Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tri-colored European Beech
Fagus sylvatica 'Roseomarginata'
(FAG-us) (sil-VAT-ee-kuh)

On Sunday I went up to my favorite town in Connecticut, Litchfield. There was a bunch of fairs and some sort of military reenactment going on. Some of the trees were even starting to change color. I can usually find a picture or two while walking around town. Sure enough behind the Tapping Reeve House, which was built in 1773 and housed the first law school in the United States, was one of my favorite trees.

It was a beautiful specimen of Variegated Beech. I must warn you the cultivation of this tree can be a little frustrating, but when it is on it is fantastic. You can see the nice colored margins of the leaves but the real show is when the foliage emerges in the spring. There seems to be some variation among specimens of this tree and sometimes the leaves are different on a particular tree. I have two rules about Beech; one they have to be planted at the exact same level as they were grown at the nursery. Rule number Two is there has to be enough room, they get really big! The ‘Tricolor’ is actually a little smaller than most of the species, getting to 30’ by 30’. This tree likes a little bit of shade, as it is prone to leaf scorch. There are many variations and types of Beech Trees available. Most are graceful, handsome trees for the garden and lawn.

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