Beech & Hornbeam
Beech is a tall, long-lived tree, valued for it's foliage and autumnal colours. Small flowers appear with the leaves, which are a round shape with a fine rugged edge, and vary from a mid to a dark green (or deep purple with Copper Beech). Beechnuts often produced in autumn - edible nuts with shiny brown husks. The bark is often smooth which adds to the character of the trees. Beech is tolerant of a range of different soils including chalk, and can be grown in a woodland garden or as a specimen tree.
Carpinus betulus, or Hornbeam, is a deciduous, elegant tree with good autumn colour. The mid-green leaves are toothed, and both yellow male and greenish female catkins are borne in spring. Hornbeam an be grown as a specimen tree, where it will reach heights of 40ft+, or in a woodland setting. It is also ideal for pleaching, and if grown as a pleached hedge, will retain its brown leaves throughout winter. Hornbeam is suitable for heavy, wet soils.