long, borne singly or in pairs in soft-spined husks 1.5–2.5 cm long, known as cupules. The husk can have a variety of spine- to scale-like appendages, the character of which is, in addition to leaf shape, one of the primary ways beeches are differentiated. The nuts are edible, though bitter (though not nearly as bitter as acorns) with a high tannin content, and are called beechnuts or beechmast.
The name of the tree (Latin fagus, whence the species name; cognate with English "beech") is of Indo-European origin, and played an important role in early debates on the geographical origins of the Indo-European people. Greek φηγός is from the same root, but the word was transferred to the oak tree (e.g. Iliad 16.767) as a result of the absence of beech trees in Greece.
|European beech (Fagus sylvatica)|
Beech grows on a wide range of soil types, acidic or basic, provided they are not waterlogged. The tree canopy casts dense shade, and carpets the ground thickly with leaf litter.
Beech bark is extremely thin and scars easily. Since the beech tree has such delicate bark, carvings, such as lovers' initials and other forms of graffiti, remain because the tree is unable to heal itself.
Fagus sylvatica was a late entrant to Great Britain after the last glaciation, and may have been restricted to basic soils in the south of England. Some suggest that it was introduced by Neolithic tribes who planted the trees for their edible nuts. The beech is classified as a native in the south of England and as a non-native in the north where it is often removed from 'native' woods. Large areas of the Chilterns are covered with beech woods, which are habitat to the common bluebell and other flora. The Cwm Clydach National Nature Reserve in southeast Wales was designated for its beech woodlands, which are believed to be on the western edge of their natural range in this steep limestone gorge.
Beech is not native to Ireland; however, it was widely planted from the 18th century, and can become a problem shading out the native woodland understory. The Friends of the Irish Environment say that the best policy is to remove young, naturally regenerating beech, while retaining veteran specimens with biodiversity value.
A campaign by Friends of the Rusland Beeches and South Lakeland Friends of the Earth launched in 2007 to reclassify the beech as native in Cumbria. The campaign is backed by Tim Farron, MP, who tabled a motion on 3 December 2007 regarding the status of beech in Cumbria.
Today, beech is widely planted for hedging and in deciduous woodlands, and mature, regenerating stands occur throughout mainland Britain below about 650 m. The tallest and longest hedge in the world (according to Guinness World Records) is the Meikleour Beech Hedge in Meikleour, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.
The common European beech (Fagus sylvatica) grows naturally in Denmark and southern Norway and Sweden up to about the 57–59°N. The most northern known naturally growing (not planted) beech trees are found in a small grove north of Bergen on the west coast of Norway with the North Sea nearby. Near the city of Larvik is the largest naturally occurring beech forest in Norway. Planted beeches are grown much farther north along the Norwegian coast.
Some research suggests that early agriculture patterns supported the spread of beech in continental Europe. Research has linked the establishment of beech stands in Scandinavia and Germany with cultivation and fire disturbance, i.e. early agricultural practices. Other areas which have a long history of cultivation, Bulgaria for example, do not exhibit this pattern, so how much human activity has influenced the spread of beech trees is as yet unclear.
As a naturally growing forest tree, it marks the important border between the European deciduous forest zone and the northern pine forest zone. This border is important for wildlife and fauna, and is a sharp line along the Swedish western coast, which gets broader toward the south. In Denmark and Scania, at the southernmost peak of the Scandinavian peninsula, south-west of the natural spruce boundary, it is the most common forest tree. In Norway, the beech migration was very recent, and the species has not reached its distribution potential. Thus, the occurrence of oak in Norway is used as an indicator of the border between the temperate deciduous forest and the boreal spruce – pine forest.
Fagus sylvatica is one of the most common hardwood trees in north central Europe, in France alone comprising about 15% of all nonconifers.
The American beech (Fagus grandifolia) occurs across much of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada, with a disjunct population in Mexico. It is the only Fagus species in the Western Hemisphere. Prior to the Pleistocene Ice Age, it is believed to have spanned the entire width of the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, but now is confined to east of the Great Plains. F. grandifolia tolerates hotter climates than European species, but is not planted much as an ornamental due to slower growth and less resistance to urban pollution. It most commonly occurs as an overstory component in the northern part of its range with sugar maple, transitioning to other forest types further south such as beech-magnolia. American beech is rarely encountered in developed areas unless as a remnant of a forest that was cut down for land development.
