Monday, September 17, 2007

Round Leaf Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Rotundifolia')

Round Leaf Beech
Fagus sylvatica 'Rotundifolia'
(FAG-us) (sil-VAT-ee-kuh)
Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ay)

I saw this tree earlier this year at the New York Botanical Garden. I probably would have kept on walking right by it if hadn’t been for the way the light was playing through the leaves. That is when I noticed the leaves were round and upon closer examination the tree was a bit more compact (but still huge) and had a nice ascending branch structure. I have always thought of Beech Trees as kind of a grandfather of trees. They get so big and have such a large spread that I figured they must be long lived. The life span is about 200 years, which is a long time but not as long as I had thought. Some specimens can live up to 300 years. They don’t start to flower until they are around 50 years of age (some earlier, some later).

I have planted dozens of Beeches over the years including one, at the Estate, which is about 65 feet tall now. So I guess they grow pretty fast even though that tree was fairly large when we planted it (6 inch caliper, 16 feet tall if I remember correctly). I love to use the narrow growing types, as they are a great vertical accent. I have never planted a Round leaf before but it looks like a very attractive tree for a large area. One thing I don’t like about Beech trees is trying to get anything to grow underneath them. That isn’t easy and turf grass isn’t even an option.

Karen and I went to the Garden Party yesterday. It was a nice time but a little chilly. The garden was in fine shape. I had visited earlier in the year and the owner had finished all the work that was in progress. It is a real nice mix of art and plants. Here are a few photos.

I am going to post some more tomorrow after I have a chance to go through them.


Ali said...

What absolutely gorgeous photos. I am so into black and white at the moment.

PS ~ I am sooooooooooooooooooo embarrassed!!!! Your blog and your photo's are fantastic SIR!!!! lol

Ki said...

I actually have this tree in our yard. It is growing slowly which is good but your photo will remind me to to look more closely when the sun shines through the leaves. I love the small round leaves.

Love the B&W photos. I need to do that. I've converted some photos to B&W using Elements but somehow the results were less than mediocre. I wonder if it makes a difference setting the camera to take B&Ws?

Digital Flower Pictures said...

:lol: I am in touch with my feminine side but not quite that much. Thanks.


You have a nice tree in this one. I don't know how old the one in the NYBG is but it was quite large.

Re: B&W. I was reading that the camera does meter differently when set to B&W. I don't remember the page I was reading it on but I agree conversions are less desirable. They only work on certain images. These were shot with my Point and Shoot and it is nice the preview is in Black and White also. It helps compose the image.

Hin Man said...

I like the green leaves picture. I find the subtle lighting especially appealing.

UKBob said...

We have several big old Beech trees in the garden, I can't say that are my favorite tree apart from them continually dropping stuff its as you say hard to get anything to grow under them, It seems a good place to plant spring bulbs. Perhaps the one in the picture would be a better alternative. I like the pics of the garden party. Bob.

DigitalShutterMania said...

Wow.. the gree leaves photo is very nice..Perfect lighgting

Digital Flower Pictures said...

hin, thanks, nice to see you before Wednesday.

ukbob, hello, mate. I will have to try some bulbs. I finally got some Periwinkle started under a huge old Beech. Last year I grew some Caladiums and that worked ok, but couldn't get them this year.

dsm, I haven't seen you here before, that I can remember. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Lynette said...

Could you hear the breath leaving my body as I clicked to enlarge the round leaf beech photograph and said, "Oh"?