Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Right in my backyard!

I wrote about beeches a little while ago. I was walking around the yard to see what was coming up and I came upon a little tree we planted 3 years ago with leaves still attached. Head slap. I had completely forgotten that the nursery woman said it may be some kind of beech. It didn't have an ID tag on it when we bought it so we didn't know what it was. But, it has the same gray trunk though darker than the Fagus grandifolia or americana and the same characteristic retaining of leaves all through winter. All the time I was wishing we had a beech - we already had one! Actually we now have two as we planted a copper beech Fagus sylvatica pendula purpurea which was leafless when we bought it in a plant sale late in the fall.

The leaves are darker tan almost a light sienna in color and round in shape. I looked it up in my botanical book and it's most likely a Fagus sylvatica, the common or European beech with a subheading of rotundifolia descriptive of the round leaves. The books says it has strong upright growth but the tree remains stunted and has grown only 2 or 3 feet in the years we've had it in ground. I wonder if this is a dwarf form? I was attracted to the tree by the small round leaves which are only 1 to 2 inches in diameter at most and the compact form. I wonder why it's so easy to overlook something in front of your nose. I need to be more observant.


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