East Asia is home to five species of Fagus, only one of which (F. crenata) is occasionally planted in Western countries. Smaller than F. sylvatica and F. grandifolia, Japanese beech is one of the most common hardwoods in its native range.
Beech wood is an excellent firewood, easily split and burning for many hours with bright but calm flames. Slats of beech wood are washed in caustic soda to leach out any flavor or aroma characteristics and are spread around the bottom of fermentation tanks for Budweiser beer. This provides a complex surface on which the yeast can settle, so that it does not pile up, preventing yeast autolysis which would contribute off-flavors to the beer. Beech logs are burned to dry the malt used in some German smoked beers, giving the beers their typical flavor. Beech is also used to smoke Westphalian ham, various sausages, and some cheeses.
The European species Fagus sylvatica yields a utility timber that is tough but dimensionally unstable. It weighs about 720 kg per cubic metre and is widely used for furniture framing and carcase construction, flooring and engineering purposes, in plywood and in household items like plates, but rarely as a decorative wood. The timber can be used to build chalets, houses, and log cabins.
The fruit of the beech tree, known as beechnuts or mast, is found in small burrs that drop from the tree in autumn. They are small, roughly triangular and edible, with a bitter, astringent, or in some cases, mild and nut-like taste. They have a high enough fat content that they can be pressed for edible oil. Fresh from the tree, beech leaves in spring are a fine salad vegetable, as sweet as a mild cabbage, though much softer in texture. The young leaves can be steeped in gin for several weeks, the liquor strained off and sweetened to give a light green/yellow liqueur called beech leaf noyau.
In antiquity, the barks of beech tree were used by Indo-European people for writing-related purposes, especially in religious context. Beech wood tablets were a common writing material in Germanic societies before the development of paper. The Old English bōc and Old Norse bók both have the primary sense of "beech" but also a secondary sense of "book", and it is from bōc that the modern word derives. In modern German, the word for "book" is Buch, with Buche meaning "beech tree". In modern Dutch, the word for "book" is boek, with beuk meaning "beech tree". In Swedish, these words are the same, bok meaning both "beech tree" and "book". Similarly, in Russian, the word for beech is бук (buk), while that for "letter" (as in a letter of the alphabet) is буква (bukva).
Beech litter raking as a replacement for straw in husbandry is an old nontimber practice in forest management that has been widespread in Europe since the 17th century. Beech has been listed as one of the 38 plants whose flowers are used to prepare Bach flower remedies.
The beech most commonly grown as an ornamental tree is the European beech (Fagus sylvatica), widely cultivated in North America and its native Europe. Many varieties are in cultivation, notably the weeping beech F. sylvatica 'Pendula', several varieties of copper or purple beech, the fern-leaved beech F. sylvatica 'Asplenifolia', and the tricolour beech F. sylvatica 'roseomarginata'. The strikingly columnar Dawyck beech (F. sylvatica 'Dawyck') occurs in green, gold, and purple forms, named after Dawyck Botanic Garden in the Scottish Borders, one of the four garden sites of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Europe is also home to the lesser-known Oriental beech (F. orientalis) and Crimean beech (F. taurica).
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe is a transnational composite nature UNESCO World Heritage site, encompassing forests in 12 European countries.
The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians include ten separate massifs located along the 185 km (115 mi) long axis from the Rakhiv mountains and Chornohora ridge in Ukraine over the Poloniny Ridge (Slovakia) to the Vihorlat Mountains in Slovakia. The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany include five locations, cover 4,391 hectares and were added in 2011.
