How to Grow Beech Trees


Beech trees grow in loose, well-draining sandy soil, so select a site that is on high ground and has good drainage before you plant. According to the Western North Carolina Nature Center, beech trees grow best where the soil pH is between 4.1 and 6. Beech trees flower in the spring between April and May and produce seeds or nuts in the fall between October and November. Collect the seeds from the ground as soon as they fall before squirrels or other hungry rodents snatch them up.

Step 1

Collect five to 10 seeds in the fall when the beech trees are dropping their seeds. Starting five to 10 seeds will increase your chance of germination success.

Step 2

Fill 8-inch pots with rich, damp, compost. Make a 1 inch deep hole in the center of each pot and place one beech seed into each of the holes. Cover the seeds with soil and pat it down firmly.

Step 3

Place the pots outside in a protected area against a house or shed wall where the seeds are protected from harsh wind and rain. Place chicken wire over the pots to keep rodents from snacking on the seeds. Avoid watering over the winter in freezing weather.

Step 4

Remove the chicken wire when the seeds germinate in the spring but keep the seedlings in the shaded protected area. Water every three to five days to keep the soil around the seeds damp.

Step 5

Transplant the seedlings into 12-inch pots when they are 3 to 4 inches tall. Leave the potted saplings outside for the first summer and bring them into a protected greenhouse in the fall.

Step 6

Transplant the strongest of the seedlings to a permanent outside location when they are eight to 16 inches tall. Clear a 3 foot wide area of weeds and grass. Dig a hole in the center of the cleared area that is twice as large as the root ball of your beech tree sapling.

Step 7

Turn the potted sapling onto its side and gently wiggle it free from the pot. Place the roots into the hole and cover them with soil. Press down the soil to firm it around the roots and water until the soil is damp to a depth of 5 inches.

Step 8

Spread a 4-inch thick layer of mulch on the cleared area, keeping it 4 to 6 inches from the base of the trunk. Set a tree cage over the sapling to protect it from hungry deer and careless feet.

Things You'll Need

  • 8-inch pots
  • Compost
  • Chicken wire
  • 12-inch pots
  • Mulch
  • Tree cage
  • Shovel


  • Woodland Trust: Growing Trees For All
  • Western North Carolina Nature Center: American Beech
Keywords: planting trees, seed-starting, planting beech seeds

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.