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How to Root a Beech Tree

The American beech tree (Fagus grandifolia ) is the only indigenous species of the Fagus genus in North America. It is now confined to the eastern United States. Beech trees are slow-growing deciduous trees that prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil. When they mature they reach heights over 90 feet and their roots spread well over 50 feet from the trunk. American Beech trees are most commonly propagated from seeds; however, they can also form roots from small limbs removed in early fall.

Cut a small branch from a mature beech tree. Use the hand saw and cut the branch from the trunk of the tree 1/2 inch past the collar (swollen area where the branch joins the tree trunk). The limb should be at least 18 inches long.

Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and add rooting hormone (add according package directions) to the water. Place the freshly cut branch into the water and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Mix a 1-to-1 ratio of potting soil and pine bark mulch together in a 5-gallon bucket (while the branch is soaking). Fill the bucket leaving 1 inch of space from the rim of the bucket.

Remove the branch from the bucket of water and rooting hormone; gently shake to remove excess. Place into the bucket of potting soil mixture, approximately 8 inches deep. Lightly tamp the potting soil mixture; do not compact the soil around the branch.

Cut the bottom of the milk jug using a sharp utility knife. Place the milk jug over the beech tree branch. This will help keep humidity levels constant.

Place the bucket in a sunny, draft-free location. The taproot should begin to develop within three to four weeks. The seedling will be ready for transplanting in the spring.

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