The Carpathian site covers a total area of 77,971.6 ha (192,672 acres), out of which only 29,278.9 ha (72,350 acres) are part of the actual preserved area, while the rest is considered a "buffer zone". Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians cover areas of Zakarpattia and Prešov Regions. Over 70% of the site is located in Ukraine. The area includes two national parks, and some habitat controlled areas, mostly in Slovakia. Both national parks, along with a neighboring area in Poland, compose a separate biosphere reserve, the East Carpathian Biosphere Reserve. Besides Havešová, Rožok, and Stužica (all of them located in Bukovské vrchy), there is a fourth component situated in Slovakia, named Kyjovský prales of Vihorlat. Ukrainian locations include Chornohora, Kuziy-Trybushany, Maramarosh, Stuzhytsia–Uzhok, Svydovets, and Uholka–Shyrikyi Luh. Only a few of the ten components are accessible to visitors. Stužica is the only one of three locations in Bukovské vrchy (Slovakia) with available hiking trails. In 2017, UNESCO extended the site, adding forests in Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain.The last intact virgin forest in the temperate latitudes of Europe is to be found in the Carpathians. Trees can live to a hundred years old in these forests, providing an important habitat for organisms such as mushrooms, moss, lichen, insects, rare birds (e.g. capercaillie and black grouse) and mammals (e.g. bats, brown bear, wolf and lynx). Large parts of the forest in the Romanian part of the Carpathians have been lost due to deforestation. The pressure on timber as a resource may increase due to international demand and European companies may start large-scale felling in neighbouring Ukraine. Currently unprotected areas of virgin forest can be permanently preserved in the Ukrainian Carpathians by expanding and reinforcing conservation areas. In the Ukrainian Carpathians there are nine national parks and two biosphere reserves. There is a general ban on tree felling in coniferous forest areas above 1,100 metres. If park administrations are shown to work, management of larger, previously unprotected areas of virgin forest to preserve them on a permanent basis, may occur. There are roughly 100,000 additional hectares of forest which could be integrated into the existing conservation areas.Beech Grove, Indiana
Beech Grove is an excluded city in Marion County, Indiana, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city's population is 14,192. The city is located within the Indianapolis metropolitan area.Beech marten
The beech marten (Martes foina), also known as the stone marten, house marten or white breasted marten, is a species of marten native to much of Europe and Central Asia, though it has established a feral population in North America. It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN on account of its wide distribution, its large population, and its presence in a number of protected areas. It is superficially similar to the pine marten, but differs from it by its smaller size and habitat preferences. While the pine marten is a forest specialist, the beech marten is a more generalist and adaptable species, occurring in a number of open and forest habitats.Beechcraft
Beechcraft is a brand of Textron Aviation since 2014. Originally, it was a brand of Beech Aircraft Corporation, an American manufacturer of general aviation, commercial, and military aircraft, ranging from light single-engined aircraft to twin-engined turboprop transports, business jets, and military trainers. Beech later became a division of Raytheon and later Hawker Beechcraft before a bankruptcy sale turned its assets over to Textron (parent company of Beech's cross-town Wichita rival, Cessna Aircraft Company).Beechcraft 1900
The Beechcraft 1900 is a 19-passenger, pressurized twin-engine turboprop fixed-wing aircraft that was manufactured by Beechcraft. It was designed, and is primarily used, as a regional airliner. It is also used as a freight aircraft and corporate transport, and by several governmental and military organisations. With customers favoring larger regional jets, Raytheon ended production in October 2002.The aircraft was designed to carry passengers in all weather conditions from airports with relatively short runways. It is capable of flying in excess of 600 miles (970 km), although few operators use its full-fuel range. In terms of the number of aircraft built and its continued use by many passenger airlines and other users, it is one of the most popular 19-passenger airliners in history.Beechcraft Baron
The Beechcraft Baron is a light, twin-engined piston aircraft designed and produced by Beechcraft, introduced in 1961. A development of the Travel Air, it remains in production.Beechcraft Bonanza
The Beechcraft Bonanza is an American general aviation aircraft introduced in 1947 by Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. The six-seater, single-engined aircraft is still being produced by Beechcraft and has been in continuous production longer than any other airplane in history. More than 17,000 Bonanzas of all variants have been built, produced in both distinctive V-tail and conventional tail configurations.Beechcraft King Air
The Beechcraft King Air family is part of a line of American utility aircraft produced by Beechcraft. The King Air line comprises a number of twin-turboprop models that have been divided into two families. The Model 90 and 100 series developed in the 1960s are known as King Airs, while the later T-tail Model 200 and 300 series were originally marketed as Super King Airs, with the name "Super" being dropped by Beechcraft in 1996 (although it is still often used to differentiate the 200 and 300 series King Airs from their smaller stablemates).
