mm25739's picture


Observed: 12th December 2010 By: mm25739
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
mm25739’s reputation in Plants

Normally our beech trees keep their leaves until spring. This year after a -15 C night all the leaves above about 5 feet had fallen off. The lower leaves on all the surrounding beech trees were still attached. Has anyone any ideas? The copper beeches were also affected.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Beech (Fagus) interacts


MrG's picture

Beech leaves

Beech tends to keep its leaves on lower twigs to a height of a few metres. This is why it makes a good hedge because the leaves are retained. I think some oaks do the same. I'm not sure of the reason although possibly the retained leaves improve the microclimate around the trees base.

Blewit Boy's picture

Younger trees tend to............

Younger beech trees and those that are clipped for hedges/topiary tend to retain their leaves through winter. As they get older, or are left uncut, they start losing them. I guess this might be an adaptation for survival? Or possibly just that larger trees are naturally more exposed being taller, and thus their leaves are swept away in the slightest breeze. Hornbeams (Carpinus) are similar in their habits.