The King Air was the first aircraft in its class and has been in continuous production since 1964. It has outsold all of its turboprop competitors combined. It now faces competition from jet aircraft such as the Embraer Phenom 100, Honda HA-420 HondaJet and Cessna Citation Mustang; as well as from newer turboprop aircraft including the Piaggio P180 Avanti, and single-engine Piper Malibu Meridian, Pilatus PC-12, and Socata TBM.Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing
The Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing is an American biplane with an atypical negative wing stagger (the lower wing is farther forward than the upper wing). It first flew in 1932.Beechcraft Model 18
The Beechcraft Model 18 (or "Twin Beech", as it is also known) is a 6- to 11-seat, twin-engined, low-wing, tailwheel light aircraft manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. Continuously produced from 1937 to November 1969 (over 32 years, a world record at the time), over 9,000 were built, making it one of the world's most widely used light aircraft. Sold worldwide as a civilian executive, utility, cargo aircraft, and passenger airliner on tailwheels, nosewheels, skis, or floats, it was also used as a military aircraft.During and after World War II, over 4,500 Beech 18s were used in military service—as light transport, light bomber (for China), aircrew trainer (for bombing, navigation, and gunnery), photo-reconnaissance, and "mother ship" for target drones—including United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) C-45 Expeditor, AT-7 Navigator, and AT-11 Kansan; and United States Navy (USN) UC-45J Navigator, SNB-1 Kansan, and others. In World War II, over 90% of USAAF bombardiers and navigators trained in these aircraft.In the early postwar era, the Beech 18 was the pre-eminent "business aircraft" and "feeder airliner". Besides carrying passengers, its civilian uses have included aerial spraying, sterile insect release, fish seeding, dry-ice cloud seeding, aerial firefighting, air-mail delivery, ambulance service, numerous movie productions, skydiving, freight, weapon- and drug-smuggling, engine testbed, skywriting, banner towing, and stunt aircraft. Many are now privately owned, around the world, with 240 in the U.S. still on the FAA Aircraft Registry in August 2017.Beechcraft Model 99
The Beechcraft Model 99 is a civilian aircraft produced by Beechcraft. It is also known as the Beech 99 Airliner and the Commuter 99. The 99 is a twin-engine, unpressurized, 15 to 17 passenger seat turboprop aircraft, derived from the earlier Beechcraft King Air and Queen Air. It uses the wings of the Queen Air, the engines and nacelles of the King Air, and sub-systems from both, with a specifically-designed nose structure.Beechcraft Super King Air
The Beechcraft Super King Air family is part of a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by Beechcraft. The Model 200 and Model 300 series were originally marketed as the "Super King Air" family, but the "Super" was dropped in 1996. They form the King Air line together with the King Air Model 90 and 100 series.Beechcraft currently offers the 250 (design. B200GT) and the larger 350i (B300) models. The 350ER (B300CER) is available to government, military and commercial customers for special mission operations such as aerial survey, air ambulance, flight inspection and surveillance. The Beechcraft 1900 regional airliner was derived from the Model B200 King Air.The Super King Air family has been in continuous production since 1974, the longest production run of any civilian turboprop aircraft in its class. It outlasted all of its previous competitors; the only other pressurized multi engine turboprop utility aircraft now in production is the Piaggio P.180 Avanti.Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor is an American propeller-driven, single-engined, military trainer aircraft derived from the Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza. The earlier versions of the T-34, dating from around the late 1940s to the 1950s, were piston-engined. These were eventually succeeded by the upgraded T-34C Turbo-Mentor, powered by a turboprop engine. The T-34 remains in service more than six decades after it was first designed.Beechcraft T-6 Texan II
The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (which became Hawker Beechcraft and later Beechcraft Defense Company, and was bought by Textron Aviation in 2014). A trainer aircraft based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 has replaced the Air Force's Cessna T-37B Tweet and the Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training, the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps for primary and intermediate Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training, and by the Royal Canadian Air Force (CT-156 Harvard II designation), Greek Air Force, Israeli Air Force (with the "Efroni" nickname), and Iraqi Air Force for basic flight training. The T-6B is the primary trainer for U.S. student naval aviators (SNAs). The T-6C is used for training by the Mexican Air Force, Royal Air Force, Royal Moroccan Air Force, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.Fagaceae
Fagaceae is a family of flowering plants that includes beeches and oaks, and comprises eight genera with about 927 species. The Fagaceae are deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs, characterized by alternate simple leaves with pinnate venation, unisexual flowers in the form of catkins, and fruit in the form of cup-like (cupule) nuts. Their leaves are often lobed and both petioles and stipules are generally present. Leaf characteristics of Fagaceae can be very similar to those of Rosaceae and other rose motif families. Their fruits lack endosperm and lie in a scaly or spiny husk that may or may not enclose the entire nut, which may consist of one to seven seeds. In the oaks, genus Quercus, the fruit is a non-valved nut (usually containing one seed) called an acorn. The husk of the acorn in most oaks only forms a cup in which the nut sits. Other members of the family have fully enclosed nuts. Fagaceae is one of the most ecologically important woody plant families in the Northern Hemisphere, as oaks form the backbone of temperate forest in North America, Europe, and Asia and one of the most significant sources of wildlife fodder.
Several members of the Fagaceae have important economic uses. Many species of oak, chestnut, and beech (genera Quercus, Castanea, and Fagus, respectively) are commonly used as timber for floors, furniture, cabinets, and wine barrels. Cork for stopping wine bottles and myriad other uses is made from the bark of cork oak, Quercus suber. Chestnuts are the fruits from species of the genus Castanea. Numerous species from several genera are prominent ornamentals, and wood chips from the genus Fagus are often used in flavoring beers.Fagus grandifolia
Fagus grandifolia, the American beech or North American beech, is the species of beech tree native to the eastern United States and extreme southeast Canada.
The genus name Fagus is Latin for "beech", and the specific epithet grandifolia comes from grandis "large" and folium "leaf".Fagus sylvatica
Fagus sylvatica, the European beech or common beech, is a deciduous tree belonging to the beech family Fagaceae.Nothofagus
Nothofagus, also known as the southern beeches, is a genus of 43 species of trees and shrubs native to the Southern Hemisphere in southern South America (Chile, Argentina) and Australasia (east and southeast Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and New Caledonia). The species are ecological dominants in many temperate forests in these regions. Some species are reportedly naturalised in Germany and Great Britain. The genus has a rich fossil record of leaves, cupules, and pollen, with fossils extending into the late Cretaceous period and occurring in Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, and South America. In the past, they were included in the family Fagaceae, but genetic tests revealed them to be genetically distinct, and they are now included in their own family, the Nothofagaceae.The leaves are toothed or entire, evergreen or deciduous. The fruit is a small, flattened or triangular nut, borne in cupules containing one to seven nuts.
Nothofagus species are used as food plants by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genus Aenetus, including A. eximia and A. virescens.
Many individual trees are extremely old, and at one time, some populations were thought to be unable to reproduce in present-day conditions where they were growing, except by suckering (clonal reproduction), being remnant forest from a cooler time. Sexual reproduction has since been shown to be possible. Although the genus now mostly occurs in cool, isolated, high-altitude environments at temperate and tropical latitudes, the fossil record shows that it survived in climates that appear to be much warmer than those that Nothofagus now occupies.Terry Beech
Terry Beech (born April 2, 1981) is a Canadian politician who was elected as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of Canada to represent the federal electoral district of Burnaby North—Seymour during the 2015 Canadian federal election.In 1999, Beech, then aged 18, was elected to the Nanaimo City Council, becoming British Columbia's youngest-ever elected official. He served on the council for three years, and did not seek re-election, instead moving to Burnaby to pursue a degree at Simon Fraser University. After completing a joint major in business and economics there, he attended Oxford University, finishing with an MBA. After finishing his education, he pursued a variety of business and charitable activities.
Beech was nominated as the Liberal candidate in Burnaby in July 2014, and won the election in the following October.
|True, or botanical nuts|